The spine is a wondrous network of bones, discs, facet joints, ligaments, spinal nerves and muscles, all combined and connected in an incredibly complex way to provide both stability and wide range of movement. The spine is actually a series of joints, joints that sometimes need help functioning as they are intended. Keeping this system mechanically aligned and held snuggly together allows for healthy function and pain-free movement. When optimal function is compromised, spasms, tightness, and pressure on nerves result.
Approximately 9 out of 10 adults experience back pain during their lives. Many episodes of low back pain pass within a few weeks to a month (acute episode). However, individuals with continuous pain lasting 8 weeks or more after onset (chronic episode) will often have symptoms at 1 year.
Pain doesn't always develop immediately following an injury because the body is good at adapting to strains and stress. However, the injured area will cause strain to build up over time and eventually symptoms will develop. This is why injuries from the past can still cause current pain. Symptoms can include muscle ache, shooting or stabbing pain, pain that radiates down leg or arm, limited flexibility.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) focuses on correcting mechanical dysfunction. Structural integrity allows these complex joints to function as they were designed, reducing irritation, inflammation and pain. Healthy function improves blood flow to nourish tissue and further reduce inflammation. Strain on surrounding body tissue caused by compensation is reduced preventing further complications. OMT addresses the root biomechanical causes of injuries and conditions to alleviate pain and restore optimal function of the body.
Manipulation is the cornerstone of Osteopathic Medicine, treating the patient as a whole rather than treating a series of symptoms. OMT effectively treats muscle pain, joint injuries, and fascia dysfunction to maintain the structural integrity. Healthy function of the musculoskeletal system helps to ensure normal nerve function and free circulation of fluids that furnish the nutrients the body needs.
Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT) helps to:
- Correct structural and tissue abnormalities in vertebrae, muscles, myofascial structures, etc.
- Relieve joint restriction and misalignment
- Restore muscle and tissue balance
- Promote the movement of bodily fluids
We often forget that our spine is a series of joints, each susceptible to joint damage. With strain, or even just life, ligaments holding the vertebrae together can become lax. Muscles weaken, creating less spinal stability. The spine is no longer able to hold in place the protective discs between vertebrae. Surrounding tissue becomes inflamed, causing further joint damage. Cutting edge science has discovered ways to maximize the oldest form of healing, your own body. By understanding how the healing process actually occurs, physicians are able to enhance the natural physiologic process of cell replacement.
Healthy function of joints is controlled by “chondrocytes,” mesenchymal stem cells that regulate replacement of damaged cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are able to differentiate into multiple forms of musculoskeletal tissue, such as bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. When the balance between the supply of new cells is adequate to maintain healthy function, the body is in homeostasis. However, imbalance in this function leads to degeneration of tissue, such as osteoarthritis. Read more.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Prolotherapy, and Stem Cell Therapy are orthobiologic procedures that help heal collagenous tissue, such as tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Ligaments in the back, as elsewhere in our body, are designed to handle a normal amount of stress that will stretch them to their natural limit. Once the stress is removed, the ligaments will return to their normal length. When excess stress is applied, stretching the ligament beyond its natural range of extension, the ligament will not return to its normal length. Instead, it will remain permanently “over-stretched," diminishing its ability to hold the vertebrae in their proper place. Such a condition is called “ligament laxity.” Orthobiologic procedures can strengthen the connecting tissues to make the spinal column more stable, reducing friction and inflammation that cause back pain and often lead to osteoarthritis.
Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease. ―Hippocrates
Regenexx is a world-wide network of select, highly skilled physicians who are specially trained in interventional procedures for orthopedic conditions. Regenexx provides the world's most advanced, research-driven, regenerative orthopedic procedures in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Specializing in advanced non-surgical procedures for joint Injuries, osteoarthritis, and other orthopedic conditions, Dr. Minotti brings these procedures to you!
If you have back pain, platelet rich plasma therapy may help. It uses parts of your own blood to help your body heal itself. PRP can help your back feel better and work better.
Common conditions causing back pain
Ligament strain. Injury occurs when ligament tissue is over-stretched or torn, resulting in damage to the ligament fibers (tough, fibrous tissues that connect the bones together). A strain that occurs in the lumbar region of the back is referred to as a lumbar strain. Ligament laxity of overstretched tissue results in mechanical dysfunction and inflammation of surrounding tissue. Muscles and tissue surrounding the strain will attempt to compensate for the instability. These conditions lead to back spasm that can cause both severe lower back pain and difficulty moving.
Bulging or ruptured discs. Discs act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in the spine. The soft material inside a disc can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. However, a bulging or ruptured disc can occur without back pain. Disc disease is often found incidentally during spine X-rays given for another reason.
Spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is narrowing of spaces in the spine, causing pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that travel through the spine to the arms and legs. Most cases occur in the lumbar region of the back and are often caused by the wear and tear related to osteoarthritis.
Skeletal irregularities. Back pain can occur if the spine curves abnormally. Scoliosis, a condition in which your spine curves to the side (laterally), also may lead to back pain, but generally only if the scoliosis is severe.
Irritation of large nerve roots that travel to the legs
Irritation of smaller nerves in lower back
Sprain. Tendons attaching the muscles to bones and can become sprained with excess force resulting in a sprain. The large paired lower back muscles (erector spinae) can also become sprained, often resulting in small tissue tears.
Degeneration of intervertebral discs. Narrowing of the discs between vertebrae causes compression of the nerves extending through the vertebral canal often resulting in tissue degeneration.
Spinal decompression is a non-surgical procedure intended to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or compressed nerve roots passing through or exiting the spinal column.
When a single spinal nerve root is compressed, the resulting clinical outcome is termed radiculopathy and is usually labeled according to the specific nerve root compressed. Symptoms include:
- Significant pain, weakness, or numbness in your arms, legs, or feet
- Pain seems to be more in the leg than back
- Quality of life is affected by the inability to stand or walk
- Little improvement with physical therapy or medication
- Diagnostic tests that show stenosis in the central canal or lateral recess
Spinal treatment with a decompression table opens the bony channels of the spinal cord through which the nerves pass. This release of pressure from gravity creates space for the nerve to flow freely, increase in blood flow for nutrients to enter, and decrease in inflammation.
Common conditions treated with decompression:
- degenerative disc disease
- degenerative joint disorder
- chronic neck or back pain
- bulging disc
- herniated disc
- spinal stenosis
Spinal decompression treatments are not covered by insurance. We offer our patients one complementary trial treatment. Subsequent costs packages:
Treatment payment plans
- Pay as you go: $120/treatment
- Package of 10: $1100= $100 savings
- Package of 20: $2000= $400 savings
Recommended treatment course
- 2-4 treatments per week
- 10-20 treatments per course
- As needed treatments thereafter
Read more about spinal decompression from Cleveland Clinic.
Other recent research: Jee, Yong-Seok. (2013). The effect of inversion traction on pain sensation, lumbar flexibility and trunk muscles strength in patients with chronic low back pain. Isokinetics and exercise science. 21. 237-246. 10.3233/IES-130506.
Too much or too little movement can cause low back pain. Keeping the spinal column mechanically functional, free from obstructions and impingement, helps all of the body’s systems function optimally. A healthy spine has long been considered a key to a longer, healthier life. Exercising this complex system, like any part of the body, maintains supple, pain-free movement.
Look well to the spine for the cause of diseases. -Hippocrates
We Can Help
To learn more about what we can do to help with your condition, call our office at 817-416-0970. We will thoroughly diagnose your condition and present you with treatment options. From there we will guide you along your road to recovery.