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Diagnosing the cause of lower back pain

Getting an accurate diagnoses and a clear understanding of the underlying cause of lower back pain is a critical factor to resolving or effectively managing the problem. It is often, however, more challenging than people expect. Diagnosing the underlying cause of lower back pain will help your physician make a preliminary diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment plan. It may be a simple process or it may involve a combination of doctors, physical examination, and diagnostic tests to accurately identify the problem. It is important to know if the condition is caused by a soft tissue problem such as muscle, ligament or tendon, or a more serious conditions such as a fracture, infection, or tumor. It's also important to know if the condition is caused by a structural problem in the spine such as a herniated disc, arthritis, or facet joint disorder.

Radiographs (X-rays) are a useful tool to pinpoint broken bones and skeletal defects. X-rays may be needed for trauma such as a fall or a car accident. Computed Axial Tomography (CT or CAT) scan, or a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan are useful tools to analyze soft tissue damage. An Electromyogram (EMG) is useful to determine possible nerve or muscle damage.


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8 Things to Do When You First Learn Your Loved One Has Alzheimer's

Whether you've suspected the diagnosis for ages or it's come as a shock, absorbing the reality ahead of you can be a sobering -- but critical -- process. Especially if much of the burden of care will fall on your shoulders, it's useful to start out recognizing that Alzheimer's disease can be an emotional roller coaster. Uncertainty about the disease's pace can make planning for the future difficult. Alzheimer's is considered a chronic disease that can continue for 15 to 20 years or more, with progressively more challenging stages whose length and experience can vary widely from person to person.


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Good Health

Maintaining good health is an essential part of achieving happiness and success in life. Pain and discomfort can stop you from living an active and productive lifestyle, because when the body doesn’t feel good, the mind doesn’t either.

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