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27 minutes | Jan 26, 2016
13: Spondylolisthesis | Back Pain | Blab 3
Spondylolytic spondylolisthesis. Wow that is a mouthful! Okay, now for a translation of the words, that should help to make things a little clearer. Scotty Dog! Spondylo means vertebra, lytic means to burst, and listhesis means to slip. So the word translates to a burst and slipped vertebra! Yikes! that doesn’t sound very good! Actually, there are many people walking around with this and have no idea at all. Spondylolisthesis This condition has numerous causes, and in fact has been classified into 6 different categories. What we are going to discuss today is the lytic type that affects the pars interarticularis. The mechanism of injury for this type is thought to be from repetitive cycling of the vertebra between flexion and extension. This cycling motion creates either a stress fracture or a complete break through the posterior arch of the vertebra called the pars interarticularis. To understand this better, think of when you are trying to break a “green” stick. You bend it back and forth, back and forth, until it finally snaps. Well this is essentially the same phenomenon that takes place in the spine. An activity such as gymnastics, with all of the tumbling and flipping, football lineman in going from a 3 point stance to make contact with the player across the line of scrimmage, and pole vaulters arching up and over the bar, are all considered high risk activities for spondylo’s. In this episode we follow the story of Jessica. She is a 17 year old student at one of the local high schools. She is a volleyball player with scholarships to 3 colleges to play ball for them. She is also on several club teams in the area, so she is on the court 6 days a week. With all of the training, playing in matches, and time spent in the weightroom, she has developed a spondylolytic spondylolisthesis.
33 minutes | Jan 21, 2016
12: Canal Stenosis | Back Pain | Blab 2
Canal stenosis is a common diagnosis for someone suffering from back and/or leg pain. What is stenosis? Canal Stenosis Stenosis is from the Greek and means narrowing. With that it mind, it should make things a little clearer. You can have narrowing in blood vessels (think heart attack), narrowing in your intestines (scarring from Crohn’s disease), and narrowing in your spinal canal. The canal is where the spinal cord and the nerves that exit off of the cord live. Any of the structures that surround the canal can cause it to narrow, or stenose. Bone, discs, and ligaments are the typical culprits. Degenerative changes in the spine, typically seen in the older populations, is the number one cause of spinal stenosis. The disc may bulge or herniate into the canal. Osteophytes or bone spurs from the vertebrae may also encroach on the canal. The facet joints may start to hypertrophy or enlarge due to wear and tear, and that enlargement can make the canal size smaller. And finally, the ligament that has as it’s function to keep stuff out of the back of the canal, can also hypertrophy and shrink the size of that canal. Lumbar Canal Stenosis As mentioned above, there are numerous ways that the spinal canal can be narrowed. When this occurs it can place pressure on either the spinal cord and its exiting nerves. That pressure can cause pain, and also tingling, weakness, and cramping in the legs. In this podcast, this is a replay of the audio from our video show on Blab. We are running a series titled “What is causing your lower back pain?” You can find the video show under the “video show” tab on the homepage. This weeks episode focused on an older gentleman who was struggling with spinal stenosis. So take a listen.
21 minutes | Oct 27, 2015
10: The Opioid Epidemic
America is facing the worst addiction crisis ever seen. This story is not about shady drug dealers or back alley deals. It starts with every day people seeking pain relief in their doctors offices. America is awash in opiate pills, there are enough pills prescribed each year to keep every adult American medicated around the clock for a month. Regrettably, almost 1 out of 4 people will become addicted and over 17,000 people a year die from prescription opiate overdoses. People suffering from back pain are at risk of being improperly managed by their physician and prescribed increasingly stronger medications such as opiates. Tweet This
7 minutes | Jul 29, 2015
9: Best Sleeping Positions For Back Pain
Given the fact that we spend almost 1/3rd of our lives in bed, the position that you sleep in can have a direct impact on your back health. Hard Days Night! In episode 8 of Back Talking, Dr. Todd Wegerski began the discussion on sleep with recommendations for the best type of mattress that you should be sleeping on, and the best type of pillow that you should using. Well you can own the best mattress and pillow in the world, but it isn’t worth much if you twist yourself up in a pretzel while you sleep! Listen below for the 2 best positions that one should be sleeping in to prevent back pain or to help manage your back pain.
8 minutes | Jul 24, 2015
8: Best Mattress and Pillow for Back Pain
Given the fact that we spend close to 1/3 of our day (and lifetime) in bed, the right type of mattress and pillow can make a difference in waking up achy and sore vs refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Back pain is one of the top reasons that we start to lose mobility as we age. It interferes with physical activity, and could begin the downward spiral of weight gain, loss of strength, endurance, and balance. In this episode of Back Talking, we examine the literature to see what is the best recommended mattress and pillow type for you to help prevent or manage back pain.
7 minutes | Jul 17, 2015
7: NSAID Safety
In this episode of Back Talking! we take a look at the recently updated FDA warning for NSAID medications. Common examples of NSAID medication are Motrin, Advil, and Aleve. The use of NSAID medications in the United States has skyrocketed, total annual sales of the before mentioned drugs alone tops out at over $1 billion. But there is a significant risk of heart attack or stroke related to the use of NSAID medications. Take a listen.
6 minutes | May 20, 2015
6: Pregnancy, Back Pain, and Tylenol
In this episode of Back Talking, it’s a “2 for Tuesday” version of the show. Our first topic of discussion is pregnancy. Pregnancy and lower back pain go together like peanut butter and jelly. Is it any surprise with the suggested 25-35 pound weight gain and a protruding abdomen? But surprisingly only 1 out of 3 pregnant women seek care for their lower back pain. The most common treatment sought is massage therapy, then yoga, with chiropractic care down at the bottom with only 6% choosing chiropractic care! The changes taking place to mom and the growing baby inside greatly increases the stress on the lumbar spine and pelvis. Discs, ligaments, and joints can become damaged and pain generators. But chiropractic care can help in all those instances. There are tremendous benefits of receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy: It is completely safe, and it is drug free! The use of drugs are always a concern during pregnancy Of those pregnant women seeking care, 84% found relief! So it works! Significantly reduces the likely of “back labor” during labor Of first time moms, labor times were cut by 25%, compared to those who did not receive chiropractic care during pregnancy. Of those who had given birth before, labor times were 31% shorter. I think any woman would gladly sign-up for shorter labor times! The second topic is about acetaminophen, or more commonly known as Tylenol. Low back pain and Osteoarthritis guidelines list acetaminophen as the first go-to drug of choice for these conditions. However, an analysis of research showed that the widely used pain killer was ineffective against back pain and offers only minimal benefit to those with hip or knee osteoarthritis. With ongoing and increasing concern about treating musculoskeletal pain with drugs, this highlights the importance of non-drug related treatment options. While the effectiveness of exercise for both spinal pain and OA is established, the findings of these studies emphasize that the time has come to shift our attention away from popping pills as the default option for managing chronic musculoskeletal pain. Non-pharmacologic treatments work, are safe, and have benefits that reach far beyond the musculo-skeletal system.
5 minutes | May 5, 2015
5: Low Back Stretching and Low Back Strength | Two for Tuesday
In this Two for Tuesday episode, we discuss 2 commonly asked topics regarding the lower back. Many people upon arising have some form of exercise or stretching routine. But you may be surprised to find out that you should wait about 30 minutes or so after getting out of bed before you jump into that stretching routine! That stretching may be doing more harm than good, and may be what is preventing your back from recovering from an injury. The second topic deals with back or core strength. It is thought by many that having a strong core or back will prevent your back from potentially being injured. Quite the opposite is true, it takes very little strength (about 10% of your back muscles maximum power) to stabilize the spinal joints. It is endurance that is more protective for backs than strength! That is why I’m always saying to get off your butt and move! Take a listen:
5 minutes | Apr 28, 2015
4: Back Belts & workplace strategies | Two for Tuesday
Todd Wegerski hosts “2 for Tuesday” What I do most is answer questions. People ask a lot of questions regarding what is going on with them. I can see the wheels turning so to speak when we are talking. I’ve done this long enough to anticipate what people are going to ask next. I’ve decided to do a “2 for Tuesday” series. There are many questions that need an answer, but don’t warrant a long drawn out response. So here we go! In this first “2 for Tuesday”, the first question is about back belts. You know the ones, you’ve seen them on weightlifters and at your local Home Depot. But is there a benefit to wearing them? Question 2 is a simple strategy that you can use at work to change your posture to minimize stress and strain on your body! Hint: it’s something you’ve been sitting on for years. To learn more about Todd, come visit us!
18 minutes | Apr 20, 2015
3: Injuries, Healing, & Risk Factors
In this episode of Back Talking! Dr. Todd Wegerski continues the discussion of what causes back injuries, and expands into tissue healing and what risk factors can potentially cause a back injury. We delve into and answer the following questions: Do tissues heal within 6-12 weeks? Can it take up to 10 years for some low back disorders to form? Lasting changes to which injury leads Do sedentary workers have a higher rate of disc herniation? and many more
18 minutes | Apr 15, 2015
2: Back Injuries
Way to go Charlie Brown! In this episode of Back Talking! Dr Todd Wegerski discusses the one reason, yes the one reason that causes back injuries. With 80% of the population having back pain at some point in their life, and with 50% of those having a recurrence every year, we have reached epidemic proportions. Learn how through a skillful provocative examination, such as a movement screen, we can identify what is the true culprit that is causing your back pain. We review how different types of tissue loading causes injury, but we reveal the one thing that can help you avoid back injuries.
19 minutes | Apr 10, 2015
1: The Back Pain Epidemic
In the first episode of Back Talking, Dr. Todd Wegerski discusses the “current state” of back pain in the United States and world today. Did you know that 80% of people will suffer from back pain at some point in their life, and that over half of those people will have a recurrence every year? Did you know that we spend over a $100 billion dollars a year treating back pain in the US, and the problem is only getting worse? The discussion focuses on what has caused us to have the situation that we face today. Problems such as medical mismanagement, the obesity epidemic, lack of exercise, and the modern lifestyle has led us down the path of the back pain epidemic.
8 minutes | Mar 25, 2015
0: The Why, Who, and What of Back Talking!
Every show starts somewhere! This is the inaugural episode of Back Talking! Dr. Todd Wegerski DC discusses the “Why, Who, and What” of the show. Back Talking will discuss all things related to the spine. Discussions will be centered around what is causing your back pain, conditions that cause back pain, treatments for back pain, and what everyone wants to know – how to keep it from coming back! So join us here as we “talk back.”
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