What is Subluxation & Treatment for Back Pain

What is Subluxation?

If you’re asking this question, odds are you’ve been to a chiropractor or spinal specialist and have been diagnosed with a complicated condition. A vertebral subluxation, also simply called a ‘subluxation’ is a vertebra out of its normal zone of motion, causing interference to the proper function of the nervous system at that level.

Because a subluxation interferes with a primary pathway of your body’s internal intelligence, serious health issues can result if they are ignored for prolonged periods. Chronic pain is often the first clue indicating the onset of a subluxation, but subluxations are often present without any related pain, and pain itself is only present after a subluxation has been in place for years.

Much like a cavity will rarely show pain until it has seriously decayed, a subluxation can wreak havoc on your nervous system, causing diseases in the organs the affected nerves innervate unless the subluxation is detected and corrected. Conditions from constipation to asthma can be associated with an underlying dysfunction of the nervous system associated with a spinal subluxation.

For this reason, it is highly recommended a person seek out a full spinal exam, possibly including x-rays, by a chiropractic doctor annually, beginning in early childhood but most certainly before the age of nine (the age at which scoliosis most commonly begins). It’s an excellent method of preventative medicine guaranteeing against the onset of severe health issues due to undetected physical blockages of the central nervous system.

Treatment for Back Pain

We all suffer from back pain at one time or another in our lives. In fact, back pain is said to be the single most expensive illness on the planet, draining our economy and our lives more than any other single illness! Unless you’ve been taught the secrets to proper spinal hygiene, the solution to back pain can seem elusive.

We’ve taken pills and tried therapy, but back pain tends to return on a regular basis in our lives once we’ve had that first bout. Often, unless we discover what does work, minor back pain episodes will develop into debilitating, paralyzing episodes of nerve compression and immobility. In fact, there is no drug and no single therapy that can guarantee a constant guard against the progress of back pain in your life. The absolute secret to beating back pain is in restoring flexibility and balance to the entrapped spinal region.

Flexibility guarantees restoration of the proper function of the region. Cartilage will not decay, and nerves, veins, and organs will not become compressed in a balanced, flexible body. In other words, a flexible spine will be less likely to experience pain, and will be more resilient against future injury and degeneration. Degenerative arthritis, spinal decay, degenerative disc disease, and nearly every condition related as the cause of chronic back pain has some association with the loss of flexibility in the area.

Your most powerful weapon against recurring back pain and its eventual onset of more serious degenerative conditions is in discovering a home program that will outline the keys to restoring your spinal strength and flexibility. The added good news is, a proper flexibility program will bring more weight burning energy and personal power to your life than any other physical fitness program, and can take as little as a few minutes per day.

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The Pros and Cons Of Radiofrequency Treatment For Chronic Back Pain

Radiofrequency neurotomy, also called radiofrequency ablation or lesioning, is a procedure that intentionally injures nerves to prevent pain signals from being sent to and processed by the brain. It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure reserved for those with chronic pain who have not found relief from more conservative treatment methods.

Radiofrequency treatments can be used on patients with pain from a degenerative disc, facet joint or sacroiliac (SI) joint. Guided by fluoroscopy, an electrode is inserted into the body and placed on the targeted nerve. Once positioned properly, the electrode is heated to create a lesion on the nerve. A more recent, advanced form of the procedure includes a cooling phase; this increases the area of the electrode’s impact and may be useful in certain locations of the body.

This treatment is not a permanent solution; over time, nerves heal and pain returns. It is important to remember that radiofrequency is a treatment that addresses the symptom of pain, not the initial cause thereof. Review the following pros and cons before deciding whether to receive this procedure.

Pros

For people who cannot perform day-to-day activities or work due to pain, a procedure like radiofrequency neurotomy can be tremendously positive. If effective, the procedure may allow people to return to work and perform basic daily activities like walking without excessive pain.

Results from radiofrequency treatment can last up to a year or two, which may make it more appealing than steroid injections, another common treatment for back and SI joint pain.

Neurotomy is a less invasive procedure than other surgical methods of eliminating joint and disc pain, particularly fusion surgery. Fusion creates a rigid segment between vertebrae or the pelvic bone and sacrum to inhibit painful motion from instability. The procedure comes with a high price tag and a host of risks, including accelerated degeneration of facet joints and spinal discs near the fused joint. Radiofrequency lesioning may provide enough pain relief to avoid more invasive surgery.

Research indicates that this procedure is helpful to some degree for around 70% of those who receive it and that it may decrease reliance on expensive and dangerous pain medications. See http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/studies-published-in-pain-medicine-demonstrate-effectiveness-of-minimally-invasive-cooled-radiofrequency-treatment-for-low-back-pain-194185701.html for a collection of research supporting the use of cooled radiofrequency for discogenic and SI joint pain.

Cons

Radiofrequency lesioning makes pain worse before making it better. The initial week following the procedure can be difficult due to local soreness and swelling. Some patients who have received the treatment report that it can take a month or two to feel any positive effects.

Some patients receiving the treatment never experience relief. Some may even experience more pain if the procedure was done incorrectly and the targeted nerve was incompletely damaged; this would cause it to increase its pain signal output. See http://www.spine-health.com/forum/treatment/pain-management/rf-neurotomy-ablation-has-worked-you-how-long-did-it-take-notice-res to read reviews of the procedure from a number of people who have received it.

It must be remembered that this treatment is not a cure; it just masks the pain. Whether your pain is caused by a degenerated disc, facet joint or SI joint, it is important to continue efforts to resolve the underlying issue. Research alternative medicine to find treatment options you may not be aware of. Take advantage of your pain-free or reduced pain time post-radiofrequency treatment to follow through on exercise therapy, strengthening your core muscles that support joints and spinal discs.

Radiofrequency neurotomy may be a suitable treatment for you if pain is interfering with your quality of life. The focus of any chronic pain treatment plan, however, should be to address the cause of pain and not just mask the symptom.