All Posts in Category: Lifestyle

Keep Your Pain Under Control While on the GO

Keep Your Pain Under Control While on the GO

Get comfortable
Eliminate any items that could potentially alter your spinal alignment while seated. Remove any objects from your back pocket like a wallet or cell phone. If you are the driver, make sure your seat position is close enough to the steering wheel to avoid reaching.

 

Get out and move around
Sitting for prolonged periods of time will cause your muscles to tighten and can even lead to spasms. If driving, try to stop every 30-45 minutes for a brief stretch. If you will be on a long flight, make a conscious effort to get up every 30 minutes. Below are a few quick stretches you can do on your short break.

 

 

Bring along cold or hot packs
Back pain is often accompanied by inflammation. Ice can help to decrease inflammation and numb any soreness that is a result of prolonged sitting. Some individuals find heat to be more soothing to sore and tight muscles so utilizing heated seats or quick use hot packs can help to ease the ache as well.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support your back with your feet
Good support for your back can be strongly influence by foot positioning. Your feet should both be positioned on the floor. Ideally you would like your knees to be at a right ankle in relation to your hips. You may have to modify your seat or utilize a foot rest to achieve optimal positioning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a Diversion
The mind is a powerful thing, so if you are not the driver then use a book or movie to occupy your time. If you are the driver, try music or an audiobook to keep you mind off any pain that may arise from a long trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image credit: https://www.pakwheels.com/forums/t/tips-for-maintaining-pain-free-posture-when-driving-a-car/442532

Image credit: https://wellness-centre.com.au/why-you-should-never-sit-on-your-wallet/

Image credit: https://praktispartners.com.au/latest-news/turn-t-rex-work/

 

 

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Sports Injuries

Well, we are in full swing of the summer! Speaking of swings, I hope most of you are enjoying my favorite game golf! I hope your swing looks as good as my daughters Maci’s after playing for only three months! I wish mine did as well, unfortunately, with the game of golf comes back and neck injuries all too frequently. To learn more about preventative measures stay tuned in the coming weeks we will post important steps to use to attempt to avoid injury.

Common injuries include musculoskeletal back pain and neck pain that can be treated with anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. More significant injuries can cause herniated discs in the neck or back. This can produce severe back and neck pain with or without radicular pain down the leg or arm. If the pain is down the leg or arm this is called sciatica. We can often treat these more significant injuries with the above and often with the addition of epidural steroid injections. These are outpatient procedures often done a couple of weeks apart for 2 to 3 injections. Of course, neural imaging is important to be obtained first. We perform these procedures and potential surgical intervention if needed at our outpatient spine facility- Legacy Surgery Center. Our team has vast experience with the performance of these and other spinal procedures which to be effective requires experience as well as fluoroscopic guidance.

Lastly, if a disc herniation causes intractable radicular (radiating) pain in the arm or leg (sciatica) refractory to the conservative care above then minimally invasive spinal surgery could be needed. At Legacy Spine and Neurological Specialists, we offer the most minimally invasive surgical solutions available anywhere in the world. These solutions range from micro decompression and discectomy surgery to the minimally invasive standalone lumbar fusion operations without the need for pedicle screws. These surgeries are performed through keyhole incisions less than 1 inch completely outpatient when medically appropriate.

To Learn more visit www.LegacyNeuro.com. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on prevention of golf and other sports -related back and neck injuries.

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Martin Luther King Jr.

The History

King was born in 1929 and became a Baptist minister and activist, who led a movement of nonviolent civil disobedience. He led the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, where people took a stand against racial segregation by refusing to surrender their seats to white people. The campaign lasted for a year, and was sparked by the arrest of Rosa Parks – who refused to give up her seat.

King organized several nonviolent protests and marches in the following decade. He helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream speech’ and earned his reputation as one of he greatest public speakers in American history.

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Holiday Health Tips

And…. Just like that it’s December!

This time of year is extremely busy—which can take a toll on your health! Often times we are so busy that we forget to take care of ourselves! Here are some important tips to stay healthy during the holiday season.

1. Get Sleep

When we are busy—the first thing we generally let go is our sleep! Be sure to set time aside to get a good nights rest! A proper nights sleep can benefit your mind, weight, and mood!

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Migraine Triggers

Many migraine patients recognize specific triggers to their headaches. Migraine patients are more sensitive to certain substances in their foods and environments as well as changes to their routine. Too much or too little sleep, changes in exercise routines, and processed foods can worsen migraine headaches.Heavy, flowery scents or cigarette smoke are frequent triggers.

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Writers Cramp

Task-specific dystonia, also known as “writers cramp” can occur in people who do repetitive movements.

It gets its name task-specific because classically, it only occurs during one specific task. It can be inherited, secondary to an underlying neurologic cause, or occur sporadically.

It is often initiated by voluntary movement with symptoms “overflowing” into adjacent muscles causing involuntary muscle cramping of adjacent fingers, wrist, and can include forearm. It can sometimes resemble a tremor. The most common task-specific dystonia is writers cramp, but this also frequently occurs in musicians due to the repetitive motions of playing an instrument. Treatments range from conservative measures such as occupational therapy and stretching to Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections of affected muscles if severely limiting function.

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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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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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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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