Proper Lifting and Carrying Techniques

lifting and carrying 2There are many different issues that can occur with the spine and they may occur for a wide variety of reasons. In some cases, it may be blunt force trauma that occurs as a result of an automobile accident or perhaps a slip and fall accident. More than likely, however, the back pain that you are experiencing has resulted from improper lifting or carrying techniques. Understanding how to lift things properly and carry them can make quite a different in your ability to avoid serious problems with your spine.

First of all, you need to understand that your back is not something that should be used to lift with. The muscles and bones in your back can help with lifting but if you put the primary responsibility of lifting the load on the spine, you are going to end up hurting it. It is also important to understand that a back injury doesn't always occur immediately because of improper lifting. Each time you lift something improperly, it may end up injuring your back further eventually, it will catch up with you. Doing things right from the start is the way that you can avoid these problems.

lifting and carryingOne of the first things that you are going to hear when it comes to proper lifting techniques is lift with your knees. I can't stress the importance of that factor enough, because your legs are very strong but the muscles in your back are weak in comparison. When you crouch down to lift something up and keep your back align properly, it helps to avoid the unnatural and unnecessary pressure on your spine that could easily lead to problems. The same is also true when you are putting something back down again. Continue to use your legs as the primary method of lifting.

You should also never use two motions at one time, because that is what the bulk of spine injuries occur. If you are lifting something, lift it until you are standing erect and then you can begin moving. Many men will hurt their backs when they are lifting a tire off of a car, for example, because they tend to lift and twist at the same time. There's nothing wrong with twisting, nor is there anything wrong with lifting but when you do the two of them together, you have serious problems.

Finally, make sure that you are carrying things properly because it can alleviate some of the unnatural strain on your back. Keep heavy loads close to your body and make sure that you never lift something that is too heavy for you to handle. When you pay attention to the way that you lift and carry items, it is not only going to make it easier and more comfortable, it can help you to avoid serious issues with your back.

When You Can Start Running Again after Back Surgery

safe to runLeading an active life is a very important part of staying healthy. Although there may be many activities that can help us to stay healthy, one that is a choice of many people is running. It's a great form of aerobic exercise and can strengthen the entire body. Many people also find it to be very relaxing as well, because running gives them some solitude they may not otherwise get. Unfortunately, when you are experiencing back problems, it can stop you from running for a while.

Another issue that you may face is when your back problem required some form of back surgery. When that happens, many people will ask when they can begin running again and some may even wonder if they are ever going to be able to start running again. You will be happy to know that, in most cases, you can eventually work your way back to running again but it is something that needs to be considered on a case by case basis. That is why it is important for you to dicuss the matter with your physician, because they understand the specifics of your case.

safe to run 2When you first have spine surgery, the initial phases of your recovery can be quite difficult. Even if you have a high level of physical fitness, you may find that it is taking some time for you to fully recover. It is important for you to pace yourself or else you may find that you are entering your back further. Don't expect that you will be often running on the day following your surgery. Your physician will give you more of the timeline as to when you can return to normal activities.

When you feel as if you are ready to go back to some type of normal activity, you would not want to jump into things right away. You may have maintained a certain level of physical fitness but it is probably going to be necessary for you to work your way up to running again. Start with a small distance and a slow pace, perhaps even walking around the block a few times.

It is also very important for you to listen to your body carefully when you are starting any type of serious physical activity. Most runners have grown accustomed to dealing with pain and they tend to push their way beyond it. That may be fine if you are not having back problems but if you just had surgery, discomfort could be more than something that you learn to get over. If your body is trying to tell use to stop, listen to it.

Don't be disappointed if things don't go as quickly as you would like after your surgery takes place. Your body does take time to heal, so give it the time that it needs and eventually, you will be able to get back to your normal lifestyle.

Managing Your Medications

manage your medicationWhen you find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with pain on a regular basis, it may be necessary for you to take some medication. That is especially true of back pain, a relatively common problem but one that could require a number of prescriptions as well as over-the-counter medicines so that you can successfully overcome the pain that you are experiencing. When you are dealing with the problem directly, it can be difficult to come up with a plan that would help you to have everything in line properly. The following information can help you to manage your medications in a way that will allow you to take advantage of all that life has to offer.

First of all, it's important for you to have a complete understanding of the medicines that you are taking. Not only should you know what they do and how frequently you may be able to take them, you should also understand the side effects that may be possible and any interactions that may exist between the drugs that are prescribed to you as well. Keep in mind that some interactions may occur, even with over-the-counter medicines or dietary supplements.

manage your medications 2One of the reasons why it is important to manage your medications in such a way is because of living life and what it may entail. For example, you may decide that you want to try to get out to the grocery store so you may need to take medicine at a certain time so you are able to do so or avoid medicine so you don't get drowsy while you are out and about.

It also helps to have somebody else assist you when it comes to managing your medications. They should also be familiar with all the drugs that you are taking, why you're taking them and the potential side effects. Perhaps they may notice that you are experiencing some type of difficulty and can remind you that it is time to take a certain medicine or ask you if you have taken it recently. Having somebody there to help you in such a way is certainly beneficial. It can help to keep you from skipping medications that are important or taking too many or the possibility of overdosing or increasing the likelihood of side effects.

There are also some additional tips for managing your medications that would be beneficial to keep in mind. Many people find that using a pill organizer is the best way to keep all the medicine straight. Taking the medicine at the same time every day can help you to get on the schedule and be sure that you take the medicine properly. Never split up a time release pill or take a dose to quickly after another. Finally, be sure that you carry a list of medicines at all time in your purse or wallet. It will come in handy in a variety of situations.

What Is a Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (Xlif)?

xlifThere are many problems that you may experience with your back. As a matter of fact, it is one of the more complex parts of the human body as it is a number of individual bones that are interconnected and held apart by small discs, known as the intervertebral discs. When you have problems with the discs, it can lead to a number of difficulties, including severe pain. That is because the vertebrae may end up coming in contact with the nerve, and this can cause the pain that you are experiencing.

One of the issues that some people experience with their spine is known as degenerative disc disease. This is a relatively common problem that can result in pain and radiating numbness or weakness that comes from the degenerated disc in the spine. That may seem like somewhat of a simplistic diagnosis, but the fact of the matter is, many people don't understand what the diagnosis means when they get it. Although it has the word disease in the name, it is actually not a disease but rather, it is a degenerative condition.

alifIf you have a problem with degenerative disc disease, your doctor may recommend that you have a type of procedure that is known as lateral lumbar interbody fusion. This is a type of procedure in which the surgeon is accessing the disc space and fuses the lumbar spine, which is the lower back, in order to relieve some of the pressure and to relieve you of the symptoms that you are experiencing. It is one of a number of different spinal fusion options that may be recommended by your surgeon to treat a specific type of lumbar spinal disorder. Degenerative disc disease is one of those disorders, as is lumbar disc herniations and lumbar stenosis.

The procedure is typically known as being minimally invasive. This can be of benefit to you, because it does not require a larger incision but rather, is a smaller incision and will typically result in less recovery time. It is commonly performed through one of those small incisions with a retractor that spreads the tissue so the surgeon is able to see the spine. In minimally invasive surgery, it may also be possible that the doctor does not use a retractor. This is something that should be discussed with the physicians before the surgery takes place.

As is the case with many spine problems, nonsurgical options will likely be considered along with any surgical options that your doctor may discuss with you. Be sure that you ask questions of the doctor, so that you can feel comfortable in what is taking place and of the options that are available. Since this is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, it is unlikely that you will have extensive tissue damage or long recovery time.

spinal stenosis 1Spinal stenosis is the most common reason why people 60 years or older need spine surgery. It is typically caused by the wear and tear that can occur in the spine with age, resulting in cramping, numbness, weakness and substantial pain. It is also characterized by a “pins and needles” feeling in the legs that gets worse when you walk. If you have this condition and you are thinking of having a procedure performed to correct it, here are some of the things you should talk about with your Dallas area surgeon.

The Big Question

The most important thing you’ll want to know, of course, is whether you will need surgery to treat your spinal stenosis or if a non-surgical option will work. The majority of people are able to live with their symptoms and manage them through treatments such as epidural steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medication or physiotherapy. But if those don’t work, then it will be time to talk to a doctor about a surgical alternative.

There are several key considerations that you’ll need to keep in mind when deciding whether surgery is the best option for you. Here are some of the most important ones.

  • Spinal stenosis is typically not a progressive condition, meaning it won’t get worse over time. You may notice that the pain tends to come and go. As a result, there is usually no urgent reason to have surgery.
  • The exception, however, is if a patient experiences progressive weakness in the legs. If that is the case, the more he or she waits to have surgery, the more of a risk there will be for long-term damage to the nerves.
  • Surgery typically works very well for people have experience leg pain and have trouble walking comfortably due to spinal stenosis. However, if the condition is related to physical activity such as athletics or a job that requires physical exertion, surgery is less reliable.

At Neuro & Spine Wellness Center, we will carefully spell out all of the pros and cons of surgery and thoroughly explore all available non-surgical options. If surgery is the best course of action, we will make sure you know exactly what to expect before, during and after the procedure. Schedule a consultation today by contacting us online or calling 214-494-0455

What to Expect After You Return Home

spine doctor400 207x300 2If you are preparing to visit a spine surgeon near Allen for a spinal fusion procedure, you are no doubt wondering how long it will take for you to recover completely. While everyone is different, of course, and your recovery will depend on several different factors, here is some general information on what to expect.

The First Few Days

Once you’re discharged, you can expect to be in pain for some time. Your doctor will prescribe medication to help you manage that pain – however, you should not drive or drink alcohol while taking the medication because it may cause impaired judgment as well as drowsiness. There is a possibility your spine surgeon will recommend that you use an ice pack for further pain management.

You may feel extremely tired or run down for a few days because your body is going through a great deal of healing. As a result, your doctor may also recommend that you take a few short walks as you gradually increase other activities. You will probably need to avoid any motions that involve twisting or bending, and you’ll definitely need to avoid lifting heavy objects.

One to Three Months After the Surgery

You’ll need to keep movement affecting the fused segments to a minimum for a few months. Don’t lift anything more than 10-15 pounds, and you’ll still need to refrain from twisting or bending. However, you’ll want to resume as many of your normal activities as you can. Your spine surgeon will provide you a detailed list of what you can and can’t do.

After Three Months

More than likely, your exercise program will become more intense. The more of an effort you put into the program, the more progress you’ll make. In order to get the best results, you’ll need to commit to putting in the work your physical therapist recommends.

At Neuro & Spine Wellness Center, your spine surgeon near Allen will be committed to making sure you have the best possible chance of living the type of life you love. If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 214-494-0455.

What to Cover During Your Consultation

If you’re planning to visit a Frisco neurosurgeon with Neuro & Spine Wellness Center, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible before the consultation. You’ll not only be well informed regarding your procedure, you’ll also feel a lot more comfortable. Either write these down or memorize them; if need be, bring someone with you to make sure the right questions are asked.

What to Cover During Your Consultation

back pain exam400 300x252If you’re planning to visit a Frisco neurosurgeon with Neuro & Spine Wellness Center, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible before the consultation. You’ll not only be well informed regarding your procedure, you’ll also feel a lot more comfortable. Either write these down or memorize them; if need be, bring someone with you to make sure the right questions are asked.

Don’t Put Up with Back Pain

If you’re suffering from back pain in Frisco, it’s time to see the experts with the Neuro and Spine Wellness Center. We offer a wide range of treatment options, from non-surgical alternatives to the most advanced surgical techniques, such as minimally-invasive back surgery. This procedure could provide the relief you seek if you have conditions such as herniated discs, degenerative arthritis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and others.

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Importance of Spinal Cord Health

Protecting your spine is vital to your overall health. Damage to the spine can lead to a number of serious health concerns, including limited mobility and severe pain. In fact, spinal damage is such a big deal that it could even lead to death in cases where your spinal cord health is compromised. Thankfully, there are a number of simple things you can do each day to protect your spine, improve its health, and avoid any kind of back pain or neck pain.

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Looking at the Symptoms

New findings from a recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics suggest that children who suffer concussions may experience symptoms that linger longer than in adults, and some affected children may experience the effects of concussions later in life. Participants in the study were provided with a questionnaire after suffering a concussion. The answers provided show that headache is the most common immediate response to a concussion, but that emotional and cognitive problems may be experienced for weeks after the initial incident. Additionally, the symptoms experienced by the studied participants seemed to change over time, with headaches being alleviated and replaced with sleep disturbance and difficulty concentrating.

Back Pain Relief Starts With Knowing About Your Spine First

14119027 l 300x244Several factors can be in play with something like back pain, but the spine is the most crucial element to examine when investigating possible causes.  Most people are unfamiliar with the anatomical breakdown of the spine.  It seems to be only one element of the body, but the fact is that the spine is actually comprised of various sections that serve multiple purposes.

surgery nurse400 300x199People often refer to brain surgery as being among the most complex of all medical procedures, and brain surgeons are often considered to be among the most respected medical professionals. What people may not know, however, is what is really involved in brain surgery, how it’s performed, and why. Like other surgeries, brain surgery requires incredible skill and knowledge, but because the brain is made up of so many various areas and parts that perform many different functions, brain surgery also requires a level of understanding of neurology that isn’t required in other types of surgical settings.

When is Brain Surgery Required?

Brain surgery can be required for a number of different reasons, but one of the most common is to remove tumors. Brain tumors can appear due to cancer or they may form in a benign manner, but regardless of the cause, tumors in the brain can have serious consequences. Another reason for brain surgery may be to repair damage suffered due to physical injury, such as when skull fragments are touching the brain after a patient has been injured in an accident. Brain surgery may also be performed after a serious medical event, such as a stroke or aneurysm.

Image-Guided Surgery in Frisco

6405607 l 300x199In the past, spine surgery generally required invasive techniques that caused a great deal of post-operative pain and long healing times for patients. As technology advanced, minimally invasive techniques were discovered that reduced healing times and post-operative pain. Today, neuro and spine surgeons at The Neuro & Spine Wellness Center have access to image-guided surgery, a type of surgery that allows the surgeon to see what is going on during the procedure in real time inside of the body. This allows for precise operations and a level of accuracy and care that was not available previously.

How Does Image Guided Surgery Work?

Image-guided surgery works like many other surgeries, but the main difference is in the technology. Depending upon the level of complexity of the surgery, the patient will be anesthetized prior to the operation. The neurosurgeon will then identify the area to be examined or repaired and mark it. Small incisions will be made and scopes or other tools will be inserted. A camera that is connected to a monitor and an imaging machine will show the surgeon exactly where his or her tools are inside of the patient. During this process, the surgeon will also be able to see elements of the patient’s body, including any damaged tissue. Once the operation is complete, the incisions will be closed and the patient will be taken to a recovery area.

Concussions Have Many Causes and Symptoms

While most people only associate concussions with car accidents, there are actually a number of ways in which someone may be concussed without being inside of a motor vehicle. While it’s true that motor vehicle accidents do make up a large portion of all concussion cases, sports injuries, falls, and fights are also leading contributing factors in the amount of concussions suffered by Frisco, Allen, Aubrey, McKinney, Plano, and Prosper, TX residents each year.

How a Concussion Occurs

Simply put, a concussion happens when the brain is forced against the walls of the skull, both during acceleration or deceleration. In most cases, a concussion will only truly occur when the brain has been forced against the skull rapidly with strong pressure, but this is not always the case. Repeated pressure against the skull by the brain can also lead to a concussion over time, and even semi-hard physical trauma can lead to a concussion. Other complications of such physical injuries may include neck pain or even a possible herniated disc injury.