Many people experience some form of backache in the course of their lives. Lower, or lumbar, back pain tends to be quite prevalent and ultimately stems from the fact that we humans walk upright, thus putting tremendous stress on the lower spine over the years.
Back pain can be acute or chronic and derives from a variety of causes, one of the main ones being nerve impingement. This happens when a nerve running through the spinal column is touched or pinched. Common causes of nerve impingement are herniated discs and degenerated discs.
What are the treatment options for chronic back pain?
- Back braces have been found to help reduce pain by restricting the movement of the spine
- Pain medications are often useful. However their main effect is on the brain, resulting in central nervous system side effects such as drowsiness and addiction.
- Physical therapy can help as therapists employ massage, heat treatment, whirlpool baths, ultrasound and individualized exercises.
- Chiropractic has also been shown to have some effectiveness in pain relief through spinal manipulation. However the efficacy of chiropractors in chronic pain relief has not been well established.
- Spinal decompression has had some success with bulging and herniated discs in that it gently separates the vertebrae over a period of weeks, helping to diffuse water, oxygen and nutrients to the injured site.
But when all else fails, people with chronic back pain turn to the orthopedic surgeon to heal the cause of their pain. Until recently, the best tools that orthopedists have had in their diagnostic and treatment arsenals were the MRI and CT scans.
Now, thanks to our groundbreaking, patent pending stereolithographic process, we can create an actual three dimensional model of your spine derived from the data in your CT or MRI scan. Our expert stereolithographer uses a bone-like powder to create a full-sized model that is accurate to 1/35th of a millimeter. With such a model in front of him, the surgeon can determine ahead of time what instruments he or she will actually need in the operation and even perform a “dry-run” of the surgery, thus reducing the actual surgery time. This in turn reduces your total cost of the operation by tens of thousands of dollars. More importantly it also reduces your total risk during the operation.
Be sure to watch the video testimonial we have from Dr. Jonathan Camp, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, explaining how our 3D models help him pre-plan his orthopaedic surgeries.