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The Big Idea of Epidural Stimulation Research

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On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the passing of actor and activist Christopher Reeve, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation launched the most ambitious effort in its history, "The Big Idea." The foundation hopes to raise $15 million to fund the next phase of epidural stimulation research and bring life-changing therapy to more individuals living with spinal cord injuries. The once inconceivable notion that a damaged spinal cord could be repaired is closer to reality, as reported in an April 2014 study published by researchers from UCLA and the University of Louisville in the medical journal Brain , in which four young men who were paralyzed for years were able to voluntarily move their legs and bear weight as a result of epidural stimulation of the lower spinal cord. Even more revolutionary, the participants experienced significant improvements with autonomic functions – including bladder, bowel and sexual control – an unprecedented...
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Herniated Discs: Definition, Progression, and Diagnosis

Herniated-Disc-Definitions-Diagnosis
What are a Herniated Discs? Herniation of the nucleus pulposus (gel-like substance) occurs when it breaks through the anulus fibrosus (tire-like structure) of an intervertebral disc (spinal shock absorber). Herniated discs occurs most often in the lumbar region of the spine. This is because the lumbar spine carries most of the body's weight. People between the ages of 30 and 50 appear to be vulnerable because the elasticity and water content of the discs decreases with age. The progression to an actual hernatied discs varies from slow to sudden onset of symptoms. There are four stages: disc protrusion prolapsed disc disc extrusion sequestered disc Stages 1 and 2 are referred to as incomplete, where 3 and 4 are complete herniations. Pain resulting from herniated discs may be combined with a neurological deficit. The deficit may include tingling, numbness, weakness, reflex loss, and/or more. These changes are caused by nerve compression created by pressure...
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Back Pain: Upper, Mid Back, Low and Lower Back

Back Pain: Upper, Mid Back, Low and Lower Back
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people self-treat and seek medical care. It will affect approximately three in four adults during their lifetime. When we speak about “back pain” we mean pain that originates in the spine anywhere between the upper and lower back. Besides back pain, other symptoms may present. There are many different types of pain. Acute back pain is defined as severe but lasting a short period of time. Chronic back pain usually occurs every day. It can be severe, but may be characterized as mild, deep, achy, burning, or electric-like. Back pain that travels into another part of the body, such as the leg may be consider radicular pain, particularly when it radiates below the knee. This scenario is commonly called a lumbar radiculopathy . Fortunately, not all occurrences of back pain include leg pain! It is not unusual for back pain to be accompanied...
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What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal-Stenosis
What is spinal stenosis? A clue to answering this question is found in the meaning of each word. Spinal refers to the spine. Stenosis is a medical term used to describe a condition where a normal-size opening has become narrow. Spinal stenosis may affect the cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), or lumbar (lower back) spines. The most commonly area affected is the lumbar spine followed by the cervical spine.   What Does Spinal Stenosis Look Like? To help you to visualize what happens in spinal stenosis, we will consider a water pipe. Over time, rust and debris builds up on the walls of the pipe, thereby narrowing the passageway that normally allows water to freely flow. In the spine, the passageways are the spinal canal and the neuroforamen . The spinal canal is a hollow vertical hole that contains the spinal cord. The neuroforamen are the passageways that are naturally created between...
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What is Scoliosis?

What is Scoliosis?
We all have curves in our spines, but scoliosis causes the spine to curve in the wrong direction. It causes sideways curves, and those are different from the spine's normal curves. If you were to look at your spine from the side, you'd see that it curves out at your neck (cervical spine), in at your mid-back (thoracic spine), and out again at your low back (lumbar spine). Your back is supposed to have those curves. However, if you look at your spine from behind, you shouldn't see any curves at all. When there are sideways curves in the spine from this view, that's scoliosis. The curves can look like an "S" or a "C." (You can learn more about spinal anatomy related to scoliosis in the anatomy section below.) Scoliosis is generally associated with children (you may hear it calleed adolescent idiopathic scoliosis ), but adults can have it, too....
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Lower Back Pain

lower back pain
Lower back pain can vary from dull pain that develops gradually to sudden, sharp or persistent pain felt below the waist. Unfortunately, almost everyone, at some point during life will experience lower back pain. The most common cause is muscle strain often related to heavy physical labor, lifting or forceful movement, bending or twisting into awkward positions, or standing in one position too long. Other Causes of Lower Back Pain There are many different conditions that cause or contribute to lower back pain. Many involve nerve compression (eg, pinched nerve) that may generate pain and other symptoms. Types of spinal disorders include trauma-related and degenerative; meaning age-related. Some of these spinal problems are listed below. Bulging or herniated disc . A disc may bulge outward. A herniated disc occurs when the soft interior matter escapes through a crack or ruptures through the disc's protective outer layer. Both disc problems can cause...
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