April, 2021

Below are links to articles posted in April, 2021


Is Sciatica Pain Worse in the Morning?

Back pain is one of the most troublesome and discomforting feelings that someone can experience. It can make simple activities such as walking feel difficult and painful. However, at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we often hear patients question why their sciatica pain is worse in the morning. Keep reading to learn more about why your sciatica is worse when the sun rises, how to alleviate any discomfort, and how to sleep correctly with this condition.

Why Is Sciatica Pain Worse When I Wake Up?

Sciatica is a sharp, shooting nerve pain down the back, buttocks, and thighs. You might feel a tingling sensation or numbness in the affected areas. Many report that it is painful to walk, sit, or stand. The condition is caused by inflammation or pinching of the sciatic nerve in the lower back. It might form from a herniated disc, bone spur, or other injuries.

Sciatica is often worse in the morning because of the way you sleep. Laying in incorrect and awkward positions can irritate nerves because you compress the exit spaces in the spinal column. This limits the space nerve roots have to travel and can worsen your condition.

How to Alleviate Morning Sciatica Pain

If you feel that your sciatica pain is worse in the morning, you can do a few stretches to alleviate the pain. Consider trying the following:

  • Sitting pigeon pose: Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out. Bend your right leg, putting the right ankle on top of the left. Lean forward and let your upper body reach your upper thigh. Hold for about 15 seconds, and repeat on the left side.
  • Sitting spinal stretch: Lie on the ground with your legs straight out and feet flexed upward. Bend your right knee and place your foot flat on the floor outside of the opposite knee. Keep your left elbow on the outside of your right knee to gently turn your body to the right. Hold for 30 seconds, and switch sides.
  • Standing hamstring stretch: Put your right foot on an elevated surface at or below your hips. Bring your body slowly toward your foot. The further you go, the more you will stretch. If you feel pain, you went too far. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side.

When doing stretches, it is essential not to push yourself too far. Doing so may worsen your pain.

Tips for Sleeping with Sciatica

Since incorrect sleeping positions can cause pain in the morning, you should know what positions are the most comfortable. Sleeping on your side helps reduce discomfort by taking pressure off the irritated nerves. Make sure you lie with your injured side up and place a pillow between your knees.

The fetal position also opens up space between vertebrae, which might reduce back pain from a herniated disc. For added support and comfort, consider placing a pillow under your waist or between your knees.

Sleeping on the floor might also help alleviate pain. Soft surfaces can cause the spine to bend out of alignment. Lie a thin mat, such as a yoga or camping mat, on the floor and sleep in a comfortable position. While sleeping on the floor may not be the most comfortable, you may thank yourself in the morning.

Speak to the Back Doctors at NJ Spine & Orthopedic about Your Sciatica Today

If you are experiencing sharp, uncomfortable pain in your back, you might be suffering from sciatica. The earlier you visit the back doctors at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery for diagnosis and treatment, the better your results may be. Finding the source is usually the first step in determining the proper treatment. We typically begin with medication, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory injections to treat your pain.

If you are still experiencing pain after three months, our award-winning surgeons may recommend a minimally invasive surgery, such as a microdiscectomy. To schedule an appointment, call (855) 853-6542 or complete our online contact form today.


How to Tell the Difference Between Muscle Pain and Nerve Pain

Muscle pain and nerve pain might feel similar, and many people often mix up the two. However, when you look at them more closely, there are subtle differences between muscle and nerve pain. No matter the source, persistent pain can be burdensome and prevent us from enjoying everyday activities.

If you are uncertain about the cause of your pain, complete our free Pain Assessment Tool. You can then discover treatment options through our Treatment Finder. If your discomfort is persistent or worsens, contact the skilled back doctors at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery.

What is Muscle Pain?

Almost everyone experiences muscle aches or pains at some point. It can involve a small area or your whole body, ranging from minor to severe. Most aches and pains will go away on their own in time, but some can linger for months. You can experience pain anywhere in your body, including the neck, back, legs, or hands. The most common causes of muscle pain are tension, stress, overuse of muscles, or personal injuries. This type of pain is typically localized in a specific area.

Conversely, you might be experiencing systemic muscle pain, which is pain throughout the entire body. However, this is generally a side effect of an infection or medication. Some illnesses that might cause muscle pain include:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • COVID-19
  • Influenza
  • Lyme Disease

Regardless of the source of your muscle pain, you might feel a tender, throbbing, or stiff sensation in the affected area.

What is Nerve Pain?

Nerve pain occurs when a health condition affects the nerves that carry sensations to the brain. When you experience nerve pain, you may feel a shooting, stabbing, or burning sensation. Some patients even report they feel an electric-shock pain. Nerve pain is typically chronic, lasting longer than six months.

Causes of Nerve Pain

Nerve pain can form due to problems in the nervous system, which include the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Common causes can include:

  • Injury to the brain, spine, or nerves
  • Insufficient blood supply to nerves
  • Excessive drinking
  • Certain medications

Like muscle pain, certain conditions may also cause nerve pain, such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and even cancer.

When Should I See a Doctor about Muscle or Nerve Pain?

If you are experiencing pain for more than a few weeks, you should seek medical attention. Additionally, if your pain does not improve or worsens, schedule an appointment. Below are just a few signs to indicate when you should schedule an appointment with a doctor regarding your muscle or nerve pain.

  • Fever
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lack of control over bowel or bladder movements
  • Nighttime pain
  • Weakness in your arms or legs

If you have a family history of severe medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes, you should contact your doctor at the onset of your pain. Similarly, if you are experiencing pain as a result of an injury, seek medical attention right away.

Relieve Muscle or Nerve Pain at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery

When you need to relieve muscle or nerve pain, turn to the board-certified doctors at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery. Our doctors utilize the latest technology to treat and diagnose several medical conditions. When you first partner with us, one of our team members will work with you one-on-one to get to the root of your pain. We will then develop a treatment plan specific to your condition. Call (855) 853-6542 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment today.


4 Ways that Artists Can Prevent Wrist Pain

People don’t usually think of drawing, painting, and other artistic careers as involving a risk for injury. However, simply utilizing a pencil or paintbrush can become painful over time for many artists. Repetitive strain injuries, such as tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome, are prevalent in the art community. Continue reading to learn more about how artists can prevent wrist pain and tips on treating it.

Keep in mind that it is essential to monitor your symptoms. Most wrist pain will go away on its own within a few weeks. However, if your pain continues or increases, contact the doctors at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery. Our award-winning specialists will work with you to diagnose the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan specifically for your needs.

Stretch Your Wrists

One of the easiest ways to prevent and treat wrist pain is by stretching and taking breaks. Take a short 10-minute pause every hour. Depending on your situation, breaking every 30 minutes can be helpful, too.

By performing stretches intermittently while drawing or painting, you can reduce the pain and pressure on your wrists. Here are a few hand and wrist stretches that may help:

  • Praying position: Place your hands together in a praying position in front of your face with your elbows touching. Slowly spread your elbows apart, lowering your hands to your waist. Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat three times.
  • The claw: Hold your palm out in front of you, and bend your fingers until they touch the base of each finger joint. The position should resemble a claw. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat at least four times. Consider adding a ball to this stretch if it becomes too easy.
  • Finger lift: Put your hand on a desk with the palm down. Gently lift one finger at a time and then lower it. You can also lift all five fingers at once. Do this stretch eight times.

Interlacing your fingers and stretching upward is an excellent way to alleviate and prevent wrist pain. Simply rotating your wrists for a few seconds can help to mitigate any discomfort, as well.

Adjust or Change Your Tools

Adding a piece of tape or foam to pencils and brushes can lessen the pinching motion you use when gripping tools. Switching out tools for those that put less stress on your wrists can help as well. Some art supply companies even create triangular-shaped pencils and brushes that are more ergonomic for artists. Sharpening your pencil may also agitate your wrists, so consider using an electric sharpener instead of a manual.

Use Splints or Bands

If you already have wrist pain, using a split or band may alleviate some discomfort. Remember, you must wear splints properly, otherwise you run the risk of worsening your pain. Make sure to thoroughly read the instructions before using one, or ask your doctor how to wear it properly.

Wearing a splint or band can make a significant difference after you finish drawing, even if you do not feel any discomfort. Wearing it at night may also help because it will prevent you from bending or flexing your wrist while you sleep.

Redo Your Work Space

Your workspace may be the reason you’re experiencing discomfort. It’s easy to paint or draw hunched over on the floor or over your desk, but it can cause extreme pain in your wrists and back. While working, you should sit at a desk and adjust your chair to a 100-degree or 110-degree angle. Also, adjust the height so your hands can sit comfortably on the desk. If necessary, put a towel or blanket underneath your wrists for extra comfort.

Contact the Skilled Doctors at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery

If your wrist pain from drawing or painting becomes unbearable or if you’ve been dealing with the pain for months, contact Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery today. Our board-certified doctors utilize the latest research to diagnose and treat several conditions and work with you to ease your discomfort through conservative healing methods and minimally invasive surgeries. To speak with a doctor about your wrist pain, call (855) 853-6542 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.


What is Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery and Is It Right for You?

Scoliosis is a spinal condition that is marked by misalignments and curvatures that are not present in a healthy spine. Normally seen as a sideways curvature, this condition can be caused by cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, although most causes of scoliosis are unknown. Scoliosis can often be harmless, but more severe cases may require treatment or surgery to relieve pain and increase the patient’s quality of life.

If you have scoliosis and find yourself to be in frequent pain, minimally invasive scoliosis surgery may be right for you. But what is minimally invasive spinal surgery and how do you know if it’s right for you?

What Are the Benefits of Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery?

In the past, scoliosis surgery involved long stays in the Intensive Care Unit, a large volume of blood loss, and a lengthy recovery period. Today, surgeons are able to perform spinal correction surgery with minimal invasion. This means that if you’re interested in getting scoliosis surgery now, you’ll benefit from:

  • Quicker healing
  • Fewer complications
  • Less risk of infection
  • Reduced post-op pain

While the recovery process is unique to each patient, many patients are able to return to their normal activities within just six weeks.

How Is Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery Performed?

Minimally invasive scoliosis surgery is an endoscopic procedure performed through several small incisions. After you are put to sleep, a thin tube is inserted into the body with a small video camera. The images from this camera guide the surgeon while they perform the surgery through the small incisions. Disc material may be removed from between the vertebrae along the curve. Screws are then affixed to the affected vertebrae and a customized rod is attached to the screws.

Any instruments such as hooks, rods, or screws that are implanted in your spine will remain in your body and will not need to be removed in the future. Only in very rare situations such as infection or other complications will these instruments require another operation for removal.

Should You Try Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery?

Although most people who have scoliosis will never need surgery, there are many people out there suffering from their scoliosis symptoms that would greatly benefit from this minimally invasive procedure. If your curvature lies in the thoracic spine, chances are that you’re a good candidate. For lower back curves, a traditional procedure may be preferred. Your doctor will have a better idea of what treatment will best serve you for the type, location, and severity of your scoliosis.

If You Have Scoliosis, Our Expert Spine Surgeons May Be Able to Help

With Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery in Florida, you can rest easy knowing that your minimally invasive scoliosis surgery is being performed by highly experienced spine surgeons. By utilizing state-of-the-art tools and technology, our board-certified specialists will ensure that you’re receiving the best care possible. Call us today at (855) 853-6542 or complete our online contact form to find out more about scoliosis treatment options.


Is Hydrotherapy Useful after Back Surgery?

After undergoing spinal surgery, most patients feel significant relief in knowing that their largest obstacle is out of the way. However, the process of rehabilitation to regain an active lifestyle is just beginning. The months that follow your back surgery may require a comprehensive physical training regimen. One possible treatment method your doctor may prescribe as part of your physical therapy routine is hydrotherapy. But what is hydrotherapy and how helpful is it to patients recovering from back surgery? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy involves the use of water to aid in recovery, stress reduction, and physical therapy. Also known as water therapy, hydrotherapy can include the use of water both internally and externally and at varying temperatures. Treatment options can include:

  • Floatation tanks
  • Steam baths
  • Compresses
  • Saunas
  • Aquatic exercises
  • Sitz baths
  • Colonic cleansing

Therapeutic treatments with hydrotherapy can be performed at spas, health centers, physical therapy clinics, or even at home.

How Can Hydrotherapy Help You Recover from Back Surgery?

If you’ve just undergone back surgery, you may be wondering if hydrotherapy can help in speeding up your recovery or relieving any post-op pain. A few benefits of aqua therapy for back surgery patients can include:

  • Decreased weight bearing on affected areas
  • Reduced swelling
  • Eased soreness
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved relaxation
  • Stimulated immune system
  • Better balance
  • Strengthened muscles

These advantages are largely due to the fact that submerging yourself in water causes a natural reaction from your body that increases blood flow, which can help to promote the healing process.

Hydrotherapy also grants the body the ability to move weightlessly, allowing for a comfortable environment for post-op patients to complete exercises that wouldn’t be possible on land. The water supports the body and decreases load bearing on the spine and weakened muscles. This extra support provides the patient with the capacity to sustain their entire body weight with minimal effort and increase their range of motion.

How Can Aquatic Exercise Aid in Your Back Surgery Recovery?

After enduring spinal surgery, your body will need to build back its muscle strength and flexibility in order for you to resume your daily lifestyle. Hydrotherapy can allow this to be done in a safer environment by reducing the stress on the weakened muscles that surround and support your spine. Also, the stronger your body can become, the better your cardiovascular system will function and the more you’ll reduce your risk of a future spine or back injury.

Eliminate Back Pain with a Board-Certified Specialist at OLSS

At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we pride ourselves in providing our clients with the highest quality care possible. Our experienced specialists know that each patient’s situation is unique, and our team will work diligently to create a one-of-a-kind treatment plan that fits your busy schedule.

If you’re interested in treating your back pain with a minimally invasive procedure and want to work with a medical team that puts your best interests first, call us today at (855) 853-6542 or complete our online contact form.


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!