July, 2021

Below are links to articles posted in July, 2021


How Can I Treat My Neck Pain after a Whiplash Injury?

In most cases, whiplash occurs from front- or rear-impact car accidents. It can also happen in the course of many different activities, from high-impact sports, like snowboarding or gymnastics, to slipping down a flight of stairs. Sustaining a whiplash injury may cause severe back and neck pain.

The United States alone has over two million accounts of whiplash injuries each year, and many of those report suffering from chronic or persistent neck pain. People often mistake whiplash for everyday aching, but this serious injury can cause immobility and dangerous afflictions if not properly treated.

What Are Common Symptoms of Whiplash?

Spine Health describes whiplash as forming when the neck and head jerk back and forth by a sudden force, putting the cervical spine through rapid movement and extreme stress. When we experience whiplash, the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in your neck become irritated and inflamed. There are many common symptoms of whiplash; consider the following for some examples:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Lower back and shoulder pain
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness and pain in your arm or hand
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Tiredness

Indications of an injury might not show at the time sustained. They may not surface until 24 hours after the accident. While most individuals who encounter whiplash injuries recover in less than three weeks, some encounter chronic pain for more extended periods of time.

Ways to Relieve Pain from a Whiplash Injury

After an accident that results in a whiplash injury, your neck and shoulders may be sore and stiff. Many who experience whiplash sustain mild ligament sprains or muscle strains and can recover relatively quickly, but there are other cases where damage can take longer to heal.

Listed below are some examples of treatments for symptoms of whiplash:

  • Ice or heat application
  • Substantial rest
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Gentle active movement

The longer the injuries take to heal, the more severe the symptoms might be. If you’re experiencing persistent and aggressive whiplash symptoms, seek professional medical care immediately.

When Should I Make a Doctor’s Appointment for Whiplash?

Those using at-home recovery options and still experience symptoms after the recommended recovery time should seek medical care with a doctor as soon as possible. When your symptoms transform into hindering injuries, there could be nerve or bone damage.

Make an appointment with your primary care physician if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe pain
  • Neck instability
  • Tingling and numbness that spreads to the shoulder, arm, and hand
  • Balance or coordination problems
  • Increased irritability, depression, trouble sleeping, or other mental issues

Pain in the back, neck, or spine is frustrating and restricts our ability to go about daily responsibilities. We want to participate in many activities with friends, family, and even coworkers, but that can become difficult when recovering from a whiplash injury. Talking with a medical professional about quickly healing the surrounding area will help determine the severity of your injury and how long it might take to get back on track.

Find Passionate Spinal Surgeons at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery

Whiplash and other spine, neck, and back injuries take time to heal. At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, our team of award-winning neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists, and physicians use innovative technology and research to provide clients with high-quality medical care. Our primary goal is to get clients feeling free of pain and ready to return to their lives.

With both non-surgical therapy and minimally invasive surgeries, our countless treatment options allow our doctors to tailor a care plan specific to your needs. For more information on the many types of treatments we offer and to talk with one of our board-certified doctors, call (855) 853-6542 or fill out our online contact form.


4 Safe Stretching Techniques for Postoperative Recovery

Recovering from back or spine surgery can be a long road, but the reward at the end is worth the work it takes to achieve rehabilitation. While a good amount of rest is necessary following surgery, exercise is also key to regaining mobility in your neck and back.

Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery knows the importance of stretching techniques for postoperative recovery. Do not fall victim to the consequences that await if you choose not to use these safe stretching techniques! Get your life back on track and utilize these stretches that the experts say are safe and effective.

Why Is Stretching Important after Back Surgery?

Following a back or spine surgery, it is recommended that you partake in ten to thirty minutes of safe stretching exercises at least once a day. Neglecting to exercise after surgery can result in a physical handicap limiting the mobility of that part of your body. Physical therapy may even help you heal faster as it aids the recovery process and gets you closer to getting back to the life you led before surgery.

Partaking in safe stretching exercises throughout and after postoperative recovery will help strengthen and condition your body to heal. The lasting results of this exercise will help you regain the strength and mobility you had before surgery. With continued work, you can decrease the chances that you will experience issues within the back and spine region again.

What Are the Consequences of Not Stretching after Surgery?

The muscles in your back weaken and limit mobility following back surgery, making it very important to strengthen those muscles to heal properly. Failure to stretch and exercise after surgery leaves you at risk of not healing correctly and having a failed back surgery. You likely want recovery to be as quick and painless as possible. Still, an extended period with no movement could leave you dealing with a slow and painful recovery process.

It should be noted that when you do start your stretching exercises, it is common to experience some pain. This is likely not a cause for concern unless the pain persists; then, you should consult an experienced team of back and spine doctors. Using the following safe techniques and taking things slow is the key to avoiding a painful recovery process.

Safe Stretching Techniques after Back Surgery

If you have just undergone back surgery or plan to soon, the following stretching techniques will be helpful in your recovery process. No matter the type of back surgery you have had, these techniques have been universally successful in helping to strengthen the muscles in your back. However, please remember it is important to consult with your back and spine doctor or physical therapist before trying any of these techniques.

Pelvic Tilts

This is one of the safest stretches that is great to start with. Begin by lying flat on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Then, tighten your abdominal muscles and pull your belly button in so your lower back is flush with the floor. Hold this for about ten seconds and repeat up to ten times. If you do this and do not experience too much discomfort, you may add leg lifts to increase resistance.

Bridges

For this technique, you will again lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent. With your arms at your side to anchor you, lift your hips off the floor until your body is straight from torso to knees. Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering yourself back down slowly, and then repeat for a minimum of ten times.

Ankle Pumps

This technique is one of the most simple but is very effective. Lay flat on your back and move your ankles up and down by flexing your toes toward you. Repeat this exercise about ten times for maximum effectiveness.

Planks

This technique is a bit more challenging and should be started only after regaining some strength from the above exercises. Begin by lying on your stomach with your body flat. As you lift your body off the ground, be sure to support yourself with your elbows and toes, using your abdominal muscles to keep your body straight. You should strive not to let your hips drop for as long as possible. As you become more comfortable, add a bit more time.

Get Help from Trusted Back and Spine Doctors

Have you or a loved one experienced back pain? Do not let that pain take over your life. Your back pain does not have to be permanent, and the team at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery can help prevent that. With experienced doctors who specialize in minimally invasive back and spine surgery, you will be in great hands.

With over twenty non-surgical and surgical treatment options to choose from, you will receive the specialized care you need to live a pain-free life. For a complimentary MRI review, contact us here or give us a call at (855) 853-6542.


Did You Know Your Smartphone Could Be the Source of Your Neck Pain?

The last few decades have introduced countless innovations, one of which is so intertwined in our lives that it’s challenging to spend even an hour without it. Our smartphones connect us with friends, family, work, and society. Many individuals spend most of their time connected to technology, but our cellphones never leave our side.

As we go through the day, staring down at our phones, our neck and spine twist in awkward directions. Both the strain of the eyes and position of our neck can lead to headaches, neck pain, and more severe back injuries if not corrected.

What Impact Does My Phone Have on My Neck Pain?

When you position your neck at a certain angle for an extended period, the body’s tissue becomes sore and inflamed. The term “text neck” describes the recurring stress and overuse of the neck due to the unmoving downward posture of the head when looking at mobile devices.

Incorrect posture by looking down at your phone too long can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Neck, back, and spine pain
  • Reduced head mobility

While text neck is associated with texting, it also includes other activities such as playing games or watching videos on the phone.

The Way You Look at Your Phone Matters

Checking your phone is unavoidable in today’s society, and while we may not be able to exclude looking at our phones entirely, we can change the position of our heads and necks while we scroll through social media and watch the news. One of the main issues of facing downwards is that it increases the weight of our head.

In an upright position, our heads weigh roughly 10 to 12 pounds. When we face down, our heads can then weigh 50 to 60 pounds; this puts a considerable amount of pressure on the base of our neck and shoulders. The best way to look at your phone is in an upright position with the device in front of your face.

Three Ways to Reduce Neck Pain When Looking at Your Phone

In a world governed by technology, it’s almost impossible to cut out using a mobile device fully. While we may not stop using a smartphone, we can fix how we look and for how long. Consider the following for ways to reduce the risk of neck and shoulder pain due to text neck:

  • Sit upright while looking at your phone: When your posture is straight, the weight of your head is significantly lower than when it faces down, and that puts less pressure on your neck.
  • Participate in regular stretching: Moving your head and neck around can relieve the tension built up by the fixed posture.
  • Give yourself a break: Set your phone down for a few minutes and give yourself a break from both the eye and neck strain.

These few tips may help you reduce the risk of causing neck and shoulder injuries due to staring at your phone for an extended period of time.

Discover Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery for Neck and Spine Care

Going through our everyday lives without looking at our phones is tricky. If you’re struggling with neck and back pain, our team at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery is filled with dedicated medical professionals with the tools and experience to assist with your needs. With state-of-the-art technology and innovative research, our surgeons can tailor treatment specifically to your needs.

For more information on our procedures and to talk with one of our medical professionals, fill out our online contact form or call (855) 853-6542.


5 Household Chores That May Be Hurting Your Back

When you think of back and spine injuries, your mundane daily responsibilities might not be the first thing that comes to mind. While skateboarding or rock climbing seems more likely for fractures or sprains, the routine chores are leading causes of irritation and inflammation in the back.

If you suffer from chronic or persistent back pain, these tasks may be challenging and dangerous if performed without care. However, demonstrating proper lifting and bending techniques as well as exercising more will strengthen your back muscles and decrease your risk for severe back injuries.

You May Be Hurting Your Back With These 5 Household Chores

We bend and twist in all directions as we cook, clean, and carry out everyday activities. Lifting boxes or cleaning the fish tank all require movement and put stress on the body. Understanding how these activities affect our health can help us make better choices when performing our duties.

Doing the Laundry

Lifting dirty clothes into a basket and then lugging it to and from the washer and dryer is both tiring and straining on the back muscles. Even folding and putting away clean laundry may irritate your neck, back, and spine if you’re hunched over in a harmful position. Practicing proper lifting and bending techniques will decrease the risk of injuries.

Cleaning the Floor

Vacuuming a carpet, sweeping a patio, or mopping the kitchen down are all performed while you’re looking at the ground. Many individuals unconsciously tilt their necks and backs down as they watch where to clean. Purchasing equipment that promotes better posture and stretching before you start a battle with dust are great ways to improve your back strength.

Washing Windows, Cars, or Pets

Scrubbing down some of the dirtiest parts of your home takes a boost of energy. From chasing a soapy dog to battling with dried bird waste, washing these is equivalent to running a marathon. Lifting and bending in all directions put your back and spine at risk. To better protect your vertebrae, take small breaks and stretch while you’re busy with the task.

Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping requires a person to lift and carry heavy items back and forth between the store, car, and into the home. Even lifting something as light as toilet paper from the lower shelves may require you to bend in an odd direction. Practicing proper lifting and bending moves is extremely important for this chore.

Gardening and Yard Work

Spending hours hunched over weeding or mowing the lawn is not only dangerous for your back but also puts you at risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion. As you move throughout the day, your spine compresses and squeezes out the water within discs between each vertebra. Staying hydrated replenishes those pockets and allows the spine to decompress and move easier.

When you’re dehydrated, the discs cannot refill with water and grind together causing inflammation and irritation. Listed below are some ways to keep yourself hydrated while you perform household chores:

  • Keep a reusable water bottle by your side.
  • Set alarms that go off when you need to take sips of water.
  • Snack on foods with high water content like cucumber and watermelon.

Finding fun and innovative ways to remind yourself to drink water and stretch are great for keeping your back muscles healthy.

Look to Professionals at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgeons for Your Spinal Recovery

While Rumba and Instacart lessen the number of chores we’re obligated to perform each week, there are still many responsibilities that require physical commitment. If you’re struggling with chronic neck, back, and spine pain and find it challenging to execute daily tasks, talk to experts at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgeons.

Our team of board-certified neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists, and physicians use the finest technology to perform non-surgical and minimally invasive surgeries that assist with a patient’s recovery. At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgeons, our primary goal is to reduce patients’ pain and improve their condition.

Call (855) 853-6542 or fill out our online contact form for detailed information about the types of treatments we offer and how we can help your journey to a healthy and happy back.


How to Safely Play Sports after Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Getting the news that you will need back surgery can seem like the end of your time playing any sport. Whether you play sports professionally or recreationally, the idea of losing this part of your life can be devastating. Well, thanks to the minimally invasive surgical techniques at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, in most cases, you can get back to doing what you love in no time!

What Does Recovery Look Like after Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery has become one of the most popular surgical options for both patients and doctors. Not only is this a safer method than open surgery, but it also often allows for quicker-than-expected recovery times for the patient. With a shorter recovery time, that means you can get back to doing what you love sooner as well.

Another plus of this surgical method is the decrease of incision sites, which may decrease pain and overall time spent in the hospital rehabilitating. While every patient is different regarding how quickly they can return to sports, it is likely that recovery will go quicker after minimally invasive surgery than with open surgery.

Setting Yourself up to Get Back on the Field

To get back to being healthy and strong enough to participate in a sport, there are a few tips that can help set you up to be back on the field comfortably and safely. The following tips can help you build your strength and remain healthy before, during, and after surgery:

  • Minimize smoking
  • Decrease alcohol consumption
  • Lose weight
  • Limit the use of supplemental vitamins

Aside from the above measures, partaking in safe stretching techniques following your surgery is important to regaining strength and mobility. Consult with a trusted spine doctor regarding other ways you can set yourself up to return to sports following your surgery.

How to Safely Return to Sports after Spine Surgery

In the case of returning to a sport following spine surgery, slow and steady does win the race. Starting back into a sport too hard or too fast can result in a failed back surgery and land you back in surgery and in a lot of pain. For a successful recovery, knowing the safe way to return to your normal activities is critical.

Don’t Let Surgery Keep You from Being Active

While you should not go full force into exercise following minimally invasive spine surgery, staying sedentary for too long is one of the worst things you can do for your body.

Consult with your doctor regarding how long you should rest after your surgery, but once that period is up, you should be up off the couch. Whether you are just going on a short, slow-paced walk or utilizing safe stretching techniques, remaining active after surgery is the only way to truly heal.

Try Not to Make the Same Mistakes

Once your doctor has given you the okay to return to sports, make sure to ask them what to change within your routine to help you avoid falling back into the same injury that caused you to need surgery in the first place.

Remember to warm up properly so you do not cause any strain on your muscles and do not overexert yourself. Try refraining from any part of the sport that may cause you to be tackled or put in a position that could further hurt your back or spine. If changes are made to your routine, be sure to make this change slowly so as not to shock your system and put stress on your body.

Listen to Your Body

After being cleared to play a sport after surgery, listen to what your body is telling you if you are experiencing pain. It is possible that you may have not yet made a full recovery, and ignoring that pain can lead to serious damage. If you are experiencing severe back pain or radiating pain down one or both legs, immediately reach out to your doctor to see what needs to be done to help relieve the pain.

Expert Back and Spine Doctors Are Ready to Help You

Life after spine surgery does not have to be as bleak as you fear. With the minimally invasive surgical techniques offered by the fantastic team at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, you can return to your routine with ease. When sports are involved, it may be surprising to learn that returning to the game is possible after spine surgery. With the help of the experienced doctors at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, you may be back at it in no time.

If you are interested in having surgery by a team of doctors who specialize in minimally invasive treatment options, you have found the right team. Get a free MRI review by contacting us here or calling (855) 853-6542.