Magnetic therapy is a non-medical therapy that involves the use of magnetic fields to treat medical problems. Critics of this method claim that there is no scientific proof of its effectiveness.
Massage therapy involves manipulating soft tissue in various ways for therapeutic purposes. Massage improves circulation, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, and increases endorphin levels.
Healthcare providers increasingly consider massage therapy to be a legitimate aid for low back pain and it is often an adjunct to medical treatment. Neuromuscular therapy, sports massage, and Swedish massage are common types of massage. Neuromuscular therapy -- which involves alternating pressure to muscles to stop spasms -- is the most effective massage treatment for low back pain.
Mechanical pain is any kind of pain that causes the muscles of the spine to be stressed and strained. Mechanical low back pain is one of the most common types of back pain to be reported annually in Emergency Medicine. Mechanical back pain may occur when there is a problem with any of the spinal structures, including the discs, bone, joints, ligaments, and nerve roots.
Medical Device Reporting
Medical devices have a certain percentage of potential malfunction or the potential for adverse events. Any facilities using medical devices are required by law (the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990) to report any adverse events related to these devices. The reports go to both the FDA and the manufacturer.
Microdiscectomy, also known as microdecompression, is a surgical procedure for the removal of a small section of bone lying on top of the nerve roots and a section of the vertebral disc under the nerve roots to create more room for the nerves to function properly and to heal in some cases. The surgery is done by making an incision on the back, elevating the back muscles (erector spinae), and removing any other structures to see the nerve roots’ location.
The Milwaukee brace is a corrective device used for non-surgical treatment of idiopathic scoliosis. It is made up of plastic part for use in the pelvic region which has anterior and posterior uprights connected by a ring. The Milwaukee brace is highly effective in correcting kyphosis (or “dowager’s hump”), an excessive outward curving of the back which makes it look like a “hunchback”.
Minimally-invasive surgery is a surgical procedure that drastically reduces the need for surgical incisions or cuts. With minimal cuts there is a faster healing process and the reduced risk of complications such as blood loss and scars. In minimally-invasive spine fusion surgeries, spinal fusion is achieved with reduced muscle disruption. Minimally-invasive surgery utilizes advanced fluoroscopy (x-ray imaging) to achieve minimal tissue damage.
Mobilization is a combination of massage or chiropractic techniques that are known for stimulating movement in stagnant tissues and joints. In spinal mobilization, a controlled force is applied to the joints connected to the spinal region to stimulate movements in these joints. Spinal manipulation and mobilization has been found to be beneficial in some patients with low back pain.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is a technique that captures images of soft tissue and bones using magnetic fields and radio waves.MRI is used for various medical conditions and is considered as the best imaging technique for the brain and spinal cord. The MRI machine is very big, tube-shaped, and loud when in operation. The function of the magnetic field is to temporarily align the hydrogen atoms in the body, and the function of the radio waves is to obtain faint signals from the aligned hydrogen atoms. The signals create the images.
A muscle is a group of cells that can contract and relax helping the body to move from place to place and also do work. Musculoskeletal conditions involve both muscles and the skeletal system. Low back pain can be a result of deterioration of the muscles that hold the spine upright and help in the movement of the trunk. The main muscles connected to the spinal system are the extensor muscles, flexor muscles, and oblique muscles.
Muscle relaxants are drugs that have the ability to stop contraction of muscles. They act on chemical neurotransmitters at the site of neuromuscular junctions and they block these neurotransmitters from sending messages to the brain. Note that muscle relaxants do not act directly on the muscles, instead they communicate with the brain to produce an indirect action on the muscles. Some common muscle relaxants used for low back pain include carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), and diazepam (Valium).
During a muscle spasm the muscle contracts involuntarily leading to pain. Low back pain is often an off-shoot of a muscle spasm that occurs due to injury or inflammation of facet joints of the spinal column. Muscle spasms can be treated with muscle relaxants and exercise.
Muscle tension is the semi-contraction of muscles for a long period of time. Muscle tension can be caused by stress (emotional and/or physical), anxiety, overuse of muscles, and chronic pain. If the muscle tension occurs for too long of a time it can cause muscle strain, muscle spasms, and back pain. There are various ways to relieve back muscle tension including soft back braces, electrical stimulation, hot packs or ice packs, traction devices, and analgesics.
A myelogram is a diagnostic technique where dye is injected into the nerve roots and an x-ray image is obtained to show the path of dye travel and diagnose any problem spots. This technique has been largely substituted for MRI; however it is still a great diagnostic technique since it has a high sensitivity and can detect subtle areas of compressed or pinched nerves.
Myelopathy is a disorder caused by compression of the spinal nerves that causes motor and sensory deficits. It affects the entire spine and not just one region. There are several types of myelopathy. Cervical myelopathy is very common. Cervical myelopathy is the compression of nerves in the cervical region which leads to loss of function in both upper and lower extremities and symptoms of pain and stiffness in the neck. Symptoms can be treated non-surgically through methods like therapy, soft neck collars, epidural steroid injections, and other analgesics. A spinal decompression surgery can also be performed. Myelopathy includes a range of medical conditions, including transverse syndrome, motor system syndrome, mixed radicular and long tract syndrome, partial Brown-Sequard syndrome, and central cord syndrome.
Myofascial pain results when a strong stimulus such as pressure exerts a force on one of the sensitive spots in muscles called trigger points. Myofascial pain is worse than and lasts longer than muscle tension pain. Some causes of myofascial pain include injury to the muscle, poor posture, and stress and anxiety. Treatments include pain-relieving medications, epidural steroid injections, and physical therapy.
Myofascial release is a procedure that loosens fascia (sheet of connective tissue fibers) in order to produce relief for chronic pain that occurs when fascia restrict the movement of nerves and muscles. During myofascial release, long stretching strokes are used to facilitate movement and relieve pain.