What Causes Back Pain and Leg Pain?

Sciatica PatientAn estimated 80% of the population experiences back pain– especially lower back pain– at one point or another in their lifetime. While still prevalent, leg pain can stem from back pain, but it occurs less frequently. Leg pain tends to be both bothersome and debilitating, potentially limiting an individual’s daily activities. Patients consulting a spinal care look to a doctor to administer treatment for quick pain relief; more importantly, patients want doctors to provide answers to the cause of their discomfort. But in the end, patients fail to understand that the answer may not be as clear-cut as they believe.

In reality, a wide spectrum of spinal conditions can lead to instances of both back and leg pain.

For example, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) can trigger leg pain, coupled with back pain. PAD refers to the buildup of plaque along artery walls and the subsequent blocking of blood vessels in the legs. This, in turn, restricts the amount of oxygen nourishing the leg muscles and causes discomfort in patients’ legs and back. But combined leg and back pain can also be a harbinger of a life-threatening condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis. This serious condition refers to the formation of blood clots in the deep veins in the body. If the clot breaks free, it can be dangerous and clog a smaller vessel, thereby culminating into a stroke.
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Common Causes of Neck Pain

Causes of Neck PainNeck pain is more prevalent than ever before. One recent study showed that neck pain affects upwards of 40% of all of America’s labor force, with females experiencing this type of pain more often than males. One reason neck pain is on the rise in the United States is due to increasing numbers of people sitting in front of computers and using handheld digital devices for several hours every day. Another very important factor in these recent statistics is that Americans’ collective lifestyle is getting more sedentary. In fact, when surveyed, the majority of participants said they spend more than two hours per day either sitting at a computer or hovering over a cell phone, tablet, or other device. Another significant reason for the increase in neck pain sufferers in the U.S. is the heavy backpacks or brief cases many of us carry to work or school these days. Following is further information from spinal surgeons in New Jersey designed to help those suffering from neck pain understand the common causes of their pain, as well as learn of the treatment options available to them.
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How to Protect Your Back During Daily Tasks

Protect Your Back During Daily TasksUnless you live in a warm-weather state where you can enjoy (or merely tolerate) doing yard work all year around, once the last of the snow has disappeared, it is time to start thinking about yard work once again.  Even if you’ve been shoveling snow all Winter, you’re likely to use different muscles, plus you will be squatting and bending, as opposed to lifting and throwing the snow.  If you have a snow blower, or your spouse or a service takes care of the snow, you might be out of shape somewhat, so, before you plan on doing yard work, you might want to begin by doing stretches, squats and lunges a few weeks before you tackle the raking/thatching and bagging up of debris, or tending to the yard in general.  It really will help to be more flexible for the job at hand, and, you sure don’t want to overdo your unused muscles just because you insist on doing all the work in one weekend.  That’s the way to likely incur pain in the back, or aching shoulders.

Probably the best and most-important advice from a top spine doctor in Summit, New Jersey would be to bend your knees.  Those 40-pound bags of topsoil are a challenge for a lot of people once gardening begins in earnest.  First you must heft them out of the back of your car and that can strain your back, especially if you twist and turn your torso the wrong way.  Why not have a four-wheeled dolly at the ready to move those heavy bags from the car to where they will be used?  Also, getting up and down from a kneeling or squatting position may be awkward or difficult for some.  Don’t risk damaging your back – why not treat yourself to a rolling garden seat to make gardening easier and more enjoyable?
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Common Triggers for Sciatica and What to do About Them

Causes of SciaticaThere are several causes of sciatica, which is identified as a painful condition which occurs from soreness or pain that travels from your lumbar or lower spine, to your buttock and all the way down your leg.  Sciatica only affects one side of your body, but that one side might as well be both sides for all the pain you will experience.  Sciatic pain does not discriminate where it chooses to wreak havoc – it might be a tolerable ache, or an excruciating pain.  There are ways to try to thwart sciatica and stop it in its tracks, but many times, other medical issues are the underlying cause of the sciatic problems, thus, the malady is not strictly your own doing.  For example, although sciatica is believed to originate from prolonged sitting, even the simple act of coughing or sneezing can cause a sciatica sufferer great discomfort.  Sometimes (but rarely), the sciatic nerve can be compressed by a tumor, or damaged by a disease such as diabetes, or, it could become pinched, usually by a herniated disc in your spine, or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on your vertebrae.

While the consequences sound dire for a person that suffers from sciatica, the good news is that, for most cases, 90% of sciatica sufferers have a full recovery from a bout of sciatica without the need for surgery.

Some of the triggers for sciatica are listed below.  Remember:  if pain persists, you should contact a specialist who will evaluate you to determine the appropriate measures to get you feeling more like yourself again a spine specialist in NJ is the answer to your sciatica woes.
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How to Prevent Sciatica

Prevent SciaticaThe facts are plain and simple – it is not always possible to prevent sciatica, and sadly, the condition may reoccur after the initial bout with it. What you may initially just pass off as sleeping the wrong way, or feeling uncomfortable after taking a long car trip, resulting in not knowing which way to sit due to the pain, may be sciatica.  It most cases, sciatica can be relieved in a matter of weeks.  But first, you need to pinpoint whether it is sciatica and what the heck is going on, then do consult with a spine specialist pronto, so that you can get on the road to recovery soon.
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Common Degenerative Spine Conditions

Degenerative Spine ConditionsOf all the systems in the human body, undoubtedly the spinal column is one of the most complex. Within this complex structure is an intricate arrangement of vertebrae, discs, nerves, muscles, and ligaments. It’s that complexity that gives the spine its many functions. Of course, it’s also what makes the spine one of the most vulnerable structures in the body. And, even though spine conditions can occur to anyone at any time, especially due to injury, older folks are far more susceptible to degenerative spine conditions, which are medical conditions that develop over time. As we age, our bodies naturally have taken more of a toll as the years have worn on, making each and every one of us more susceptible to suffering conditions of the spine related to the years of stress and burden we’ve endured throughout life. Following is more information from spine specialists in Morristown and throughout the country regarding the most common of these degenerative spine conditions, including osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. Continue reading “Common Degenerative Spine Conditions”