Health and Fitness

To Ease Aching Back, Exercise More, Not Less

People with lower back pain are better off exercising more, not less. A University of Alberta study of 240 men and women with chronic lower-back pain showed that those who exercised four days a week had a better quality of life, 28 per cent less pain and 36 per cent less disability, while those who hit the gym only two or three days a week did not show the same level of change. "While it could be assumed that someone with back pain should not be exercising frequently, our findings show that working with weights four days a week provides the greatest amount of pain relief and quality of life, " said Robert Kell, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. About 80 per cent of North Americans suffer from lower back pain. Kell presented some of the findings May 30 at the American College of Sports Medicine conference in Seattle, Wash. In the study, groups of 60 men and women with chronically sore lower backs each exercised with weights in two, three or four-day weekly programs, or not at all.

CE Mark Extended For Disc Dynamics' DASCOR R Disc Arthroplasty System

Disc Dynamics, Inc., a leading developer of minimally invasive treatment options for low back pain caused by degenerative disc disease (DDD), announced that the CE Mark received in the European Union for its DASCOR® Disc Arthroplasty System has been expanded to incorporate a posterior-lateral surgical approach, as well as an endoscopic approach. "DASCOR is the only motion preservation technology that can be delivered through multiple surgical approaches, " said Steven Healy, president and CEO of Disc Dynamics. "Surgeons can now match the preferred surgical technique with the patient's anatomy." The device consists of a two-part curable polyurethane and an expandable polyurethane balloon that is inserted into the disc nucleus space after the desiccated nucleus has been removed. The balloon is then injected with a flowable polymer, which creates a complete, patient-specific implant that conforms to the shape and size of the disc space. In the U.S., Disc Dynamics is currently completing its IDE feasibility clinical study.

1.7 Million Grant To Study Stem Cells In Intervertebral Discs Of The Spine Received By Jefferson

Scientists at Jefferson Medical College have received a five-year, $1.7 million National Institutes of Health grant funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to study mechanisms regulating stem cell self-renewal and differentiation with the aim of regenerating diseased and painful intervertebral discs. A previous study by the same group showed that stem cells exist in both animal and human intervertebral discs. This grant will enable the researchers to continue studying the disc cells and determine factors which govern their activities in health and disease. "Disc degeneration and the associated back pain that goes with it costs the U.S. healthcare industry approximately $100 billion annually, " said Irving M. Shapiro, Ph.D., associate director of Orthopedic Research and the director of the Cell and Tissue Engineering Graduate Program at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. "As a major cause of lost productivity worldwide it is critical that we develop a treatment that will regenerate intervertebral disc structure and function.

Three Surgeons In East Texas Are Successfully Integrating A Novel Stem Cell Procedure For Spine Surgeries

A new breakthrough in adult stem cell technology has three Texarkana neurosurgeons leading their industry by utilizing concentrated stem cells for spine surgery. The innovative technique is improving the desired results of surgical interventions for back pain. Leading researchers in the orthopedic and spine industry are predicting the latest developments in this field of medicine will become mainstream practice and, potentially, a standard of care for surgical treatments of severe back pain. Dr. Lee Buono, Dr. Freddie Contreras, and Dr. J. Brett Dietze of Texarkana Neurological Associates are utilizing the new procedure that harnesses the healing potential of adult stem cells from a patient's own body. During surgeries for the neck and back, bone marrow is extracted from the hip through a small incision. The marrow is processed by an FDA-approved device and the living cells are delivered back to the surgeon in a concentrated dose to be implanted back into a patient to promote healing.

Lumbar Matrix TM Scan From SpineMatrix R Revolutionizes The Diagnosis Of Low Back Pain

A new technology that revolutionizes the way low back pain is diagnosed and treated, while also significantly reducing healthcare costs, has been introduced by SpineMatrix(R) Inc., an Akron, Ohio-based medical technology company that specializes in advanced spinal diagnostics. SpineMatrix's new, non-invasive Lumbar Matrix(TM) Scan uses high-speed computer processing of thousands of bioelectric signals to observe neuromuscular activity of the low back. The advanced diagnostic technology allows physicians to accurately identify the source of low back pain, which helps determine proper treatment and can result in significant savings for patients and the healthcare industry. Low back pain is the most common and costly disabling condition in the United States, affecting nearly 31 million Americans. Current diagnostic methods used most frequently to detect lower back pain - such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans - take into account the anatomy of the back but not the physiology.

HydroCision Introduces The Walk In Walk Out Option For Treatment Of Herniated Discs

HydroCision Inc. announced the launch of its new SpineJet® Percutaneous Access Set for use in herniated disc procedures using its novel cutting-with-water fluidjet technology. "These instruments will assist the company to more quickly capitalize on the double digit growth of the minimally invasive percutaneous discectomy market, " says Doug Daniels. "A large driver of procedural growth has been patients who seek out surgeons who perform minimally invasive procedures to reduce down time from work in these tough economic times. This has led to rapid adoption of this new and evolving technique for the treatment of lower back pain by a growing number of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and interventional pain physicians. This trend has created the need for new instruments that can work through very small incisions." The Company's SpineJet Percutaneous HydroDiscectomy System uses a high velocity water jet to simultaneously cut and remove nucleus to decompress herniated (bulging) discs, quickly, safely, and effectively- without the collateral thermal or mechanical trauma of other surgical modalities - providing relief to patients suffering from back and/or leg pain.

Saint John's Spine Surgeon Uses ILIF Procedure To Treat Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Only 37, Janie Lee had endured excruciating back pain for 20 years. She couldn't stay in one position for more than five minutes, and walking hunched over was the only way she could get around. Her search for help took her to several doctors and an emergency room, but it wasn't until she found Hyun Bae, M.D., a renowned spine specialist at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica that she received the diagnosis and care that would return her life to her. After taking an MRI, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bae diagnosed Lee with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis, which affects about 500, 000 people, is usually found in older people due to the wear and tear of aging. But about 15 percent of patients are born with a narrow spinal canal. "This was the case with Janie. The narrowing of her spinal canal was pinching her nerves. Her pain was even more severe because she also had a collapsed vertebral disc at the same location as the narrowed canal, " said Dr.

Outpatient Disc Treatment Gives Long-Term Back Pain Relief

A randomized, controlled study comparing standard conservative therapy to a minimally invasive treatment called percutaneous disc decompression for painful herniated disc revealed that while both treatments help patients in the short run, only disc decompression kept patients pain free up to two years later. Results of the study, the first of its kind, were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Discs are sponge-like cushions that rest between the bones of the spine. When a disc bulges or herniates outward, it can cause irritation or pressure on the spinal nerves, resulting in a condition known as sciatica. Sciatica is characterized by back and leg pain and weakness. Physicians often recommend that patients try six weeks of anti-inflammatory and pain medications before considering other treatments. "Most protocols call for a minimal approach to initially treat a herniated disc, " said Alexios Kelekis, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of interventional radiology at the University of Athens in Greece.

Promise For Treating Low Back Pain - Radiofrequency A Trusted Technique With A New Application

Who suffers from low back pain; my brother, my boss's brother, my neighbor, a friend on the golf course and recently the media reports Regis Philbin and Jeff Gordon suffer from low back pain. Sacroiliac Pain is caused by inflammation or abnormal function of the joint which can lead to sacral nerve damage, and is a major cause of low back pain. Low back pain is estimated to affect 6.5 million people in the world. Now Simplicity lll, a new radiofrequency electrode, offers an alternative and possibly longer lasting relief from a common affliction. Radiofrequency is a widely used and effective treatment for certain chronic pain conditions, and using RF technology NeuroTherm introduces a new treatment option to address some instances of low back pain. "There is a new technology available to treat patients with Sacroiliac Pain, " says Dr. Gregory Paine from Naples Day Surgery North. Paine was one of twelve physicians nationally, and the first in Florida, initially trained on the new medical device Simplicity lll, which was designed specifically for use in treating sacroiliac peripheral nerves.

Newer, Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedure For Treatment Of Sciatica Does Not Result In Better Outcomes

A comparison of surgical treatments for sciatica finds that the minimally invasive procedure known as tubular diskectomy does not provide a significant difference in improvement of functional disability compared to the more common surgery, conventional microdiskectomy, according to a study in the July 8 issue of JAMA. Sciatica or lumbosacral radicular syndrome affects millions of individuals worldwide and is typically caused by disk herniation. Surgery is offered to patients with persistent pain that is not responding to conservative treatment, with the common surgical procedure being microdiskectomy (removal of injured disk tissue and pieces). The minimally invasive technique of transmuscular tubular diskectomy was introduced in 1997. "The rationale behind replacing the conventional subperiosteal muscle dissection by the muscle-splitting transmuscular approach of tubular diskectomy is less tissue damage, resulting in a faster rate of recovery but with similar long-term outcomes. Patients are expected to have reduced postoperative back pain, thus allowing quicker mobilization and contributing to shorter hospitalization and faster resumption of work and daily activities, " the authors write.

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