Archive for January 2011

How to Get Relief From Chronic Pain Without Prescribed Drugs

Taking over the counter drugs (OTC) is usually the first step in trying to get rid of those little nagging aches and pains we all suffer from during the normal course of our daily life.

Most of the time these non-prescribed drugs work just fine. However, it’s when the little aches and pains become a persistent chronic pain that we run into problems.

That nagging, chronic backache can become a debilitating problem. Those Irritating little headaches that keep you in a constant bad mood can take on monumental proportion and make your life an absolute hell.

The search for headache pain relief can be all consuming. This is when the cheap OTC drugs you buy at the discount stores become ineffective.

Hopefully, you are smart enough to realize that doubling up the dosage is not a good idea. Your first step should be is to consult your doctor if the OTC drugs are not doing the job. A chronic headache or chronic back pain is something you can’t ignore.

You should not delay about seeing your doctor if your problem is persistent headaches. Ask about getting an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) procedure done on your head.

It’s painless and a very good way to spot a growing cerebral aneurysm forming in your head. This is a fairly new technique for spotting this sort of problem and is gaining popularity with the doctors.

The MRI is also a great tool being used to spot a ruptured disc in the spine. The MRI is a non-invasive way to look inside of you to see what is going on. If you have any luck at all your test will come back negative.

Usually, the first thing a doctor will try, after passing the MRI test, is physical therapy, and/or some mild prescription drugs. The cause of your chronic pain can be anything from a pinched nerve to a strained muscle. The physical therapy, while expensive, may just be the cure you’re looking for to get rid of your problems.

However, you may have to start taking a regime of prescribed drugs if the workouts do not take care of your never-ending pain. This is where the dangers start to pile up.

Every prescribed drug has an adverse drug reaction. These reactions can affect your liver, stomach, kidneys, and even your heart. You must discuss the possibilities of this problem with your doctor.

An alternative to the prescribed drugs is herbal, or natural pain relief medications. These are pills, ointments, and spray-ons that are manufactured from plants and other natural elements of the earth.

Although new, they don’t have the adverse side effects as conventional medicine and appear to be moving up into first place as the preferred way to get pain relief.

Richard Tolar

Amazing Back Surgery Success Story – Herniated Discs

Louie has an extremely dangerous job dealing with all aspects of port/dock operations. In June of 2001, he turned his head and neck very quickly and experienced sudden and extreme pain in his neck and in both arms. He was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with extreme herniation of his cervical discs. The disc was protruding into the spinal cord 9mm; to put this in perspective, the diameter of your cervical spinal cord is approximately 10mm. The hospital put him in traction for 9 days with a morphine pump for the excruciating pain. Louie said he even considered taking his own life at times as the pain was so unbearable.

Many doctors told him that he would likely end up quadriplegic or a paraplegic. Louie did not like these prognoses and continued searching for a doctor he could believe in. He endured months of conservative care with injections and medications without relief before he found Dr. Hamada. Dr. Hamada told Louie that once we relieve the pressure off the spine the pain would go away. He said the surgery would be done through an anterior (front) approach, rather than disrupting many muscles and ligaments by accessing the discs from the poster (back). Louie said The message that he conveyed to me was one of certainty, that he could and would fix me. Louie decided to believe in Dr. Hamada. Louie underwent an anterior cervical discectomy at C6-7 with instrumented fusion and bone graft and after surgery, he awoke from the anesthesia with his family friends all around and he realized that his pain was gone and he could move his legs and arms and at that point, Louie said, I cried tears of joy – he was so thankful he knew he would be fine. He walked to his car after 3 days in the hospital and eventually went back to work and his life.

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Nanaimo Chiropractor Talks About Slipped Discs Nanaimo Chiropractor, Dr. Jason Hare, of Pure Chiropractic discusses disc herniations, better known as slipped discs. Learn what they actually are and how to deal with them.

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Disc Replacement breakthrough

Visit Disc Replacement has evolved to new levels. New disc replacement implants offer “quality of motion”, now providing shock absorption.

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Herniated Disc Diagnosis

Herniated discs are one of the most common of all spinal abnormalities blamed for causing potentially severe and chronic back pain in multitudes of suffering patients each year.  While herniations can be problematic in the short term for a minority of patients, they are rarely responsible for causing the long term or excruciating pain that is inherent to their fearsome reputation. 

Herniated discs are the most common of all spinal irregularities.  They are diagnosed in untold numbers of people, both with and without back pain.  Herniations have become the bread and butter of the back pain industry and even enjoy a plethora of colorful nomenclature attached to their diagnosis.  The most common terms associated with disc pathologies include: disc herniation, bulging disc, ruptured disc, prolapsed disc, disc protrusion, slipped disc, collapsed disc and degenerated disc.  While these terminologies might have some circumstantial differences to some care providers, they are often used interchangeably, much to the confusion of the affected patient.

Herniated discs are theorized to create back pain through several distinct processes.  The most common of these causations is called foraminal stenosis.  This condition is often termed a pinched nerve.  Foraminal stenosis occurs when a herniation bulges into the neuroforaminal opening, impinging on the nerve root exiting the spine at that vertebral level.  While this process can indeed exist, it is diagnosed far more often than it truly occurs.  In order for the herniated disc to significantly affect the neurological functionality of the nerve root, the neuroforamen would have to be almost completely sealed off, which is a very rare event.  This diagnosis is commonly made even when there is no evidence that the herniation even touches the nerve root in question; forget about actually compressing it…

Spinal stenosis is the second most common disorder blamed on herniated discs.  Spinal stenosis describes a condition in which the herniation pushes against the actual spinal cord or cauda equina, limiting full neurological functionality from the entire spinal structure.  Spinal stenosis can be a very serious problem and might lead to such devastating symptoms as cauda equina syndrome.  Once again however, the diagnosis of spinal stenosis from a bulging disc is made very often, while the actual condition rarely ever exists, except in cases of extreme spinal trauma.  Typically, the herniated disc might come in contact with the membrane surrounding the spinal cord and spinal fluid.  A disc bulge touching this membrane does not mean that any effect will be passed along to the neurological function of the spinal cord.  In fact, many herniations impinge on the thecal sac completely unknown to an affected person, since the disc condition creates no symptoms whatsoever.

Chemical radiculitis is a less typical diagnosis commonly associated with severe annular tears in the outer disc wall or complete disc ruptures.  The interior of the intervertebral disc (called the nucleus pulposus) contains proteins which might cause nerve irritation in some individuals.  When the nucleus spills out of the disc structure, this protein can affect local nerve tissue, enacting radicular pain in the immediate area and the regions of the body served by the irritated nerve structure.  This is a somewhat controversial diagnosis, since many people experience full disc ruptures, yet have no pain at all.  It seems that only some people might be sensitive enough to suffer from considerable lasting pain after a chemical radiculitis event occurs.

Finally, discogenic pain is the last and least common of all diagnoses.  Discogenic means that the pain comes from the disc structure itself.  While the disc has no nerve endings or blood supply of its own, it is attached to the neighbor vertebrae by cartilaginous endplates which do contain tiny nerves.  It is these small nerves which are implicated in discogenic pain conditions, although most doctors who make the diagnosis are not always sure why the nerves hurt to begin with.  This diagnosis is certainly on very shaky ground in most instances…

Ironically, although herniated discs are blamed for a tremendous amount of pain, they are rarely the actual symptomatic source.  Most disc herniations are merely coincidental to any pain experienced and actually exist in a vast number of people who have no pain at all.  Generally, herniations due to trauma will most likely cause pain for a short time, although this discomfort might be severe.  Luckily, this condition usually resolves in 6 to 8 weeks, even without any medical treatment.  Herniations which exist due to the normal degenerative processes in the spine, such as the laughably named degenerative disc disease, are rarely painful, even in the short term.  Most of these degenerative induced bulges are not even discovered till many years later, since they raise no warning signs, cause no pain and exist innocently in the spine.  The possibility that any herniated disc might cause pain for months, years or even decades is highly unlikely.  Unfortunately, the mythology surrounding disc conditions, as well as the considerable nocebo effect of the diagnostic process, have both contributed to the current epidemic of disc related back pain. 

As a final thought, remember that herniated discs are a huge industry in the medical sector.  Doctors, chiropractors, complementary therapists, drug manufacturers, pharmaceutical suppliers, orthotic makers and a variety of other entities all profit hugely from disc pain.  If the reality of the average herniated disc ever became common knowledge, the viability of this extremely profitable business niche would be decimated.  Therefore, do not count on the diagnosis of disc herniations as a major source of pain decreasing any time soon…

Sensei Adam Rostocki