All Posts Tagged: neck pain

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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Cell Phones and Neck Pain

Cell phones and neck pain

A new catchphrase in the health care world is Text Neck. It is a term that describes neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at a cell phone, tablet, or other electronic device for too long. In today’s society the cell phone is very much a necessity to most people and as a result, individuals begin to experience pain from overuse of these handy little devices.

 

Symptoms of Text Neck

  • Upper back pain (nagging pain to sharp, with or without muscle spasms)
  • Shoulder pain
  • Radiating pain in the arms or hands due to poor postural alignment

Treatment of Text Neck

  • Use handheld devices at eye level as much as possible
  • Take frequent breaks every 20-30 minutes
  • Physical Therapy
    • Core strengthening/stabilization exercises
    • Cervical musculature stretching
    • Soft Tissue Mobilization
    • Modalities for pain

 

The link below does an excellent job of explaining cervical spine anatomy and how it relates with neck pain, including “text neck”: https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spine-anatomy/cervical-spine-anatomy-and-neck-pain

 

Image courtesy of: Always Connected. How Smartphones and Social Keep US Engaged\

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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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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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Myelopathy

Myelopathy is a term used to describe dysfunction of the spinal cord. This most commonly occurs due to degenerative or aging changes in the spine.  Degenerative changes occur in everyone to varying degrees. Common radiologic signs of degenerative changes include enlargement of the joints, degradation of the disks and bone, bone spurs and even herniated disks. Most of the time these changes do not cause problems. However, in some patients these changes can cause significant narrowing of the spinal canal resulting in spinal stenosis. Stenosis can cause pressure on the spinal cord and cause spinal cord dysfunction or myelopathy. The spinal cord relays information from the brain to the rest of your body and myelopathy can interrupt these important neurological pathways causing discomfort.

Symptoms may include: 

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Non-Invasive Treatment for Neck Pain

Cervical Steroid Injections

Our primary goal is to relieve patient’s pain, while taking the least invasive route. Often times when someone has neck pain, it is best to start with Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections. Cervical Epidural Steroid injections are often used to relieve pain in the neck, arms and shoulders. Neck pain is often caused by conditions like herniated discs, bulging discs, arthritis and spinal stenosis, which can cause compression and pinched nerves. To relieve pain associated with these, we often times recommend getting a series of three injections

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How to Avoid Neck Pain at Work

Have you ever arrived to work and before the hectic day has even begun you are already experiencing the nagging and far too familiar feeling of neck pain?

By: Jessica Beggs, DPT (Legacy Neurosurgery Physical Therapist)

There are many sources of neck pain but one that is commonly overlooked is body positioning throughout the work day. According to a recent study by Caio et al. neck pain is a common condition that can cause substantial disability and is of high prevalence with individuals who perform occupational activities while sitting and leaning.1 So, what type of employment fits that job description? This data is not limited to computer programmers and call centers but instead could be applied to nearly all job styles! When sitting, leaning forward is a position that the body sometimes naturally assumes especially when driving a car, using a phone, or working on a computer. It requires countless muscle fibers to recruit and a conscious effort to maintain upright posturing.

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