Back pain affects up to 8 in 10 people at some point during their lifetime. Back pain is common in part because the spine is central to many of our daily activities, whether strenuous or not. The spine consists of 24 interlocking vertebrae, which are divided into three types: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. Fibrous ligaments, discs, and muscles connect these bones, allowing for a combination of stability and flexibility to allow us to perform a variety of daily activities.
While we typically think of sitting as a restful activity, prolonged periods of sitting can lead to chronic back pain. Today’s lifestyles often involve significantly more time spent sitting than in previous decades. We all can enjoy the modern luxuries of being able to watch TV, browse the Internet, or order in a precooked meal at the end of a long day of work. However, for many of us, that long day of work involves sitting at a desk, so we go from sitting at work to sitting at home. It has become increasingly recognized that spending many hours planted in a seat is actually detrimental to one’s health. While a brief period of sitting is natural, long periods of sitting typically place the spine and pelvis in an unnatural position for an extended time, leading to low back pain among other issues.
Individuals suffering from chronic back pain may begin to wonder if their outdated mattress contributes to their discomfort. The average human spends one-third of his or her life sleeping on a mattress; thus, one can safely assume that resting on the wrong mattress attributes to back pain to some extent. The only time muscles and ligaments in the spine can completely relax occurs during periods of slumber. So individuals with chronic back pain will greatly benefit from a good night’s sleep on an adequate mattress.
The news media is bursting at the seams with stories of the incidence of people addicted to pain medications. Every year prescription painkillers cause more than 16,000 deaths and 475,000 emergency room visits. Now admittedly, some of those people just take the meds for the “high”, but, the majority of folks began taking prescription painkillers to help alleviate chronic pain, and now cannot live without that medication. While Grandpa might have rubbed liniment on his joints to help the pain subside a little, people today feel the need to be as pain-free as possible, even if it means popping pills on a regular basis.
Unless 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?
Everyone in Israel has stress, and we all manage it differently. Some of us seem to handle it better than others. Often, though, we only look like we’re handling stress well, but what we’re really doing is pretending we don’t have it at all. Our work, our families, our stressful lives keep us on our toes, and nobody rises to the occasion better than Israelis. Unfortunately, ‘keeping on our toes’ can sometimes mean that stress takes its toll on our bodies, and what suffers, of course, is our health.
Back pain is one of the most prevalent symptoms of unresolved stress. And stress left unchecked can cause a myriad of health problems, often starting as mild pain and sometimes even growing into serious health issues. If you’re a back pain sufferer who deals with stress by concealing it from others … and even yourself … chances are great that your pain is a result of anxiety and stress. Continue reading
Back pain is a very common problem for many individuals, especially among adults. However, it is much less likely that a man will seek the help of a spine surgeon than a woman will. Even though men are much more prone to developing back pain since their work commonly requires some form of manual labor, they seek medical attention less often. There are many different causes of back pain in men; some are as natural as aging while other causes can need surgery to correct. It is very important for men to seek medical attention of a spine surgeon to rule out anything serious. Here are some of the most common causes of back pain in men. Continue reading
A spinal specialist may recommend that a patient undergo a corpectomy in some instances. A corpectomy is a surgical procedure on the spine. Corpectomy in its simplest sense means “remove the body.” In this case there is a removal of vertebrae. A spinal surgeon will remove bones or discs to relieve the pressure on a patient’s nerves and spinal cord. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove portions of the bony sections which comprise the spinal column as well as discs that may be adjacent to the section being removed. Once the NJ spinal surgeon removes the discs and bones, there will be an empty space which will need to be reconstructed. The bones will be replaced through a bone graft or bone substitutes. In some cases there is missing tissue that is causing bone to rub against bone. The tissue must be reconstructed in order to prevent further damage. There are two basic reasons that a spine specialist might suggest a corpectomy for a patient: to remove pressure that is being put on the spinal cord or to stop any abnormal movement or motion between the vertebrae. Continue reading
Seasonal Back Pain
Many times individuals complain about experiencing back pain that is associated with drastic changes in the weather. In some cases individuals claim that they can predict cold weather is coming long before the announcement by their local weather man. There is no doubt that many people experience back pain that seems to worsen when winter sets in and especially when the temperature falls to below freezing. The question is not so much what causes seasonal back pain, as what options do we have when it strikes? Continue reading
Osteophytes, or bone spurs, are bony projections that tend to develop right along the bones edge. They often form where two bones come together at your joints. Some excruciatingly painful bone spurs can form on your spine. The main cause of these is the damage the comes from excessive wear and tear that comes from osteoarthritis. Most of the time the bone spur will not bother you at all and can go unnoticed for many years. Bone spurs may not require any treatment at all. Treatment all depends on whether or not they are affecting your health.
There are some cases, however, that these bone spurs can limit your range of motion and cause large amounts of pain. Symptoms will all depend on where they are located on the body. Bone spurs in the knee can cause discomfort when extending and bending your leg. These growths get in the way of the tendons that keep your whole leg working correctly. Continue reading
There are many adjectives that can be used to describe a pain. It is important that you are able to convey your message to a spine doctor in Millburn, NJ and tell them exactly what kind of pain you are feeling. The better the description, the more information the doctor has about that symptom. Here are a variety of different ways that you can express your pain to those around you.
Trying to describe how a pain feels can be difficult at first and frustrating. Instead of descriptive hints to explain the extent of what you are feeling you can only come up with “it hurts”. It is challenging for doctors to evaluate pain because it is experienced by everyone differently. It is highly subjective: what hurts for one person may not hurt at all for another. But where doctors generally begin is by asking how much it hurts on a scale of one to ten. The doctor will then describe the possible results. If a pain gets a 0 or a 1 then it is next to nothing. If you pick a ten, it is the worst pain that you have ever felt in your life. Again, the subjective change seems to limit the accuracy of this scale for each individual. Continue reading