Seven Pain Management Treatment Options for Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

Spinal Degenerative Spondylolisthesis is an extremely common condition that results from spinal arthritis. One vertebra slips on another, and it becomes a mechanical problem that cannot be “fixed”. It may be painless and seen as an incidental finding on x-rays. Or symptoms may include back pain along with buttock, hip, and/or leg pain.

Once diagnosed with degenerative spondylolisthesis, what are treatment options? Here are 7 nonoperative pain management treatment options:

  1. Ignore it
  2. Physical Therapy
  3. Chiropractor Treatment
  4. Spinal Decompression
  5. Pain Medication
  6. Interventional Pain Treatments
  7. Bracing and TENS Unit

Ignoring the symptoms of degenerative spondylolisthesis is a treatment known as benign neglect. It’s not a fatal condition and will not paralyze anyone, so if they symptoms are tolerable it is OK to simply deal with it until it rises to the level of concern. If you are wondering whether or not there is something you can do to prevent the condition from worsening, the answer is – not really.

There is some thought that nutraceutical substances like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may hold off the arthritis that may result in the spondylolisthesis, but this is not a definite.

Physical therapy and chiropractor treatment have been shown to very effective for back pain conditions, especially when they come on acutely (less than one month duration). It may be that your symptoms are an acute exacerbation and if treated with these options, may lessen back to a tolerable baseline.

Spinal decompression therapy is a revolutionary treatment option involving intermittent traction. It is very safe, FDA cleared, relatively painless, and extremely effective. Patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis are OK for the machine unless they have severe osteoporosis or post surgery with hardware.

Pain medications include NSAIDS, Tylenol, neuropathic medications, or narcotics. Over the counter medications according to the manufacturer’s dosage specifications may control the pain very well such Aleve or ibuprofen. Neuropathic medications may include Neurontin or Lyrica. Narcotics should be provided under the guidance of a physician and should only be obtained by one doctor.

Interventional pain treatments include facet injections (facet blocks), epidural injections, or radio frequency ablation. For spinal arthritis or pinched nerves, spinal steroid injections have been shown to be extremely helpful. They are very low risk and may have very high benefit.

Spinal bracing may be very helpful in instances of back pain due to instability with one segment shifting on the segment below. A TENS Unit may keep symptoms at bay when utilized in moderation. It should be used according to your doctor’s recommendations typically no more than an hour at a time with an hour off.

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Having Kidney Disease Needn’t Mean You Can’t Have Dental Implants

All well-experienced clinicians who routinely place dental implants will take every possible precaution when planning this treatment. This includes thoroughly assessing a patient’s dental and medical health. It is particularly vital when treating people who have chronic kidney disease.

They can use this when placing dental implants in people with chronic kidney disease. The guidelines include sensible suggestions such as consulting with a nephrologist prior to surgery and following up with patients after their surgery.

Chronic kidney disease is a condition affecting approximately 11% of adults worldwide and the number of people afflicted with this disease is growing. Up to 90% of people with chronic kidney disease may have oral symptoms.

Symptoms such as gingival bleeding which is where the gums bleed, or advanced gum disease or even periodontitis can lead to problems such as early tooth loss. Another common issue is xerostomia or dry mouth, where a patient is unable to produce sufficient saliva to keep the mouth clean and comfortable. When there isn’t enough saliva, the risk of dental disease increases which is another important factor to consider for anyone wishing to have dental implants.

One problem with chronic kidney disease and poor oral health is that these conditions can worsen each other. Poor oral health increases the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream and affecting kidney disease.

Additionally, people with loose or missing teeth will often find its very uncomfortable to eat properly and poor nutrition can affect the kidneys. Apparently, people with chronic kidney disease are less likely to visit dentists compared to healthy patients.

A lack of good dental care increases the likelihood of dental plaque which in turn increases the risk of periodontal disease.

Furthermore, another problem is that diabetes has become increasingly recognized as potentially causing chronic kidney disease. It is an added risk factor for poor oral health. People who need to undergo hemodialysis may have advanced periodontal disease which in turn can lead to jawbone loss. These patients often receive anticoagulants which increase the risk of their gums bleeding.

Dental implant dentists who treat patients with chronic kidney disease are being advised to look out for dry mouth and for a condition called parotitis. This is a condition resulting in inflammation in one or more of the major saliva glands.

Often people with kidney disease will have altered saliva chemistry that can result in increased dental calculus or tartar. Thus, they are more likely to suffer from tooth loss, overcrowding, malocclusion and from loose teeth.

The treatments used can also cause oral health problems. To further complicate things, it’s estimated that many have bone disorders. Despite this, it’s been found that the alveolar bone or the jawbone is generally still fine for dental implants.

Some dentists may avoid treating people with this condition due to the increased risks. Yet, a new medical paper published in the International Journal of Oral Science has proposed guidelines for practitioners to follow.

In addition to consulting a nephrologist, the paper recommends dental implant dentists thoroughly review their patient’s medical history. This includes their history of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In addition, they recommend a complete blood count and measuring bleeding times and the implant surgery be carried out on the day after hemodialysis. This can help to minimize the risk of bleeding.

After the surgery is completed, dental implant maintenance is particularly important for patients with chronic kidney disease. These precautions can easily be carried out by an experienced and skilled dental implant dentist who already takes extensive precautions when evaluating patients for surgery. They will use the most up-to-date techniques available today.

Using Computer Guided Surgery During Implant Placement

One particular technique that can be helpful is computer guided surgery. This is increasingly being used by dental implant dentists wishing to provide their patients with the very best treatment.

With this technique, patients have a cone beam CT scan in addition to dental x-rays prior to treatment being carried out. A cone beam scan provides detailed 3-D images of the jaws and is used to pre-plan surgery down to the very last millimeter.

The images allow a clinician to decide where best to place each dental implant, avoiding vital structures while maximizing use of available bone. Once the surgery is planned, the treatment plan is converted into a detailed stent that is used during oral surgery. This is used to accurately replicate the plan, greatly minimizing room for error. Often, it’s possible to use what’s called computer guided flap-less surgery.

This is where implants are inserted directly through the gum tissue eliminating the need to make incisions into the gums to expose the underlying bone. This technique can be very useful when treating patients with medical problems. This is because it reduces the risk of infection and bleeding, plus, healing is quicker and smoother.

Is It Worth Having Implant Surgery When You Have Medical Problems?

It can seem as if there is a lot to consider for implant surgery without throwing medical problems into the mix.

With this treatment being worthwhile, should you consider another way to replace missing teeth?

There are lots of advantages in having dental implants. This treatment can provide a long-term solution for tooth loss and many people have their implants for life. With dental implants, you receive stable teeth that make it easy to eat almost anything you like.

It’s easier to maintain good nutrition which in turn can help protect your general health. This could be invaluable if you have medical issues and know you have problems eating properly.

Then there are the improvements to your general sense of well-being and self-confidence. Tooth loss can be quite debilitating and many people feel self-conscious about smiling or socializing with others and will avoid sharing meals.

Implant supported teeth look extremely good. Especially as a skilled dental implant dentist will make sure they function properly and provide excellent aesthetic results, complementing your appearance.

If you do have chronic kidney disease or any other medical problems and are suffering from tooth loss, it’s worth investigating the possibility of dental implants.

Try to see a dentist who specializes in placing dental implants as they are more likely to have the knowledge required to properly assess your condition. They can give you an honest opinion as to whether dental implants will help you and they can discuss any possible complications. Once you know the pros and cons and possible risks, you can make an informed decision about whether to go ahead.

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Safe and Successful Weight Loss – Facts and Myths About Weight Loss Diets

When searching for a safe and successful weight loss plan we may be a little unsure of which way to turn since there are so many conflicting reports out there. In order to lose weight successfully we need to know what works and what does not. Many dietary myths prevent long-term weight loss and can actually harm our health, therefore it is extremely important to lose weight the right way.

Take a look at some facts and myths that can influence safe and successful weight loss.

The Facts

1. Calories Per Pound of Body Weight.

Approximately 3,500 calories equals one pound of body weight. The rule of thumb for weight loss is that if we reduce our calorie intake by 500 calories a day we would lose approximately one pound a week. This applies whether they are food calories coming in, or energy calories going out.

Recommended daily calorie intake varies from person to person. Age, height and weight, level of daily activity and body composition are among the factors that must be taken into consideration. On average, it is approximately 15 calories per pound of body weight. For example, someone who weighs 160 pounds may consume around 2,400 calories each day to maintain his or her weight ( 15 calories/pound x 160 pounds = 2,400 calories).

A balanced diet combined with any type of exercise are the key factors in fat loss and weight reduction. If we eat more calories than we burn off throughout the day the result will be that the calories are stored as fat.

For long term weight loss, aim to lose one to two pounds a week. Losing weight more rapidly means losing water weight or muscle tissue, rather than fat.

2. Eat Slowly to Lose Weight

From the moment we start eating it takes the brain 20 minutes to start signaling feelings of fullness so the amount of calories consumed before we begin to feel full can vary depending on how quickly we eat. Give the 20 minute signal a chance to set in by eating slower and shed those extra pounds.

3. Calorie Shifting to Boost Metabolism.

Many people find that after six weeks or so, their weight loss levels plateau. The reason for this is our bodies anticipate these amounts and adapt so our metabolism slows down. We can trick our body by adjusting our calorie intake. Changing the kinds of food, the nutrients and the calories we eat every few days will keep the body guessing and force our metabolism to kick start into action again.

A cheat day once in a while works well – as long as binge eating isn’t involved – not only does it confuse our metabolism into thinking more fuel like this is coming the next day resulting in a faster digestion rate, but it also gives us a mental break to help keep ourselves motivated on the days we diet.

4. Dietary Fibre to Maintain Weight Loss

A diet high in fibre consisting of fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods help us to feel full, without adding calories. Foods high in fibre are generally lower in calories and can help maintain weight loss.

The Myths

1. Foods Labelled Low Fat Mean Fewer Calories

Low fat or fat-free claims on labels do not necessary mean these foods are calorie-free.

Foods labelled as such sometimes contain high levels of sugar. Always check the ingredient list on food labels. Watch out for other words used to describe sugar such as sucrose, glucose, fructose and hydrolysed starch. The higher up the ingredients list they come, the higher in sugar the foods are.

Many of us mistakenly think that by eating a lower fat version of a food, we can eat more of it but this will only undermine our efforts and will inevitably lead to weight gain.

2. Eliminating Carbohydrates to Lose Weight

Carbohydrate means carbon plus water – thus the body’s preferred energy source. It was once thought that the key to weight loss was eliminating all high carbohydrate foods, including potatoes, pasta and rice. Cutting out carbohydrates can produce significant weight loss in a short amount of time, but the results are not long-term. As soon as we start eating normally again, the weight returns, even more than before. Good carbohydrates in moderate quantities are necessary for long-term weight control and any healthy diet must include them. It is only when we add butter, cheese or cream to them that we turn them into a fattening food.

3. Avoiding all Fat is Necessary for a Healthy Diet

It is important to have some fat in our diet because fat is necessary for energy and a source of the essential fatty acids that the body cannot make itself. Include a healthy balance of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and even a small amount of saturated. Trans-fats should be avoided altogether.

Too much fat consumption provides more energy than we actually need so we gain weight. Since fat contains more than twice the calories per gram compared to protein and carbohydrates, to lose weight on a calorie-controlled diet, we need to monitor our overall fat intake, our total calorie consumption and our portions.

4. Skipping meals Leads to Weight Loss

Skipping meals lowers our metabolism and causes sudden hunger and food cravings. It is much better to eat 4-5 smaller meals than 2 or 3 large ones. Many people skip breakfast because they think it will help them to lose weight.

Breakfast is one of the most important meals you can have.

When we wake up in the morning, our metabolism is already low because it has been many hours since our last meal and our bodies have had very little to do in that time. It needs food to stimulate it into burning off calories, which will give energy for the morning ahead. Missing out on breakfast means that our bodies miss out on that energy rush and begin to crave high fat snacks, sweets and sugary drinks.

Summary

Providing we eat less calories than we burn each day we will lose weight. For successful weight loss, remember that gradual weight loss promotes long-term loss of body fat, not just water weight that is quickly regained but more importantly, rapid weight loss reduces muscle tissue which in turn is replaced by fat.

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