Back in action: straight answers to back pain and its relief by Sarah Key

By Sarah Key

This booklet is astounding, i've got received one each one for either our sons and their households.

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Extra info for Back in action: straight answers to back pain and its relief

Sample text

They are resilient fibroelastic cushions which sit between the vertebrae and act as buffers. Each disc is strongly bonded to the vertebrae above and below it. At the centre of each is a liquid ball-bearing, or spherical ball of fluid, called the nucleus. This acts like a hydraulic sack which disperses the effects of impact coming up from below and weight bearing down from above. The nuclear material is jelly-like and exhibits a unique ability to attract water to itself. This helps keep fluid in the centre of the disc when it is squashed, which in turn helps the nucleus transmit loads to its periphery.

In the chronic phase of arthritis, it is harder to say exactly what causes most pain. It does not come necessarily from bony changes, even those unsightly knobbles you can see on x-ray. Having said that, it will come from the bone where the cartilage has worn away completely, revealing bloody, honeycomb-like bone underneath (a common condition of the head of the BIA 01 pages 5/10/01 9:08 AM Page 39 Diagnosing the Problem 39 hip bone which you see in hip replacement operations). This gives a typical gnawing pain which is often worse at night and also with activity.

It takes little imagination to visualise the effects of a mobile spine being tethered from within like this. It is a problem. On manual examination of the segments, they often feel puckered in or bunched up, like beads of a necklace threaded too tightly on elastic. Any position, especially one putting the spine (and the dura) on sustained stretch, tugs at the dura and causes pain. Dural pain is very diffuse. You would have a hard job pin-pointing exactly where in the back you feel it. It might extend up as far as the shoulder blades and around to the front of the abdomen.

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