September, 2021

Below are links to articles posted in September, 2021


Top 10 Mattresses for Back Pain

We all love to sleep. Sleep allows us to rest and recharge, but pain can disturb our sleep if we’re not sleeping on the right mattress. The mattress you sleep on each night plays a role in the quality of sleep you get, as well as your back health. Based on your preferred sleeping position, body type, and any underlying back condition, you require a specific firmness from your mattress.

Why Are Mattresses so Important for Back Pain

Your mattress needs to be comfortable, and it needs to cushion pressure points in your body while also keeping your spine in a safe and neutral position. Tension builds up in the body throughout the day that needs to dissipate. Resting on a supportive and even mattress relieves tension in your body that relaxes your muscles. As you’re relaxing, it’s vital that the body’s heaviest parts, the hips and shoulders, don’t sink too far into the bed. If the heavier parts of your body are sinking, this can un-align your spine, resulting in pain and stiffness upon waking.

How to Determine the Right Mattress for You

To help determine the correct firmness level for you, you need to consider your body weight. A lightweight sleeper typically needs a softer surface to experience more contouring. A heavier sleeper needs a firmer mattress to prevent sinking. A person with a specific underlying back condition will need a mattress that helps relieve the pain. You also need to understand that each mattress is unique in its components. Mattresses differ in the number and arrangement of coils, the thickness of the padding on the top of the mattress, and the depth of the mattress (typically between 7 to 18 inches).

The position in which you sleep also plays a role in picking a mattress. Back sleepers need a firm mattress that allows the spine to contour, but still supports your back structure. A softer mattress for a back sleeper may not offer enough support to keep your back aligned and cause stiffness and soreness. Side sleepers benefit from a softer mattress that allows their weight to be equally distributed and offers a cushioning effect that reduces stress and pressure in the shoulders and hips. People who sleep on their stomachs need a mattress that prevents the spine from being pulled into the mattress but allows cushioning to distribute your weight equally.

Top 10 Mattress for Back Pain

Once you’ve done the research, you can start looking at mattresses. The best fit for you is all about meeting your needs.

Helix Midnight Luxe

The Helix Midnight Luxe is recommended for back sleepers, side sleepers, and those who need help reducing back pain in pressure points. This medium-feel mattress has soft springs under the shoulders and firm springs around the hips to optimize spinal alignment.

DreamCloud Mattress

The DreamCloud mattress has a targeted support coil layer that adapts to the body. The firmness level is 6.5.

Nectar Mattress

The Nectar Mattress has 7-inch layers of standard foam, ensuring the comfort and support of the layers above it. This mattress comes with cooling technology.

Saatva Classic

The Saatva Classic provides healthy spinal alignment in any sleeping position with their patented spinal zone technology and high-density memory foam.

WinkBed

WinkBed is suitable for sleepers who suffer from back pain because it provides proper head, neck, and back alignment. The Winkbed is best for sleepers who often change positions during the night.

Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid

The Amerisleep AS2 Hybrid combines the pressure-relieving benefits of memory foam with the responsiveness and bounce of pocketed coils. Their plant-based Bio-Pur material will keep you cool all night.

Zoma Mattress

The Zoma Mattress is a premium mattress designed to relieve pain, respond to movements, and stay cool through the night.

Layla Hybrid

The Layla Hybrid is a copper-infused memory foam mattress with an individually wrapped coil system that supports your back.

Level Sleep Mattress

The Level Sleep mattress is customizable to your needs. It is soft where you need it and firm where pressure needs to be reduced for proper spinal alignment. This mattress will help improve the quality of your sleep.

Avocado Green Mattress

The Avocado Green Mattress is made with natural and organic materials. Their non-toxic green bed combines the finest natural cushioning with an internal, zoned, pressure-point support system for proper back support.

Contact Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery for Your Spinal Problems

Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery offers patients the best medical treatment, carefully planned by our award-winning neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists, and physicians. With over 20 years of experience, our medical team will be able to diagnose and give you individualized treatment. At OLSS, we fine-tune how we approach each case to achieve the best possible results. We have performed thousands of spinal and back surgeries, specializing in minimally invasive procedures. These minimally invasive procedures cause less trauma, less pain and promote faster healing. To contact us, call at (855) 853-6542 or fill out this form.


How Tai Chi Can Help Relieve Neck Pain

Tai Chi is a form of mind and body exercise that originated thousands of years ago in China. This ancient martial arts practice is rooted in the philosophy that the body is made of meridians or channels of energy that flow throughout the body like rivers and streams, and the practice of tai chi activities the life energy or qi (pronounced chee) within us.

This life energy or qi has the purpose of flowing smoothly and powerfully throughout the body, creating balance and harmony for the mind and body.

How Does Tai Chi Benefit the Body?

Tai Chi is a low-impact, gentle form of exercise that is easy on the joints. Utilizing controlled movement and natural breathing, the harmonious art of tai chi improves circulation, balance, and alignment.

Using only the weight of the body and a balanced mental state, tai chi moves fluidly and slowly through a series of motions that are often named after animals (i.e. white crane spreads its wings), helping to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility without fully extending or bending joints or connective tissue, making it a gentle exercise on the joints.

Because the movements are relaxed versus forced or tense, Tai Chi offers profound relief to those with chronic neck pain. The U.S. Association For The Study of Pain conducted a 12-week study on the effects of tai chi and chronic neck pain, comparing it to no treatment and conventional neck exercises. Participants of the study were led by a certified Tai Chi master and participated in group tai chi at least once per week, and were provided with material for self-practice at home at least 5 times per week.

The study found that tai chi was just as effective as conventional neck exercises and is a suitable alternative for chronic neck pain treatment.

How Tai Chi Can Help Relieve Neck Pain?

Neck exercises typically consist of stretching, strengthening, and aerobic conditioning to improve cardiovascular health, and tai chi encompasses all the elements that are necessary to help relieve neck pain. The practice of balancing helps to increase optimal posture, which poor posture is a contributing factor in neck pain, and the fluid movements aid in stretching and strengthening the body to support neck support through the flexing of the shoulders, arms, and back.

Tai chi’s low-impact movements will help those with chronic neck pain while also benefiting total mind and body health as it is used as a regular exercise regimen.

Get Help from a Florida Neck and Spine Specialists

Before engaging in neck exercises, consult with the award-winning doctors at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery. Our experienced doctors can help with diagnosis and treatments that would be most beneficial for your chronic neck pain.

With over twenty years of non-surgical and surgical treatment options to choose from, you will receive the specialized care you need to live a pain-free life. Contact us online or give us a call at (855) 853-6542.


Is Spinal Stenosis Inevitable as We Grow Older?

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing puts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine, causing numerous symptoms. Commonly located in the neck and lower back, spinal stenosis is a condition that is mainly caused by everyday stresses that wear down the spine structure. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, spinal stenosis often occurs in adults over 60, and people usually notice symptoms between the ages of 30 and 50.

Although spinal stenosis is mainly caused by age-related wear and tear, there are other contributing factors. The information below will provide insight into how spinal stenosis can be prevented as an age-related condition. Not everyone will need to succumb to the effects of an aging body.

What are the Causes of Spinal Stenosis?

While age is a risk factor for spinal stenosis, it is also caused by other factors such as spinal injuries, herniated disks, overgrowth of the bone, arthritis, and other conditions.

Symptoms of spinal stenosis can include neck and back pain, difficulty walking, numbness in hands or legs, and impaired bladder or bowel control is experienced in more severe cases. These symptoms can start as minor aches and pains and gradually develop into chronic pain.

Since many of the symptoms of spinal stenosis are similar to other spinal conditions that involve spinal compression, it can be hard to distinguish one condition from the other.

If you are suffering from any of the conditions associated with spinal stenosis or you’re worried you may have spinal stenosis, try our Free Condition Check Tool to determine the cause and help us diagnose your condition.

How Can You Prevent an Aging Spine?

Although there is currently no known fountain of youth that can prevent the aging process, there are, however, ways in which you can keep your body and spine healthy. Creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle now will reduce your risk of developing spinal stenosis. The following is a list of ways you can maintain a healthy spine:

  • Stretch your muscles with yoga practice
  • Walk at least 30-minutes daily
  • Lift object properly to avoid back injury and strain
  • Check your posture often to reduce muscle stress
  • Get massages to help relax muscles and reduce tension
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid tobacco to reduce health risks
  • Exercise daily and increase optimal health benefits

Using any or all of the above lifestyle choices will protect your overall health and reduce your risk of health problems.

Connect with Experienced Doctors at Orthopedic & Laser Spine

If the neck and back pain you are experiencing is not alleviated with the healthy activities listed above, treatment options are available for you. Pain and discomfort in your body do not have to be a part of your everyday life.

The award-winning doctors at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery can help guide you through the diagnosis process and help you find the best treatment plan for your condition.  Give us a call at (855) 853-6542 or complete our contact form for information on how we’re able to help you.


Is There a Connection between Sciatica and Diabetes?

It’s easy to think that Diabetes is connected to Sciatic because they can induce similar symptoms. It’s common to confuse one condition for the other. These conditions, however, do have distinct differences. In short, diabetes doesn’t cause Sciatica; however, it does cause Diabetic Neuropathy. Sciatica can mimic symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy, but apart from similar symptoms, they are not connected.

How can Sciatica Mimic Diabetic Neuropathy

Both Sciatic and Diabetic Neuropathy cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the legs and feet. They both impact the strength and balance of the body. However, the cause of the pain, the location, and how the pain begins is distinct.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes is a condition that develops when the body doesn’t properly regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. When blood sugar remains high for an extended period, it leads to nerve damage throughout the body. The nerve damage in the leg and feet area mimics the pain from Sciatica. Unlike Diabetic Neuropathy that can damage nerves throughout the body, Sciatica is contained to the legs and feet and is often only felt on one side of the body.

Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body. It originates in the sacral plexus, a network of nerves in the lower back called the lumbosacral spine. The lumbosacral spine refers to the lumbar spine and the sacrum combined. The sciatic nerve and its nerve branches enable movement and feeling in the thigh, knee, calf, ankle, foot, and toes.

When there is damage to the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain in an area of the sciatica nerve. While the pain can feel like a result of Diabetic Neuropathy, damage to the sciatic nerve is a separate condition with different symptoms. The three common causes of Sciatica nerve include bone spurs, spinal stenosis, and herniated discs, not diabetes.

Sciatica and Diabetic Neuropathy Differences

We know that the pain felt from both these conditions is similar, but have distinct differences, including the following:

  • Sciatica pain comes suddenly, not gradually, as seen in Diabetic Neuropathy.
  • Sciatica pain is contained to the area of the sciatic nerve.
  • Sciatica pain is usually worse in the morning, but Diabetic Neuropathy pain doesn’t vary by time of day.
  • Sciatica pain starts in the lower back area and travels down, while Diabetic Neuropathy pain begins in the toes and legs.

Despite the apparent similarities between Diabetic Neuropathy, they are two separate and different conditions. Each condition is caused by a different reason and requires different treatments. Visit your doctor to determine which of the two conditions you have.

Visit Orthopedics and Laser Spine Surgery for your Spinal Problems

At Orthopedics & Laser Spine Surgery, we understand that the medical needs for each patient are different; that’s why we tailor our treatment care to every individual. Our doctors take the time to understand your condition and educate you about the problem you face. We will recommend the best-personalized treatment plan for you. Your treatment plan is built around you and driven by you. Our website supplies you with the tools to understand the development of your treatment plan. We offer a condition check and a treatment finder.

Contact us for spinal pain relief at (855) 853-6542 or fill out this contact form.


Tips for Spine Surgery Caregivers

Undergoing spine surgery can be an extremely difficult process, but patients may face even more challenges following the surgery. Those who have experienced spine surgery require care at home for at least a few months. Of course, how long care is required varies depending on the recommended recovery time.

If you are considering becoming a caregiver, it’s essential to understand the commitment. Being a caregiver to someone who went through spine surgery means caring for someone who will probably not do much independently. Taking the title of the caregiver is a big step. There are a couple of components to consider before taking the role.

  • The role can be emotionally and physically challenging
  • The role requires patience and compassion
  • The role may take up a lot of time
  • The role may require you to pitch in your resources and money

Here’s everything else you need to know.

Tips for Spine Surgery Caregivers

Once you consider the responsibilities of being a caregiver here are some tips that may help:

Have a Conversation about Caregiving Expectations

Before your loved one undergoes surgery, it’s beneficial to have a conversation about what to expect after the surgery. You know that it’s a commitment, but it’s important to know exactly what the commitment is. This conversation is where you discuss how much time you will give, what resources you can offer, and what you are not willing or capable of doing.

During this conversation, it would be good to talk about money. Many of us don’t like discussing money because it can be uncomfortable, but having this conversation can prevent future problems and arguments. Somethings to consider during this conversation are the following:

  • How bills will be paid and who will pay them
  • Grocery shopping
  • Medication expenses
  • Who will buy tools to make the home more accessible

Getting Their Home Ready for Recovery

People who undergo spine surgery come home with limited mobility. It’s because of their limitations that changes might be needed to make their home more accessible. You will need to make an area in the home for them to live without needing to strain themselves or go too far for anything. Consider the following:

  • Make an area for them to sleep that is accessible to them
  • Get a tool, like a grabber, for them to reach for objects
  • Add grab bars in the bathroom
  • Add grab bars in any other area they will frequent
  • Get non-slip mats

These new adjustments might be hard on your loved one, but a nice touch is to decorate their recovery area. Bring all their favorite things to them so they are surrounded by encouragement.

Think of Ways to Pass the Time

Being in bed all day sounds like a dream, but it can get boring quickly. It can be frustrating to be unable to move or have limited mobility, so distractions are a huge help. To help your loved one through recovery, you can play games or work on puzzles. Getting creative is always fun. If they can, you can pass the time by painting or drawing. It might also be helpful to have a rotation of people to come to visit. The rotation will take into account people’s responsibilities and help the patient feel supported.

Take Care of Yourself

We’ve all heard it before: you can’t pour from an empty cup. This saying could not be more true when it comes to caregiving. Caregiving can be challenging, which is why as a caregiver, you should prioritize your health as well. It’s easy to get lost in the role. Take time for yourself when you can. If your loved one has visitors, let them take care of their family while you take the time to nap, eat, or go for a walk. You can only care for them if you also care for yourself.

Get Back Pain Relief at Orthopedics Laser & Spine Surgery

At Orthopedic Laser & Spine Surgery, our surgeons are leaders in the field dedicated to ensuring patients receive the best treatment available. Our physicians are pioneers of minimally invasive spinal surgeries. They have spent decades teaching their techniques to surgeons across the U.S. We prioritize our patients with personalized treatments and approaching conditions with the least invasive treatments.

At OLSS, our orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, and physicians are experts in relieving pain and working collaboratively to restore function, increase mobility, and enable patients to regain their activities and lifestyles. Our multidimensional approach to diagnosis and treatment combined with our experienced medical team has made us leaders in the orthopedic field.

To contact us, call (855) 853-6542 or fill out this contact form.