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Common Problems that Lead to the Need for Spine Surgery

Back pain and injuries are widespread, and the right treatment depends on a great many factors. Spine surgery should be a last resort after more conservative therapies in most cases. However, prevention is always the best cure. Here are a few common issues that lead to people having spine surgeries – and they’re mostly preventable. 

Your Posture

There’s more to your posture or the way you hold your body as you stand, sit, or lie down than how it looks. Standing up straight may make you appear taller and slimmer, but the best reasons to pay attention to your posture have nothing to do with your image. There’s a clear relationship between good posture and spinal health. Poor posture can have adverse long-term effects on your spine, making it much more likely that you’ll need surgery in the future. Whether you spend your days on your feet or in a chair, it’s essential to adopt good posture habits and avoid back or neck pain. Remember to move around regularly, to use ergonomic furniture when possible, to remain aware of your posture throughout the day, and to address any pain promptly by resting and if the discomfort doesn’t go away within a few days of rest, getting medical attention. 

How You Sleep

Your posture doesn’t only matter when you’re on the go. While you sleep, the muscles and ligaments in your back rest and heal. Good posture at night is vital to protect your back. The right mattress is one of the most critical things that you need to maintain good back health. Everyone is different, though; the right mattress for you is the one that allows you to wake up feeling rested and pain-free.

Similarly, you need a good pillow that provides natural head and neck support. You can sleep in a variety of positions, but try to keep your hips, shoulders, and ears aligned. You can use pillows to achieve better alignment, such as placing a pillow under your stomach and pelvis and using a flat pillow if you like to sleep face down. 

Car Accidents

While you may sustain almost any type of injury during a motor vehicle accident, the most severe ones often relate to the spine. Spinal injuries are also some of the most common injuries in serious car accidents. Some different types include:

  • Whiplash. Most people tend to think that whiplash is a neck injury, which is true, but it also affects the spine. Some whiplash victims experience multiple spinal injuries, which can complicate the injuries they sustain. Whiplash can also become chronic, leading to a lifetime of physical and emotional distress. 
  • Ruptured and herniated disc injuries. Your spine comprises several vertebrae, which protect your spinal column. The jelly-filled discs in-between keep these vertebrae from rubbing together. The trauma of a car accident can cause the discs to rupture or shift. Sometimes, conservative treatments can correct the problem, but surgery is indicated in more severe cases. 
  • Facet joint injuries. Your joints allow you to twist, bend, and move in various ways. Facet joints, found in the spine, function as hinges between the vertebrae. Unfortunately, these joints are easily injured in auto accidents. People with these injuries may need a range of treatments, including physical therapy, chiropractic care, facet injections, or spine surgery. 

If you are experiencing back or neck pain, or have any questions about spine conditions that may lead to the need for surgery, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

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What Causes Sciatic Nerve Pain?

“Oh! My sciatica!”

Played for laughs in TV comedies, complaints about sciatica often go hand in hand with a dramatic grab towards the lower back — but the very real pain sciatica sufferers experience is no laughing matter. Named after the sciatic nerve, this painful condition has many possible causes and refers broadly to any discomfort or pain caused by the nerve.

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What Is the Cure to Disc Degenerative Disease?

Almost everyone’s spine will show signs of wear and tear as they age. However, not everyone will end up with degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease is not a disease per sè but rather a condition in which a disc is damaged and causing pain. Degenerative disc disease symptoms and severity vary widely among people with this condition.

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Why is Low Back Pain Such a Common Human Condition?

Our journey into understanding back pain begins at the dawn of civilization when humans first stood upright. Our sacroiliac joints, which rest vertically between our pelvis and our spine, were the key to allowing us to bend forward, walk with a bi-pedal gate, and walk upright.

Mother Nature, however, designed these kidney-shaped sacroiliac joints to carry all the weight of our upper body. Four-legged animals do not share the same issues. Horses distribute weight among all four legs, and thus, the joints are not weight-bearing. Humans tend to place significant stress on the sacroiliac joints, especially if there is a direct impact due to a fall.

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Standing at Work All Day? Here’s Why your Lower Back Hurts

Were you ever told to stand up straight when you were a child? Maybe we should have listened to our elder’s advice and developed good posture at an early age. Most people worldwide experience some back pain during their lives.

The good news is that there are many ways to relieve the aches that come with back pain at work. If you catch it early, most of the pain will dissipate in a relatively short time. Those with chronic back pain, however, may need medical intervention.

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pros and cons of spine surgery

What Are the Pros and Cons of Spinal Surgeries?

If you are considering a spinal surgical procedure, you should have plenty of opportunities to discuss the surgery with your doctor and touch upon the potential pros and cons of the operation. The specific advantages or disadvantages of spinal surgery will differ depending on the type of operation you are considering, as well as the underlying cause of your pain. In most cases, you will need to weigh the potential benefits of having the surgery, such as pain relief, and improved quality of life, with the disadvantages (often, reduced range of motion of the spine, along with recovery difficulties). In this post, we will explore some of the common pros and cons of spinal surgery, to help you understand what you should be considering when discussing the possibility of an operation.

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types of orthopedic surgeries

What Are the Types of Orthopedic Surgeries?

Orthopedic surgery refers to any surgical procedure performed on the musculoskeletal system, which includes muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints. There are different types of orthopedic surgeries. Today, traditional operations are losing ground to minimally-invasive arthroscopic procedures that come with less pain, faster recoveries, and fewer complications. Here are some of the most common orthopedic surgeries.

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cervical spine procedure

What Are Some Common Indications for Cervical Spine Surgery?

Cervical spine surgery is a type of spinal surgery generally undertaken to treat one of two conditions: compression or impingement of the spinal cord or the nerves therein; or instability of the spine as a whole. Each issue requires a different cervical spine procedure. Impingement of spinal nerves demands spinal decompression surgery to relieve the pressure, while spinal instability often involves some type of spinal fusion surgery (such as the implementation of a small plate into the spine). In fact, one patient who demands one surgery may sometimes require both. Spinal decompression surgery will often cause issues with spinal stability, thus requiring fusion surgery as well. As such, many spinal surgeons are experienced in combining these two surgeries into a single procedure.

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How to Protect Your Spine in Winter 2019

Spending time outside is, in general, very healthy. Sunshine helps our bodies produce vitamin D, which is essential for the body to be able to absorb calcium and maintain healthy muscles and bones. Fresh air benefits the lungs, immune system, digestive system, mind, and mood. Exercise delivers an almost endless list of benefits. Getting outdoors—whether for a walk around the block, a long run, or a game of catch in the yard—is one of the healthiest choices you can make daily. Unfortunately, as the weather gets colder, spending time outside also brings with it extra opportunities to tweak or injure the spine.

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physical therapy for back pain

How to Get the Most Out of Physical Therapy for Back Pain

Have you been dealing with chronic back pain as of late? Are you recovering from back surgery or neck surgery? Are you getting over a back injury and slowly working your way back toward full mobility? If any of these situations apply to you, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help speed your recovery and to give you a safe way to ramp up your exercise, range of motion, and overall day-to-day mobility. Physical therapy for back pain can help relieve or eliminate pain, foster proper healing, and get you back to full function.

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