Answers to today's medical questions through blogs and articles

Back Pain

Health Benefits of Walking

Benefits of WalkingOne of the best choices for getting your daily exercise is walking.  When Michelle Obama promoted a campaign to walk 10,000 steps daily (the equivalent of five miles), many people began to take notice that walking was easy and fun.  As a nation, we also began to understand what doctors have been preaching for years – you need to get up and move, especially if you have a job where you spend the majority of your day sitting.

You can combat a sedentary lifestyle in several ways.  Carry those loafers or pretty pumps in a tote bag and lace up your walking shoes before you leave the house.  Park as far away as possible and take the stairs if you are able to do so.  Once at the workplace, get up out of the chair to stretch several times a day or take a stroll down the hall.  If you are not one to hit the gym at the end of the work day, why not erase those dinner calories by grabbing your partner, or your pooch, or both, and walking in the neighborhood?

Benefits of a Standing Desk

Standing-DeskOffice furniture was staid and boring for decades.  Except for the big boss in the corner office, everyone else had a metal desk and a small upholstered chair that rolled on four casters on a plastic mat.

Then came cubicles a/k/a “cubes”, the workstations that became the bane of many office worker’s existence because they could hear the conversations of co-workers yet all they could see were high metal enclosures.

The office furniture manufacturers have incessantly tweaked their products to accommodate employee’s various needs.  Office chairs and desks were designed to be aesthetically pleasing, but ergonomically correct.  In some workplaces a whole-office ergonomic analysis was done on individual employee work stations to ensure that employees were working comfortably and without restrictions.

Are High Heels Safe?

Are High Heels SafeWay back in the 10th century, during the Tang Dynasty, a rather barbaric practice of Chinese foot binding of young girls, aged six years or younger, began.  The feet of these poor children were wrapped in tight bandages and broken so they couldn’t grow any bigger.  Why would such an atrocity be done you may ask?  Well, binding the feet to make them appear tiny and delicate was practiced by wealthy families, as only wealthy families could afford to have the women of the house stay at home and not work.  When you saw a Chinese woman with very tiny feet, you instantly recognized that as a status symbol representing prestige, beauty and wealth.

If you scoff at the above idea, consider this – the people of Western civilization, all these years later, think nothing of a woman teetering on heels so spindly that she can barely walk and with only a prayer she will not topple over and break a bone, or two, or three.

Women even joke about their infatuation with high heels – they don’t care how much pain and suffering they have to endure, because, after all, stilettos transcend them into a femme fatale.  Even if women are short in stature, heels give them a commanding presence.  Heels are a boost to any woman’s ego because suddenly their legs look long and shapely as opposed to short-heeled, sensible shoes which make them feel short and dowdy.

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.

Is Back Pain a Normal Sign of Aging?

We’ve all seen the pictures of the hunched-over elderly person who has to walk with a cane. It’s one of the first things that come to mind when we think of older folks’ ailments… back problems. But is back pain a normal sign of aging? Does it really have to be this way? Must we suffer with back problems, medical conditions of the spine, and back pain, just because we’re headed toward our senior years? The answer is an unequivocal ‘Absolutely not! Back pain is not an inevitable, unavoidable part of getting older. In fact, many people throughout the country find that ‘aging gracefully’ includes aging without having to suffer with back pain. Here are some tips from joint specialists in South Orange about aging and back pain, and how to avoid it heading into middle age and beyond.

Causes of Back Pain in Young Adults

Back Pain in Young AdultsBack pain… it’s something that most people probably equate to growing older. Most of us have had a parent, grandparent, or even great grandparent who suffered from back pain and, naturally, we likely figured they were experiencing that pain because they were elderly. However, as unfortunate as it may sound, back pain isn’t just confined to seniors. The fact is that young people can experience back pain as well, and although it may not be as prevalent in youth as it is in the elderly, it can be just as bad, or even worse, when it occurs in young people. After all, when we’re young, we expect to be able to be at the top of our game. We look forward to living a long, active, and vibrant life, and we don’t expect something like back pain to get in our way. Following is more information from top spine specialists in New Jersey regarding the various causes of back pain in young adults, as well as prevention and treatment options.

Diseases That Cause Back Pain

There are many different causes for back pain and they can range from simple strains to something much more serious. Obviously if you’re in a great deal of pain you should consider seeing a top spine specialist to get a diagnosis.  A lot of spinal problems are caused by mechanical problems or severe injury or trauma to the spine. But sometimes you can be afflicted by diseases that cause back pain.

Common Causes of Back Pain in Seniors

Chronic back pain is a common problem reported by about 50 percent of adults living in community care facilities, according to one study. Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a disabling and challenging pain condition affecting older adults, who sometimes have to seek out professionals or the top spine specialist to find answers for their problems.

There are three primary reasons back pain tends to get worse with aging:

  1. Decreased muscle strength and mass associated with aging (sarcopenia).This could be due to a decrease in number of muscle fibers, the size of the individual fibers or both.
  1. Fast twitch fiber atrophy is also associated with aging. This results in slower muscle contraction but this can be reversed with training.
    1. Decreased muscle attenuation is associated with aging muscle.

Causes of Back Pain

Causes of Back PainNoted pundit Charles Barkley once divided the world into two camps: people who have bad backs and people who don’t. If you would like the relatively blissful existence of the latter, then you should take the advice of doctors, and spinal surgeons in NJ, about simple way to prevent back pain.

Here are five habits that put your back at risk and some simple strategies to stop them before the damage is done.

Common Treatments for Back Pain

Treatments for Back Pain
Treatments for Back Pain

Most adults in New Jersey and throughout the country have suffered from back pain at one time or another. If you’ve experienced back pain, you likely have searched high and low for back pain treatment to make it go away. Many types of back pain will relent within a few hours to a day, while others can continue for much longer and even become chronic. Thankfully, there are several effective back pain treatments, and the type of treatment depends on several factors, including the region of the pain, the level of pain, and the personal preference of the patient. Below is information regarding some of the more common treatments for back pain, including exercise and strength building, medications, physical therapy, injections, surgery, and sometimes, just plain rest is the key.