All Posts in Category: Health Basics

PAIN: the motivating factor to seek help

If you had to guess, what’s the one thing that almost all new patients have in common when they first arrive to clinic to be evaluated? Pain. Whether it is a new onset of symptoms that started after moving a big beautiful sofa or an unreliable low back that just started hurting with no recollection of injury, the primary motivating factor that brings most patients into the clinic is PAIN.

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Smoking adds complicated risks to spinal procedures

Many surgeons, especially neurosurgeons, urge patients to stop smoking before spinal procedures, particularly, spinal fusions.

Why?

An extensive amount of research has found that smoking cigarettes prolongs the healing process and causes complications. Below is a list of problems that can arise:

  • Decreased rate of successful fusion (called non-union or pseudoarthroses)
  • Poorer clinical outcomes, including pain reduction
  • Poor rehabilitation after surgery, and prolonged healing process
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Tremors

Tremor is an involuntary shaking movement, usually affecting the hands and head, but may affect any part of the body included the feet or torso.
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F.I.T.T Principle

In the world of physical therapy a very common goal is to increase strength. Some patients love the hands on approach with a skilled therapist while others choose to hit the gym. So if you are one of those individuals that would like to try it on your own there is a very important training tool to keep in mind. The FITT Principle:

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Bone Spurs

What is a bone spur?

A bone spur or ‘osteophyte’ is new bone that forms at the end of bones or joints. Bone spurs form in response to movement when one bone comes into contact with another bone across a joint or disk space.   Bone spurs can occur throughout the body but are common in the spine because of numerous bony joints and disks that make up and support the spine. Bone spur formation occurs to varying degrees and is expected in the aging spine but will be more common in patients that have significant arthritis.

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Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a progressive disease caused by a decreased level of dopamine produced by nerve cells in the brain, in an area called the substantia nigra. Dopamine levels drop as the disease progresses.  Dopamine sends messages in the brain to areas that control movement and coordination. With decreased dopamine, patients have difficulty controlling their limb and overall body movement along with their emotions.

Approximately 1,000,000 adults in the USA have Parkinson’s Disease, while males have a 50% higher risk than females.

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Pilates

When it comes to injuries and back pain, it is important to find exercises that are easy on the spine. Pilates is one of the best exercises to maintain and support a healthy spine. When looking for a Pilates program or studio, make sure to do the following:

1.Let your instructor or trainer know of any previous injuries and your medical history
2.Pick a Pilates studio that encourages neutral spine positions and training.
3. Always engage your pelvic floor and abs to protect the lower back

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Physical Therapist: experts in movement and function

Legacy Physical Therapy

Physical therapists are defined by the APTA as “experts in movement and function” but are very often associated with an environment in which they deal with patients who are ill or have undergone surgery. A large part of a physical therapist’s program is directed at preventing injury, loss of movement, and even surgery.

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Lumbar Disc Disease

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the condition, and may range from no symptoms to severe pain in the back and or legs with variable degrees of numbness, tingling and weakness in the legs.

Causes

The lumbar discs are the cushions between each of the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back. These cushions are composed of an inner layer of material called the nucleus pulposus, which is surrounded by fibrous bands called the annulus. The nucleus material is a gelatinous core that has the consistency of “boiled shrimp”. These cushions serve as the shock absorbers in our lower back, just like the shock in your car. These “shock absorbers” experience daily wear and tear.

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Migraines

Medical Monday: Migraines

Migraine headaches are frequently described as throbbing, shooting, aching, or dull headaches.When severe, they can be associated with nausea, light-sensitivity, sound-sensitivity, and dizziness.

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