In this Spine Education video, Dynamic Disc Designs’ Dr. Jerome Fryer demonstrates the benefits of helping lower back pain patients better understand their condition by using dynamic models and visual aids.
“How often do you encounter a patient that explains that their symptoms are worse as the day progresses?” he asks.
Though clinicians understand the key to a graduating pain syndrome involves a complex biomechanical and biochemical matrix in the spine, back pain patients don’t need extensive medical knowledge to appreciate the dynamics of what is happening in their bodies. A simple visual aid can help clarify and simplify their predicament and potential solutions.
Hands-On Demo of Diurnal Expression of Fluid from the Disc
Using a dynamic disc model, Fryer demonstrates the diurnal expression of fluid from the disc as the disc height changes over the course of the day.
“We know that the disc height is tallest in the morning,” he says, holding a fully expanded disc model to the camera and then slowly squeezing the dynamic model to demonstrate the loss of height that occurs throughout the day.
“As the day progresses, the disc height will slowly lose its height [causing the facets] to imbricate or shingle. If a patient [complains] their symptoms are more present as the day progresses, you [use] this graph 2. [Diurnal fluid expression and activity of intervertebral disc cells] to demonstrate what’s happening in their spine.
“As the person gets up in the morning, there is a quick change in the disc height in the first 10 minutes,” he says, pointing out a steep curve on the graph.
“As the day progresses, the disc height is lost.”
Annular Disruption in Degenerated Discs Reduce Capacity to Maintain Height
Fryer says the situation can be even more extreme when a patient is suffering from degeneration in the disc because the disc can no longer hold its full height, due to disruption in the annulus.
“Helping patients understand symptoms as the day progresses will help them understand why it hurts,” he says. “That gives you more empowered strategies to help patients get motivated, if its posture, or even recumbency, or exercise, or getting out of a chair to help with the disc height changes. These dynamic disc models are very powerful in helping patients with self-awareness.”
For more information on dynamic disc models and patient teaching aids, visit Dynamic Disc Designs.