November, 2020

Below are links to articles posted in November, 2020


5 Exercises to Relieve Pain from a Bulging Cervical (Neck) Disc

A bulging cervical disc can be extremely painful and, in some cases, lead to permanent disabilities. People with bulging cervical discs typically experience pain in the neck, shoulder, arms, and chest, whereas some don’t have any pain at all. Depending on your circumstances, a more thorough pain management plan involving medicine, surgery, or rehabilitation may be better suited for you. However, those with dull pain may benefit from a range of undemanding stretches and exercises for relief.

Before performing any exercises, it’s best to consult with a qualified doctor or physical therapist for a personalized plan. Disclaimer: Some exercises may not be right for your specific condition, and there are certainly ones you should avoid, such as weightlifting or overly strenuous activities. Here are five generally safe exercises to relieve pain from a bulging cervical disc.

Shoulder Mobility Stretches

Bulging discs often significantly impact postural habits. If you lack strength, your neck may compensate by using your shoulders and upper back to move. Adjusting your posture can play a major role in reducing disc pressure in the neck while minimizing pain and correcting the shoulder and back position.

To improve your posture, try performing shoulder mobility stretches. These are stretches that help promote flexibility and activate your shoulder muscles as well as surrounding muscles to give you more strength. They may also help get rid of built-up tension and tightness. One helpful stretch you can do is to place your arms behind your back, interlock your hands, and slowly lift your arms up and down. Take breaks as needed and repeat throughout the day.

Cervical Chin Tuck Exercises

Another effective way to fix your posture is with chin tucks. This is an exercise that helps strengthen the upper cervical extensors, which are muscles that help support the neck and head in its upright position. To perform a cervical chin tuck, stand up straight, keep your upper back and head pulled back, and slowly move your head down. Hold it for a few seconds and then return to the starting position. Doing this stretch should provide you with almost immediate relief and provide a satisfying sensation.

Shoulder Squeezes

Poor posture can cause shoulders to round and the neck to hunch over. Gradually, poor posture can put an excessive amount of strain on those target areas, putting more wear and tear on the joints and increasing muscle fatigue. The purpose of the shoulder squeeze is to keep the shoulder muscles strong in order to achieve ideal shoulder alignment.

Either while sitting or standing, tuck your chin and place your arms at shoulder height. Make sure your palms are facing forward and your arms are bent at about a 45-degree angle. Begin pulling your arms and shoulders back until you feel your shoulder blades touch. Hold it for 10 seconds, then release. Do this stretch anywhere between 5 to 10 times.

Mini Trampoline Workouts

Mini trampoline workouts are great for warming up the body and getting blood flow circulating. This can help reduce inflammation, build stronger bones, and promote stability. Mini trampoline workouts are also beneficial because you can do them for longer without putting too much stress on the body. All you need is a small trampoline and, if you want, some music or television. It’s always best to start with exercises that are easy to do, such as walking or marching in place. Remember, don’t try to push beyond your physical limits. It’s not worth aggravating your neck.

Stability Ball Exercises

Just like the exercises and stretches above, stability ball exercises can be done right in the comfort of your own home. They can help get your body moving without too much effort. This reduces the load on your joints, increases muscle activity, and regulates coordination and balance. One recommended stability ball exercise is to sit on the ball and place your arms on the ball or at your sides—whichever feels best and keeps you stable. Then, begin lightly bouncing on the ball for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Manage Neck Pain at Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery in Fl

Hopefully, a few of these exercises can alleviate your neck pain. If not, find your nearest Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery clinic in Florida. Our medical team has a long history of providing compassionate care and the newest, most technologically advanced procedures and treatments. We strive to be the medical center of choice to obtain exceptional care in Florida.

Choose a medical group that cares. When you choose Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery, you’ll have peace of mind knowing our commitment is to you. To get started towards a life free of neck pain, call (855) 853-6542 or complete our contact form today.


What Are Potential Long-Term Effects of Untreated Whiplash Injuries?

After an accident, whether it’s a fall, sports injury, or car crash, people often say “oh, it was just minor whiplash.” While whiplash is often treatable, it can be more serious than you initially presume. One of the most important steps you can take after an accident, even if you feel no pain, is seeking medical care. This is because untreated whiplash injuries can lead to bigger, long-term health issues.

Whiplash injuries affect nearly 3 million people every year. Sure, a percentage of those people may be able to treat their whiplash with at-home remedies and get back to their normal lives. Those people are extremely lucky, though—the same can’t be said for the majority of accident victims that suffer whiplash.

Whiplash: Definition and Symptoms

Whiplash is a neck injury that damages soft tissue after a sudden and forceful impact that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. A quick jolt can overstretch and tear the muscles, tendons, ligaments, or tissues in the neck. People may feel pain in their neck or shoulders right away. However, this is typically not the case for most accident victims because during an accident, adrenaline kicks in, pouring cortisol into the bloodstream and blocking pain signals from entering the brain. Consequently, people may not feel pain for days or even weeks.

Once pain does develop, the symptoms may not look the same in everyone. Generally, symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck tension and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Soreness in the upper body
  • Loss of normal range of motion
  • Trouble focusing

If you seek medical care from a doctor, they’ll likely prescribe you muscle relaxants and recommend applying hot and cold packs, taking over-the-counter medicines, and resting. When treated promptly, symptoms of whiplash may clear up within a week or two. Failure to treat whiplash can turn a mild case into a serious one.

Ignoring the Signs of Whiplash Can Lead to Bigger Health Issues

It’s tempting to ignore or refuse to seek care when you feel no pain at all. The price you pay for leaving whiplash untreated, both financially and health-wise, outweighs the monetary price of treating it when your symptoms first appear. Here are some bigger health issues you risk developing if you ignore the signs of whiplash.

Chronic Pain

Inevitably, when pain is not treated, it’s going to last longer. For some, it may get worse. That’s why untreated whiplash can lead to chronic pain. Connective tissues in the neck are delicate, so when they’re torn, they need proper time and treatment to heal. Continuing to perform daily activities puts pressure on these already damaged tissues which can intensify the pain for longer periods of time.

Many people report experiencing severe headaches that radiate pain in the back of the head. Chronic daily headaches can make performing activities feel impossible. From nausea and exhaustion to weakness and confusion, chronic headaches can result in debilitating neurological issues that can affect your life for years to come.

Mobility Difficulties

Excessive inflammation and swelling will produce tenderness and stiffness in the neck. When moving your neck, you may encounter serious mobility difficulties like a reduced range of motion and weakness in the neck. Mobility problems can lead to permanent disabilities, affecting your ability to do even the simplest tasks such as walking, eating, and sleeping.

Vertigo/ Spine Misalignment

Vertigo is a condition that causes people to feel like they’re moving or spinning when they’re not. Vertigo is often referred to as dizzy spells and may be accompanied by nausea, loss of balance, lightheadedness, and confusion.

Vertigo and other spinal disorders may be triggered when the spine misaligns. A forceful blow to the head can make the vertebrae in your spine move out of place. Losing the optimal alignment of the spine may cause you to lose functional strength, and your spine may become more vulnerable to a disc tear.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Cervical discs in the neck prevent bones from grinding together. These spinal discs act as shock absorbers and are made of a strong, cartilage-like exterior with a softer, gel-like interior. Untreated whiplash can cause these spinal discs to absorb water and become stiffer, thinner, and more brittle—this is called degenerative disc disease. Damages to the discs can make moving difficult and put additional pressure on nerves, which can result in serious chronic pain in the back, neck, legs, and arms.

Treat Whiplash With Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery in FL

It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to recognize and treat whiplash immediately. If you’re experiencing symptoms of whiplash, reach out to the NJ Spine and Orthopedics medical team in Florida: Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery. Our experienced spine and orthopedic doctors will conduct a comprehensive analysis of your pain to propose a personalized treatment recovery plan for you. Remember, when it comes to your health, you can’t take chances.

At Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery, our mission is to relieve your pain so you can concentrate on what matters most and perform your everyday activities without the inconvenience of pain. No matter the state of your condition, the key is to tackle it with a trusted and renowned medical group on your side. For specific information about your condition, call (855) 853-6542 or complete our contact form today.


Identifying Varicose Veins and Finding Temporary Relief

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins found in your legs. Any superficial vein may become varicose. Many people think that these veins are only a cosmetic concern, but they could cause significant pain and discomfort if left untreated. Knowing the symptoms of varicose veins are vital so your condition doesn’t worsen. Treatment can involve at-home remedies or procedures by a doctor.

If you’re experiencing pain from varicose veins, know that there are options to put your discomfort in the past.

Varicose Vein Symptoms

Varicose veins may not cause you any pain, but you may have them if you have dark purple- or blue-colored veins or veins that appear twisted or are bulging. When painful symptoms occur, they may include:

  • A heavy feeling in your legs
  • Burning, throbbing, or swelling in your lower legs
  • Pain after sitting or standing for long periods
  • Severe itching around a vein
  • Skin discoloration

These symptoms tend to worsen during warm days. Blood vessels dilate with higher temperatures, making it harder for valves to function correctly. Symptoms can also worsen as the day progresses and more blood pools around your ankles.

Who Gets Varicose Veins?

More than 20% of all adults are affected by varicose veins in the United States. There are a few increased risk factors, though.

  • Age: The risk of getting varicose veins increases with age. As we become older, general wear and tear on the valves of our veins increases, which causes blood flow to be blocked.
  • Sex: Women are more likely to develop this condition, although anyone can develop varicose veins. Hormonal changes throughout pregnancy may be a factor as pregnancy hormones tend to relax vein walls.
  • Obesity: Being overweight often adds extra pressure on your veins, causing blood to become backed up.

Like any condition, there is a group that is most at risk for developing varicose veins. However, anyone, regardless of their age, sex, or health, can develop the condition.

How to Get Relief from Varicose Veins

There are several at-home remedies you could try to reduce pain from your varicose veins. However, if your problem is severe or continues after you try different home treatments, you should consider consulting a vein specialist.

Elevate Your Legs

For immediate relief, try elevating your legs above your heart. You can place your feet on a table, stretch them on a wall, or lie down in bed and rest your legs on a few pillows. This will allow blood to move easier from your lower body to your heart. You should keep legs elevated for at least 15 minutes for this treatment to be effective.

Exercise

Regular exercise will allow for better blood circulation in the legs, which helps to push along the blood collected in the veins. Exercise also helps lower blood pressure, which is another contributing factor to varicose veins forming. Low-impact exercises are best, like swimming, walking, or yoga.

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are available at most pharmacies and retailers and can aid in applying pressure to the legs. Compression stockings assist the muscles and veins in moving blood toward the heart.

Use Cold Water

If your legs are in pain at the end of the day, consider taking a cold shower. Cool temperatures cause blood vessels to shrink, which should alleviate swelling in the legs. Avoid hot temperatures when showering, as heat has a negative effect on veins.

How to Prevent Varicose Vein Pain

As with other chronic conditions, preventing pain from varicose veins is critical. Compression socks or stockings throughout the day can help tremendously, but tight clothes and shoes won’t make your varicose veins feel any better. They put too much pressure on different areas of your body and constrict blood flow.

Consult the Specialists at Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery

Consider visiting the expert medical team at Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery if you suffer from varicose vein pain. Our award-winning, board-certified doctors will start by looking at your medical history, performing a physical exam, and evaluate your movements. After assessing your condition, our team will explore all medical options beginning with conservative treatment methods. If our doctors do recommend surgery, our team will use advanced, minimally invasive techniques that eliminate pain and discomfort.

You should be comfortable in your skin and shouldn’t have to suffer. Call us today at (855) 853-6542 or complete our online contact form today.


Are There Noninvasive Treatments for Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are visibly swollen and twisted veins that usually affect the legs and feet. These enlarged and painful veins are often surrounded by patches of flooded capillaries known as spider veins. The condition is considered painful and disfiguring, but it isn’t life-threatening. In fact, varicose veins are a relatively common condition that affects about 23 percent of all Americans. For many people, varicose veins derive from family genetics.

For those individuals suffering from varicose veins, there are several noninvasive treatment options that you may consider, including procedures like radiofrequency ablation and sclerotherapy. However, this wasn’t always the case. Until recently, treatment involved much more aggressive and intrusive techniques that posed health risks for patients. From the history of varicose vein treatment to the minimal or noninvasive treatment options available for you today, here’s everything you need to know.

What Are the Types of Noninvasive Treatments for Varicose Veins?

Not long ago, the traditional method for treating varicose veins involved removing or tying off a large vein in the leg called the superficial saphenous vein. This surgical technique was called “vein stripping.” During the operation, the surgeon would make two or three cuts in your leg near the top, middle, and bottom of the damaged vein through which a plastic wire was threaded. After the wire was tied to the vein, it was pulled out through the lower cut, towing the vein out with it.

As medical technology has advanced, doctors have developed more minimal and noninvasive methods with which to remove varicose veins. These include the following:

Sclerotherapy

This is a form of treatment that involves injecting a solution called a sclerosant into the blood or lymph vessels, causing them to shrink. The sclerosant scars the vein and causes it to collapse, forcing blood to reroute to healthier veins. Your body eventually destroys the veins, which then begin to disappear over time. Another similar treatment option is called “foam sclerotherapy” and involves turning the sclerosant into a foam before injecting it into the vein, which serves to cover a larger surface area than the liquid does.

Radiofrequency Ablation

This is a non-surgical procedure that uses heat and radiofrequency energy to reduce or stop the transmission of pain. Your doctor will begin by numbing the vein and using an ultrasound to see inside the leg. The vein wall will heat up, thicken, contract, and eventually be reabsorbed by the body and disappear. Similar to sclerotherapy, this treatment option takes some time—often a few weeks or months—to see its full results.

Endovenous Laser Ablation

This is a minimally invasive procedure that, similar to radiofrequency ablation, uses the energy from heat in order to close your abnormal veins. However, instead of radiofrequency, this technique involves the use of laser energy. A laser fiber is placed into the diseased vein using a small cut in the skin. After the area around the skin is numbed, the laser fiber shrinks the vein, which will then be reabsorbed by your body over time. This process usually takes about 30 minutes.

What Can You Expect Before, During, and After Your Treatment for Varicose Veins?

A medical professional will walk you through all the steps of this process. Before the procedure, make sure to inform your doctor if you’re pregnant, have any allergies, or are taking any medications. During the procedure—no matter which option you and your doctor settle on—you’ll likely be awake. In the case of radiofrequency ablation or endovenous laser ablation, both you and your doctor will be required to wear protective goggles in order to shield your eyes from the radiofrequency and laser energy. You may feel slight pressure when the catheter is inserted or minor stinging if a sclerosant solution is injected into the vein.

After the procedure, you may be required to wear a leg bandage for several days to control any potential swelling and bleeding. You should plan to avoid activities like strenuous exercise, hot baths, and driving. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more specific suggestions based on the circumstances of your condition and treatment.

Visit the Experts at NJ Spine and Orthopedic

If you’re suffering from varicose veins, consider reaching out to the trusted medical professionals at NJ Spine and Orthopedic for treatment. Our experienced and board-certified neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists, and physicians will talk with you one-on-one about your specific injury or condition and discuss treatment options that are right for you. We’re dedicated to providing patients with minimally invasive techniques that will reduce their pain and encourage faster recovery times.

At NJ Spine and Orthopedic, we can help treat your varicose veins, relieve you of your pain, and get you on the road to recovery. If you think you’re suffering from varicose veins but are unsure the cause of your pain, take our free onlinepain assessment quiz. If you know your condition but want to discover the appropriate treatment options, consider utilizing our Treatment Finder. Otherwise, give us a call at (866) 272-9271 or complete our contact form today.


Debunking 8 Myths Associated With Varicose Veins

Nobody wants blue, bulging, or twisted veins, otherwise known as varicose veins. These veins can be seen and felt beneath the surface of your skin. If you’ve been diagnosed with varicose veins, you’re probably trying to learn what’s fact versus what’s fiction. Here are eight myths associated with varicose veins.

If you’d like to learn more about varicose veins or believe you may suffer from them, a specialist can tell you more about them and how they may affect your daily life.

Myth #1: Varicose Veins Are Only a Cosmetic Problem

Spider veins are a smaller version of varicose veins that are a cosmetic issue. While varicose veins are visible on your legs or ankles and may bother you for cosmetic reasons, these veins can impact your health and may cause swelling, increase your risk of blood clots, or cause excessive bleeding.

Another common myth associated with cosmetics is that surgery will only improve the appearance of your legs and ankles. Surgery will indeed improve the physical appearance of veins, but symptoms like discomfort, heaviness, and swelling often get better with treatment as well.

Myth #2: Crossing Your Legs Causes Varicose Veins

Crossing your legs and wearing tight shoes or pants do not cause varicose veins. Those conditions may have exacerbated the veins, but external pressure does not cause veins to bulge. Instead, it’s more likely due to defective valves in veins or weakened vein walls.

Myth #3: Working on Hard Surfaces All Day Will Cause Varicose Veins

A widespread myth is that those who work on hard surfaces all day like concrete have a higher chance of developing varicose veins. Working on hard surfaces can contribute to musculoskeletal pains but has minimal effect on varicose veins.

Pressure does increase with inactivity, like sitting or standing for long periods. Taking short walks or doing calf exercises throughout the day can help relieve symptoms.

Myth #4: Exercise Makes Varicose Veins Worse

Exercise typically decreases pressure in the legs, which should reduce the chances of varicose veins forming. Leg pain can occur in some patients, but it’s more often associated with arterial disease or vein obstruction from blood clots or other abnormalities.

Myth #5: Pregnancy Causes Varicose Veins

Like crossing legs, pregnancy may exacerbate varicose veins, but it won’t be the direct cause of them. Most varicose veins that appear during pregnancy fade after delivery. Treatment can actually be completed in between pregnancies.

Myth #6: Only Older Women Have Varicose Veins

Indeed, varicose veins occur mainly in women. But men have a chance of having them as well. The risk of developing these types of veins increases with age, but even young adults can develop them. Close to a third of adults have varicose veins.

Myth #7: Insurance Does Not Pay for Vein Treatment

Treatment all depends on your coverage, but many plans tend to cover it if you’re experiencing pain, swelling, or bleeding. However, insurance companies may require you to try compression socks or stockings before surgery. Compression socks may be necessary for up to six weeks after surgery as well. Massages can also reduce swelling or discomfort, but it alone won’t make varicose veins go away.

Myth #8: Varicose Veins Will Return After Surgery

Varicose veins will not always return after treatment. There is a higher risk of veins returning after surgery, but the minimally invasive techniques offered today have a lower risk of veins reoccurring.

Visit the Specialists at Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery

If you’re suffering from varicose veins, consider visiting the expert team at Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery. We are proud to perform some of the most contemporary surgical treatments using state-of-the-art equipment. Our surgeries are non-invasive, allowing patients to get back to their normal activities sooner.

Our award-winning, board-certified medical team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists, and physicians use a patient-centered approach when creating treatment plans. Give us a call at (855) 853-6542 or complete our online contact form today!


COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to ongoing efforts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities, our office hours may vary. However, our physicians will be offering ONLINE appointments during this time to address your medical needs. To learn more about this exciting new service, contact our patient advocates today!