Countless individuals suffer from lumbar – or spinal – instability. It’s often a result of our lifestyles or the work we do, which for many, is quite hard on our bodies. This instability causes this area of the spine to degenerate more quickly and frequently results in pain ranging from mild to intense.
So, what – specifically – causes lumbar instability? We know that it’s often not one thing but a series of events that leads to this disorder. When healthy spine discs – which function like shock absorbers and control motion and flexibility in each spine segment – become degenerated or herniated, they bulge because they lose tension. As a result, movement between the vertebrae increases.
Discs also lose height when they degenerate and, as a result, the facet joints eventually move out of alignment. Unfortunately, this can lead to a series of other problems including the development of bone spurs and arthritis. When the vertebrae no longer move correctly, patients experience pain when flexing or extending and movement irritates the nerves in the back or even the leg.
Other conditions that can result in lumbar instability include tumors, infection, scoliosis, fractures, disc degeneration disease, spondylolisthesis, and deformities of the spine.
Treating lumbar instability is possible and good results can come from the correct therapies. Very often, spinal fusion surgery is recommended as it can eliminate pain caused by joints that have become worn out over time. After the surgery, when two bones are joined together by means of a bone graft, a reduction in pain is realized, though it takes some time to heal and physical therapy will be necessary.
There are a number of ways in which a chiropractor can also help tackle lumbar instability including correcting any misalignments that are present, offering an exercise program to the patient, and using Applied Kinesiology to strengthen weakened muscles and tone ligaments.
Now, how do you explain all of that to your patient? Whether you’re a spine surgeon or a chiropractor, you’ll want the lumbar instability sufferer to understand what’s going on with their back. To accomplish that, you’ll need to tell them all about discs and facets and other parts of the spine.
Or perhaps you can show them.
With a deluxe, finely-detailed 3D spine model from Dynamic Disc Designs (DDD), you can show your client exactly what’s wrong with their spine and chances are they’ll even understand by the time your explanation is complete.
These models can help you demonstrate lumbar instability in just a few steps, thanks to their realistic movement and incredible detail. Furthermore, because most people learn better through visualization rather than via a verbal explanation, the model will prompt that moment when the patient truly “gets” what’s going on and is, as such, more amenable to your suggestions for treatment, be they surgical or non-surgical. Then they can get on with the business of feeling better!
“Wow! This is the best lumbar disc model I’ve ever seen. Patients see and believe! You can demonstrate the problem and the solution. I’m amazed at the construction of this model.”
– Gary Hatlen, DC