Say Goodbye to Back Pain

Say Goodbye to Back Pain

by Marian Betancourt, Emile Hiesiger M.D.


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Anyone who experiences chronic or even minor back pain knows there are plenty of remedies for temporary pain relief — but how do you know you're treating the correct problem in the most effective way? Top neurologist and pain management expert Emile Hiesiger draws on the newest medical information to target back pain at its source. From whiplash and sciatica to osteoporosis and spondylolysis, from faulty facets to herniated disks, Dr. Hiesiger identifies the origins of common problems, and arms you with essential information on

  • Diagnostic tests and what they mean
  • Key questions to ask your doctor
  • Medical and surgical options from nerve blocks to vertebroplasty
  • Exercises and lifestyle changes for pain relief and prevention
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription drugs
  • And much more

Practical and accessible, this one-stop resource will take you from symptoms to diagnosis to cure, so you can say goodbye to back pain — forever!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476792774
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 06/07/2014
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Marian Betancourt has written numerous books on health and women's issues. Her most recent books include What's in the Air?, a guide to managing seasonal and year-round allergies; and Playing Like a Girl: Transforming Our Lives Through Team Sports. She has written for the Associated Press, Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and other national publications.

Emile Hiesiger, M.D., is one of America's top neurologists and pain management experts. A clinical associate professor of neurology and radiology at New York University School of Medicine, he has been listed in New York magazine's "The Best Doctors in New York," and was cited by American Health as "one of the best doctors in America." Hiesiger is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and the author of Your Pain Is Real.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1

  • Understanding How Your Back Works
  • Spinal Bones: Vertebrae
  • Spinal Joints: Facets
  • Spinal Disks
  • The Sacrum and Coccyx
  • The Spinal Cord and Spinal Canal
  • Spinal Ligaments
  • Back Muscles
  • Spinal Wear and Tear and Back Pain
  • Medical Causes of Back Pain
  • Key Points

Chapter 2

  • Why a Good Diagnosis Is Hard to Find
  • The Complications of Chronic Back Pain
  • Referred Pain: The Cause Is Not Always Near the Effect
  • Test-Negative Pain: When the Cause Can't Be Seen
  • The Initial Physical Examination
  • Key Points

Chapter 3

  • Will Pictures Tell the Story? What to Know about Diagnostic Tests
  • Conventional X-rays
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Computed Axial Tomography (CT)
  • Myelogram
  • Discogram
  • Electromyogram (EMG)
  • Diagnostic Nerve Blocks
  • Bone-Density Tests
  • Bone Scan
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Key Points

Chapter 4

  • Finding the Doctor Who Can Really Help You
  • Shopping for a Doctor
  • Physicians Who Treat Back Pain
  • Interviewing Potential Doctors
  • What You Should Know about Pain Specialists
  • Key Points

Chapter 5

  • How to Get and Pay for the Best Treatment for Back Pain
  • Do Your Homework
  • Getting the Most from Your Health-Insurance Plan
  • Key Points


Chapter 6

  • Muscle Injuries and Myofascial Back Pain
  • Diagnosing and Treating Back Muscle Injuries
  • Myofascial Pain
  • Treating Myofascial Pain
  • Gluteus Maximus Syndrome
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Sciatic-Nerve Entrapment
  • Key Points

Chapter 7

  • Facet Syndrome: Painful Spinal Joints
  • Diagnosing Facet Pain
  • Treating Facet Pain
  • Key Points

Chapter 8

  • Chronic Whiplash Pain
  • Symptoms of Whiplash
  • The Difficulty of Diagnosing Whiplash
  • Treating Acute Cervical Whiplash Pain
  • Treating Chronic Pain or Late Whiplash Syndrome
  • Key Points

Chapter 9

  • Pain from Spinal-Disk Herniation
  • Diagnosing Nerve Pain from Disk Herniation
  • Treating Pain from Cervical-Disk Herniations
  • Treating Pain from Lumbar-Disk Herniations
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Surgery for Disk Herniation
  • Key Points

Chapter 10

  • Discogenic Back Pain
  • Diagnosing Discogenic Pain
  • Conservative Treatment of Discogenic Pain
  • When to Consider Surgery
  • Key Points

Chapter 11

  • Spinal Slippage and Instability: Spondylolisthesis and Spondylolysis
  • Diagnosing Spinal Slippage and Other Problems
  • Treating Spondylolysis and Spinal Slippage
  • Surgery
  • Key Points

Chapter 12

  • Spinal-Canal Narrowing: Stenosis
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Stenosis in the Upper Back and Neck
  • Diagnosing Spinal Stenosis
  • Treating Spinal Stenosis without Surgery
  • When Surgery Is Necessary
  • Key Points

Chapter 13

  • Osteoporosis of the Spine
  • Diagnosing Osteoporosis
  • Treating Spinal Compression Fractures without Surgery
  • Treating Osteoporosis by Halting Bone Loss
  • Weight-Bearing Exercise
  • Key Points

Chapter 14

  • Benign and Malignant Spinal Tumors and Cancer Pain
  • Tumors of the Spinal Column
  • Back Pain from Metastasized Cancer
  • Treating Back Pain from Metastasized Cancer
  • When Back Pain Is Caused by Cancer
  • Treatment
  • Key Points

Chapter 15

  • Recognizing and Treating Other Causes of Back Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Inflammatory Diseases of the Spine
  • Coccydynia
  • Infection
  • Vascular Abnormalities
  • Scoliosis
  • Pregnancy and Menstruation
  • Key Points


Chapter 16

  • Physical Therapy and Exercise
  • Using Physical Therapy Effectively
  • Stretching and Strengthening Your Back Muscles
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
  • Aerobics for Endurance and Stamina
  • Key Points

Chapter 17

  • The Challenge of Finding the Drug — or Drugs — That Will Ease Your Back Pain
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • How to Use NSAIDs Effectively 242
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antidepressants
  • Other Nonnarcotic Drugs
  • Myths and Truths about Using Narcotics for Back Pain
  • Drug Tolerance, Dependence, and Addiction
  • How to Use Narcotics Effectively
  • Balancing Relief and Side Effects
  • Key Points

Chapter 18

  • Radiofrequency Lesioning and Other Interventional Treatment for Back Pain
  • Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Facet and Nerve-Root Blocks
  • Cutting off the Pain Impulse:Radiofrequency Lesioning
  • Similar Techniques
  • Cryoanalgesia
  • Vertebroplasty
  • Implantable Devices
  • Key Points

Chapter 19

  • Treating Back Pain with Surgery
  • Lumbar Discectomy
  • Foramenotomy
  • Laminotomy, Laminectomy, and Partial Facetectomy for Lumbar Stenosis
  • Spinal Fusion: Approach with Caution
  • Complications of Back Surgery
  • Doctors Who Perform Spinal Surgery
  • Key Points

Chapter 20

  • Eastern Needling and Other Integrative Means of Pain Relief
  • Acupuncture
  • Manual Manipulation
  • Mind-Body Therapies
  • Key Points


Chapter 21

  • Watch Your Back! How Lifestyle Can Hurt or Help
  • Avoiding Excess
  • Warm Up First
  • Develop a Posturepedic Body
  • Watch Your Weight
  • Prevent Recurring Back Pain
  • Enjoy Painfree Traveling


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