Seeing is believing when seeking results for lower back pain

Seven million Americans suffer from chronic pain and 80 percent of the general population will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lifetime.

by Dr. Mike Staub and Dr. Shaun Hudson —

Lower back pain is a serious health problem in the United States. Seven million Americans suffer from chronic pain and 80 percent of the general population will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lifetime.

Surface electromyography (sEMG) is a recent development emerging from the field of biofeedback. One of the principal components of biofeedback was the use of electrodes to monitor muscle activity. This became known as surface electromyography in order to distinguish it from needle electromyography, as practiced in neurology.

By utilizing sEMG in therapy sessions, patients are now able to visualize the specific location of their pain and inflammation on their spine and see the results in a few sessions. The sEMG is an essential tool that enables doctors to accurately determine where the problems are and helps them diagnose a more effective course of treatment for their patients with lower back pain.

Electromyography refers to the measurement of a muscle’s electrical activity. As muscles contract, microvolt-level electrical signals can be measured from the skin’s surface.

Electromyography is the study of muscle activity through the measurement of these electrical signals. Researchers and clinicians use surface EMG to more accurately evaluate muscle function and activity. The computer compares data from the patient’s reading to the measurements of muscle activity in a normal body.

Patients often have a difficult time describing the exact location of their pain. The sEMG allows a patient to see their test results on a computer screen. This gives them confidence about their doctor’s ability to pinpoint inflammations, rather than just subjectively assuming (i.e., guessing) the location of the pain, as was generally the case in the past.

 

Dr. Mike Staub is a doctor of chiropractic and certified in physical therapy and acupuncture. Dr. Shaun Hudson is a doctor of chiropractic and certified in physical therapy. Both practice at The Bone and Joint Wellness Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. 480-990-2663, www.drmikestaub.com or www.drhudson.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 3, June/July 2006.

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