Marbling may be good for a juicy steak or hamburger but not so much for your back muscles!!!
So, if you have been keeping up with my blog posts you know I try my best to be a bit tongue-and-cheek and at least attempt to inject some humor in what can be considered some dry topics of conversation. So, this post will be no different in that regard.
We will be discussing the importance of having fully functioning spinal stability musculature and the consequences of dysfunction and also how to help fix this dysfunction.
We humans are vertebrates, if you remember back to elementary school biology class that means that we have a skeleton or more specifically a backbone / spinal column supporting our bodies on the inside. This skeleton is inherently unstable without the proper structures in place to provide not only static but dynamic stability as we go about our busy lives. Unfortunately, these supporting structures do not get much attention from us or the press… and when they do not function properly we can have all sorts of downstream negative effects as a result. Pain, injury, soft tissue damage, arthritis, weak posture, and so on can be a result of our stabilizing muscles not functioning properly or can be the cause of the dysfunction in the first place.
The group of muscles we will be talking about today are the multifidus muscles or the multifidi. They reside deep to our spine at the posterior aspect or on the back side of the vertebrae. These muscles subconsciously stabilize our spine helping to aid in normal motion without pain or tissue damage. Picture the vertebral column being a stack of marbles. This stack will not be vertically oriented for very long without a stabilizing force acting upon it and as such will crumble and fall over rather quickly without the proper structures in place for stability purposes. The multifidi act to stabilize the spinal column by not allowing it to fall into individual pieces as the marbles would. So, their importance and value to our well-being cannot be understated.
Now when we have an injury event take place, are sedentary, undergo a spine surgical operation etc… we can have the multifidi become inactivated. If these muscles remain “off-line” they can atrophy and undergo a process called fatty infiltration or fatty replacement. This is where the muscle is literally replaced by fatty tissue just like the marbling you see in a nice juicy steak – think ribeye. Once this fatty infiltration process has commenced it can be very difficult to undo as there is limited evidence if this can be undone. As a result of our main spinal stabilizing structure which was once strong muscle tissue now being weak fatty tissue we can experience all types of pain syndromes. Chronic low back pain sufferers will see this fatty replacement on MRI scans. Unfortunately, people involved in injury events: motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall events, sports injuries, work injuries and so forth can see this fatty infiltration on imaging studies if the proper rehabilitation has not taken place in a timely manner.
Here are a few MRI images outlining the fatty infiltration process
Grade 0 (None) Grade 1 (Slight) Grade 2 (Severe)
So, the current thought on how to prevent / treat this fatty infiltration of our own “steaks” besides avoiding any and all potential injury activities is to seek the proper care of a medical provider who is specifically trained in the treatment of spinal injuries. Do not delay treatment as the “clock” is ticking from the time of injury until the fatty infiltration takes place. The generally accepted treatment protocol for spinal injuries includes an anti-inflammatory / healing phase followed closely by an active stability / strengthening phase. This will ensure the proper healing of the injured tissues and then the subsequent rehabilitation / reactivation of the muscles. Both of which will help to minimize and / or
eliminate any fatty infiltration of the spinal stabilizing musculature. These treatment protocols tend to be quick and rather low-tech compared to a lot of the gym activities we may be used to.
We at North Florida Spine and Injury Center are trained in how to detect these bio-mechanical faults and aid in the healing / rehabilitation of your injury. You may be a chronic pain sufferer who has been to numerous physicians and been given oral medications as the sole “treatment”. You may have had a failed surgical operation and just feel like you have nowhere else to turn. If you have been recently involved in an injury event, please do not delay treatment. We are here for you. If you have any further questions on this subject or anything related please do not hesitate to give us a call as we would be privileged in being a part of the healing process.
Dr. Adam Zeccardi DC, FIAMA
North Florida Spine and Injury Center
7855 Argyle Forest Blvd., Suite 905
Jacksonville FL, 32244
P: 904 541-6144
F: 904 541-6154
So, the main question at hand; Is the reward of not having the proper coverage / any coverage worth the risk?
This will be a chapter 2 of sorts in the insurance series behind The Fallacy Of “Full-Coverage” Auto Insurance Policies In The State Of Florida blog post I have previously written. If you have not taken the time to read that one, please do so now.
Walking upright on two feet has advantages, but it also puts intense pressure on the spine, as well as on other muscles and bones. Add to this improper sitting, lifting, or reaching—and the normal wear and tear of working and playing—and you have the perfect recipe for back pain. That’s why back pain is the 2nd most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. In fact, some experts say, as many as 80% of us will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.1 Back injuries are a part of everyday life. They can cause a sharp pain or a dull ache and can be accompanied by a tingling, numbness, or burning sensation. . . .
Whiplash Treatment Options in Jacksonville, FL
Whiplash is a generic term applied to injuries of the neck caused when the neck is suddenly and/or violently jolted in one direction and then another, creating a “whip-like” movement. This is essentially an acceleration/deceleration event. Whiplash is most commonly seen in people involved in motor vehicle accidents, but it can also occur from falls, sports injuries, work injuries, and other incidents that involve the acceleration and resultant deceleration of the body.
Most whiplash injuries are classically associated with forward and backward movement of the head and neck. Side-impact crashes result in side-to-side or even oblique angled whiplash-style injuries, in which a person’s head is turned may induce injuries to the neck. Although severe whiplash injuries can result in paralysis and even death, most such injuries are relatively mild/moderate.
Conservative Care of Neck Pain
Your neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of the skull and contains seven small vertebrae. Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.
The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, normal aging, and everyday wear and tear. Neck pain can be very bothersome, and it can have a variety of causes . . .
I cannot count how many times patients have presented to the office stating that they have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and have a “Full-Coverage” policy. These individuals are under the impression that all of their out of pocket expenses will be covered by the various insurance companies involved in the accident scenario. The scenario goes like this; they were stopped in traffic and were rear ended by another vehicle. So, lets label the vehicle that was rear ended vehicle 1 and the vehicle that caused the accident vehicle 2. The person in vehicle 1 is under the impression that vehicle’s 2’s insurance policy will cover all of the expenses, both property and medical, that are incurred being that they are not at fault in this incident. Man, there is a lot to talk about here.
Interest in instruments to extend the “reach” of chiropractors, massage therapists, and others got a boost in the ’80s when David Graston suffered a debilitating sports injury. Graston’s disappointment with the rehabilitation methods of the day caused him to create several stainless steel instruments with various shapes and angled surfaces. These instruments were designed to augment hands-only approaches to healing.
Doctors of chiropractic have always worked their fingers into injured soft tissue to increase blood flow and break up restrictions. But fingers alone cannot detect restrictions at deeper levels, nor can they match the ability of the right instruments to treat the full range of restrictions. Today, several companies produce handheld devices used to perform what’s known as instrument- assisted soft-tissue mobilization (IASTM).
If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.
New research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.
A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.
Spinal Disc Problems
Eighty percent of people experience back pain, and at any one point in time, approximately 20% of the population has back pain. For many decades, doctors and scientists believed that most back pain was caused by “slipped” or “torn” discs. We now know this not to be true. Disc problems constitute only a small portion of the causes of back pain and rarely require surgery for pain relief.