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What is Causing My Back Pain?

Consider These Facts on Back Pain:

  • On any given day, 6.5 million people are in bed because of back pain.
  • Approximately 5.4 million Americans are disabled annually due to back pain.
  • Back pain is the #2 reason for hospitalization.
  • Up to 85% of the U.S. population will have back pain at some time in their life.
  • After cold and flu, back pain is the next most common cause of work absence.
  • Spine surgery is the second leading surgical procedure in America, with the total number in the U.S. approaching 500,000 per year.
  • An estimated 93 million workdays are lost each year due to back pain.

Understanding How the Spine Works

Your spine is composed of 24 bones called vertebrae.  In between each vertebra is a fibrous disc (annulus fibrosus) filled with a jelly-like substance (nucleus pulposus), which provides flexibility and cushioning to the spine.  The vertebrae protect the spinal cord, which runs through a tube at the back of the spine called the spinal canal.  In the lower portion of the back, spinal nerves exit the spinal canal between the vertebrae and unite as they move down through the pelvis. Some of these spinal nerves join to become the sciatic nerves, which travel down through the buttocks, along the backs and sides of the thighs and calves, and into the feet.

With such a dense network of nerves traveling throughout the back, it is easy to see how great discomfort may be caused by a slight upset in the delicate architecture of the spine.  Accidents and injury may damage discs and vertebrae, putting pressure on nerves.  This results in tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, or even sharp, shooting pain.

While only a trained medical professional can accurately diagnose your back problems and recommend appropriate treatment, a basic understanding of common causes of back pain and how VAX-D works to alleviate them, can help you in making a more informed decision concerning your treatment options.

Bearing the Brunt of Unhealthy Discs

When a person is standing upright, the facet joints bear about 16% of the normal compressive forces of the spine.  With disc height loss of 1-3mm, the compressive load can be five times the normal amount of the facet joints.

Bearing the brunt of all that weight can lead to tearing or degeneration of the ligaments, as well as inflammation of surrounding tissues.  Adhesions over the joint surface can form over time, leading to loss of mobility and breakdown of facet cartilage.  An indicative symptom is a deep ache in the lower back that may extend to the buttocks, hip, and even below the knee.  Facet syndrome is often associated with degenerative disc disease and soft tissue damage in the lumbar spine.

Bulging and Herniated Discs:

Discs are located between each vertebra and provide flexibility and shock absorption for the spine.  The thick, fibrous outer disc wall, known as the annulus fibrosus, surrounds a jelly-like center, called the nucleus pulposus.

Discs undergo tremendous amounts of stress, which can sometimes lead to a bulging disc, a weakening of the disc wall that causes the disc to bulge out and press painfully on surrounding nerves.  A herniated disc occurs when the pressure within a disc becomes too great, tearing through the disc wall (annulus fibrosus), allowing a portion of the nucleus pulposus to protrude.  The escaped nucleus pulposus may then impinge painfully on nerve roots, leading also to numbness, tingling, and/or muscle weakness associated with the condition of sciatic pain.

Lift with Your Legs, Not with Your Back!

Many bulging and herniated discs can be attributed to lifting objects incorrectly.  When picking up an object from the floor, bend a the knees, keeping the spine as erect as possible.  Rise using the strength of your legs, as their sturdy, more simplistic architecture is designed for such exertions.  Putting great amounts of pull or pressure on the spine, when bent forward or backward, can compromise its delicate alignment.  Of course, there is no right way to lift an object that is simply too heavy.  Listen to your body, and if you feel any discomfort while doing heavy lifting, back off and save your back!

The Jelly Donut Analogy

Comparing the discs in your back to jelly donuts gives you a good idea of what happens when a disc herniates.  Picture in your mind a jelly donut, plump with strawberry filling.  Have you ever set a box of donuts on your office chair, only to absentmindedly plop down on them a few moments later? What happens? The jelly oozes out under the pressure.

When a disc ruptures of herniates, the same thing happens, except, unlike the jelly donut, a herniated disc can be repaired!  That’s where Spinal Decompression comes in.

Where Does it Hurt?

Over 90% of herniated disc injuries occur at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 discs.

In this area, a cross section of the lumbar and sacral vertebrae shows spinal nerve roots branching off the spinal cord.  Each nerve root is depicted in a different color, corresponding to regions of the pelvis and legs (far right) that can be afflicted by pain, tingling, or numbness when the spinal nerve roots are compressed.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is the sensation of pain, tingling, or numbness in the buttocks and/or legs produced by an irritation of the sciatic nerve.  Multiple nerve roots extend from each side of the spinal cord in the sacral area (right above your tailbone), and join to form the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve actually only exists for a short length down the buttock, after which it branches into various nerves.

These smaller nerve branches then travel down the leg, reaching the ankle and foot.  The primary causes of sciatica are herniated, bulging, or degenerated discs, which put pressure on the spinal nerve roots.  Other causes include bony growths on the spine (bone spurs) or compression of the nerves through injury.  In rare cases, the sciatic nerve may be irritated by conditions such as tumors, pregnancy, or piriformis syndrome.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal due to the encroachment of disc material or bony growths that squeeze and irritate the spinal cord and/or extending nerve roots.  This can lead to pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs, feet, or buttocks.  The benefits that many stenosis patients derive from VAX-D may be due to its positive re-positioning and rejuvenating effect on the herniated and degenerative discs that often accompany stenosis.  Spinal stenosis, which may be found in conjunction with other spinal conditions, is commonly a contributing cause for sciatic symptoms.

What is Facet Syndrome?

Facets are the bony, wing-like protrusions extending from the back of the vertebrae that align with facets on the vertebrae above and below, and give the spine a more diverse range of motion.  Facets function as guides for the spine and are not designed for bearing weight like vertebrae and discs.  Joining adjacent facets are small ligaments called facet joints.  Facet syndrome involves inflammation of the facet joints.  It is one of the lesser-known but surprisingly common causes of back pain.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is not technically a disease, but rather a state of disc dehydration and deterioration due to a combination of cumulative trauma, poor dietary and exercise habits, and aging.  As discs degenerate they become more prone to failure from physical stress, which may tear disc fibers and result in more complications, such as osteoarthritis, disc bulging, disc herniation, and stenosis.

Many spine experts conclude that the vacuum of negative pressure created within discs by VAX-D helps attract moisture from surrounding tissue, re-hydrating and revitalizing thinning and torn degenerated discs.

Phase I: Dysfunctional

Phase I of degenerative disc disease is categorized by tears around the outer surface of the annulus.  Further damage to the disc and surrounding tissue is exacerbated by the less effective disc.

Phase II: Unstable

In Phase II, the joint progressively loses strength.  Disc changes include further tearing along the horizontal axis of the disc, greater loss of disc height, and cartilage degeneration.

Phase III: Stabilization

Further loss of disc height, disc space narrowing, moderate to severe endplate damage, disc fibrosis, and the formation of osteophytes can eventually cause surrounding vertebrae to fuse together.

If You Don’t Use It, You’ll Lose It.

Traumatic spinal injuries may cause patients to avoid their normal daily activities. Without proper treatment, pain will progressively worsen, resulting in decreased physical activity and gradual weakening of the supportive spinal muscles, leading to accelerated disc degeneration.

Trust the Original, Patented VAX-D

Need More convincing? Check Out Our Reviews!

I injured my back lifting a suitcase and initially found brief relief with traction exercises. Persistent pain led me to reveal a herniated L5-S1 disc. Starting VAX-D treatment immediately, my pain dropped significantly after the first session. A month into treatment, I traveled abroad for a semester, enduring a long flight and extensive walking across Europe pain-free, thanks to VAX-D and Dr. Pete.

Amanda I.Patient

Very friendly staff! Jennifer is very welcoming and efficient at the front desk. Then April, the doctors assistant is always friendly, no matter how busy she is. She knows her stuff and makes you feel comfortable throughout your treatment and checks on you to make sure all is well the whole time . Dr. Peduzzi is very knowledgeable, professional and he has helped me with my neck problems. He has me well in the way to recovery.

Jay SouilliardPatient

Extremely friendly staff, including the front desk and the chiro assistant. Polite, welcoming and they care about their patients. Dr. Peduzzi is very thorough when explaining any type of treatment. He makes sure that each patient is well taken care of. The other thing I love is that the practice strives to use all natural products when it comes to their supplements, creams, and sprays. Thank you for the amazing care.

Jennifer ChancellorPatient

Even though I have only been going to Dr. Peduzzi for a few weeks, I am so much better. They pain was just awful from disc compression. I could not get in or out of bed for weeks. I am out of the recliner and back to bed at night without the lightning bolt pain I had. I look forward to each treatment because it is relaxing and it is working.

Sandy S.Patient