October, 2021

Below are links to articles posted in October, 2021


Should You Get an Adjustable Bed to Help Alleviate Your Back Pain?

Back pain can affect various elements of your life. However, one of the most significant ways back pain affects day-to-day life is by disrupting a person’s sleep patterns. If your back pain is making it challenging to fall asleep or sleep through the night, you may want to consider an adjustable bed.  An adjustable bed is one solution for alleviating back pain associated with sleep. However, they’re not for everyone, and some conditions may be exacerbated by being in a reclined position throughout the night.

If you are suffering from chronic back pain, it’s important to consult a skilled spine specialist. An experienced doctor can assess your condition and develop an effective treatment plan specific to your situation. Here are some important things to consider when determining whether an adjustable bed is right for you.

Does Your Pain Go Away in a Reclined Position?

Every case of back pain is unique. However, most people who find pain relief from reclined positions will benefit from sleeping on an adjustable bed. In general, it’s best to consult your doctor about whether an adjustable bed is a good solution for your pain. Some of the spine conditions that tend to benefit from adjustable beds include:

  • Osteoarthritis. Sleeping in a reclined position can help to minimize joint compression caused by osteoarthritis.
  • Spinal stenosis. Having a slight lean forward can help to alleviate back pain caused by spinal stenosis.
  • Spondylolisthesis. An adjustable bed allows you to sleep with your back and knees elevated with can help with relieving lower back pain caused by spondylolisthesis
  • Post-surgery. Individuals who have an upcoming back surgery can benefit from sleeping in a reclined position during their recovery.

These are just a couple of conditions that can benefit from an adjustable bed. As always, it’s best to talk with your doctor, as in some cases, an adjustable bed can worsen back pain symptoms.

Consider the Features of Various Beds

When shopping for adjustable beds, it’s important to consider the various features they offer. Adjustable beds allow you to raise or lower certain parts of the bed—usually with a remote control. However, the number of adjustments you can make will vary depending on the kind of bed. Typically, the more adjustments there are, the greater the cost. Some features to look for in an adjustable bed include:

  • Adjustable settings for firmness in the lumbar area
  • Timer settings that automatically adjust the bed after a preset time frame
  • Massage settings
  • Zero-gravity feeling during transitions.
  • Customizable settings for the head area

These are just a couple of key features to look for in an adjustable bed. Ultimately, the bed you decide on will depend on personal preference and your budget.

What Are the Benefits of an Adjustable Bed?

For most people, adjustable beds have a wide array of benefits that go far beyond simply promoting spine health. Some of the benefits of an adjustable bed include:

  • Increasing mobility. Over time, an adjustable bed can help to reduce pain and increase mobility.
  • Minimizes mouth breathing. Breathing through your mouth is much less efficient than breathing through your nose and can lead to nasal congestion, obstructed airways, and dried bums. Sleeping on an incline helps to promote breathing through your nose.
  • Promoting blood circulation. With an adjustable bed, you can sleep in a zero-gravity position, which promotes blood flow and circulation. This can be beneficial for individuals with heart issues and varicose veins.

These are a couple of benefits associated with using an adjustable bed. If you are struggling with back pain an adjustable bed could be a viable solution.

Consult the Trusted Spine Surgeons at OLSS for Help with Your Back Pain

If you are struggling with persistent back pain that is affecting your ability to fall asleep, it’s important to seek medical care from a skilled spine specialist. When you schedule an appointment at your local Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery branch, you will receive an expert medical diagnosis. At all of our facilities, you’ll find highly skilled board-certified surgeons who are trained in cutting-edge medical procedures for neck and back treatment. We pride ourselves on our ability to orchestrate personalized care plans that serve the unique needs of our patients.

To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled spine experts, call (855) 853-6542 or fill out our online contact form.


What Foods Are Good for Spinal Health?

If you have been experiencing back pain or other spinal issues or are simply looking to be proactive in your spine health, nutrition is a good place to start. In fact, the foods you eat can play a big role in influencing the health of your spine. When you are intentional with your nutrition, you can pack your diet with foods that have all the things your back needs to stay healthy and strong. Conversely, eating lots of foods with bad nutritional quality can over time, cause damage to your back’s structural components. Here’s a look at some of the best foods for spinal health.

Plant-Based Proteins

Proteins are overlooked in their role in bone health. However, they are essential for maintaining and healing damaged bones and soft tissues. Proteins are composed of amino acids of which there are 20 total. Our bodies are able to naturally create 11 of them with the remaining 9—referred to as essential amino acids—being drawn from our diets. A “complete” protein is one that contains all of these essential amino acids.

Plant-based proteins can be favorable to animal-based proteins, as they cause less inflammation. One of the most common misconceptions surrounding plant-based diets is that they lack enough protein. However, in reality, plant-based proteins are packed with amino acids and provide great health benefits for not only the spine but the whole body.There are several plant-based foods that have all 9 essential amino acids, including quinoa, buckwheat, hemp, and soy—to name a few. Not only will these foods provide necessary proteins, but they also have wonderful nutritional benefits all of which, will help your spine health

Calcium-Rich Foods

Calcium gets a lot of attention for its role in bone health—and for good reason. This mineral is essential for bone health, playing an instrumental role in maintaining adequate bone mass throughout your life and specifically, in old age. Proper calcium intake is especially important for preventing osteoporosis, a condition that causes weak and brittle bones in the back. Some of the best food sources of calcium include:

  • Dark leafy green vegetables, such as kale
  • Fish, such as salmon or sardines
  • Almonds
  • Oranges
  • Tofu

Food with High Magnesium Content

Magnesium is an essential mineral for a healthy spine. It plays a key role in the bone structure and is required for over 300 reactions in the body. When magnesium levels get low, it is pulled from the bones. It is fairly common to have a magnesium deficiency and supplementing your diet with magnesium-rich foods is a great way to maintain bone density and prevent back problems. Some food with high magnesium content include:

  • Beans
  • Fish
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Yogurt
  • Avocados

Foods with Vitamin C

The body needs vitamin C to make collagen, which is responsible for providing structure to the bones, muscles, and tendons and transforming cells into tissue. Therefore, it’s essential to have adequate vitamin C intake to properly heal injured discs, muscles, ligaments, and other structural components in the back. Some food with high vitamin C content include

  • Citrus fruits, like oranges
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes

Consult the Team at OLSS for Help with Your Back Pain

If you are struggling with chronic back pain that isn’t resolving with nutrition, lifestyle changes, or other conservative methods, it’s essential to consult a skilled spine specialist. When you schedule an appointment at your local Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery branch, you will receive an expert medical diagnosis. At all of our facilities, you’ll find highly skilled board-certified surgeons who are trained in cutting-edge medical procedures for neck and back treatment. We pride ourselves on our ability to orchestrate personalized care plans that serve the unique needs of our patients.

To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled spine experts, call (855) 853-6542 or fill out our online contact form.


4 Tips for Helping Your Child Recover from Back Surgery

Experiencing surgery as an adult is a stressful experience. However, any adult would say that putting their child through surgery is an incredibly difficult undertaking. For many parents, having a child that requires back surgery provokes a lot of anxiety. Having to tell your child everything will be ok while managing your own fears can be an emotionally exhausting experience. Whether your child is having a routine procedure or more complicated surgery, it’s important to have some strategies for preparing them for the procedure and reducing their fears and anxieties. Here are four tips for helping your child recover from back surgery.

Ask Your Doctor Questions

Often, kids can sense when their parents are worried and stressed, and if your child needs surgery, the last thing you want is for them to sense your own apprehensions. Most anxiety stems from the unknown. There’s no better way to minimize some of the stress about your child’s procedure than to ask your child’s doctor and nurses a lot of questions. The more you know, the better you can prepare your child for surgery and calm some of their nerves. Understanding what is going to happen during the procedure will help you feel more at peace with the situation.

Don’t Hide Any Details of the Procedure

While it’s tempting to hide the details of the surgery from your child, it usually only causes more anxiety. Often, children can sense when their parents are being open and honest about what the procedure will entail, leading them to believe their condition is worse than it actually is. While you may think you are doing them a favor by choosing not to relay the details about the procedure, it’s almost always better to be honest about what’s going to happen. Sit your child down and in a calm manner, explain what will happen in language they can relate to. For example, if you have a young child, you can use phrases like “the doctor is going to fix you or make you better. Building trust with your child by giving them a full picture of what’s going to happen is the best way to minimize unnecessary anxieties.

Acknowledge and Ease Their Fears

Being scared or anxious about getting surgery isn’t exclusive to children. Whether you’re 16 or 60, it’s completely normal to be apprehensive about getting a procedure. As a parent, it’s important to acknowledge your child’s fears and do your best to ease their anxieties. For kids, one of the most common fears surrounding surgery is the pain. Additionally, many children fear that they will wake up during surgery. The best way to address these fears is by explaining to your child the role of the anesthesiologist along with its safety and effectiveness in preventing them from feeling anything while the procedure is happening.

Advocate for Them

As a parent, you are your child’s best advocate. Before, during, and post-procedure it’s essential to ask a lot of questions and ensure you understand everything that will be happening. Additionally, post-procedure it’s important to keep in touch with your doctor and make sure your child is on track to experience a normal recovery time.

Consult the Trusted Spine Surgeons at OLSS for Your Child’s Back Surgery

As a parent, putting your child through a surgery can be an extremely stressful and emotional experience. It’s essential to have a doctor you trust and can help guide you through ensuring your child makes a full recovery. If your child needs back surgery, you should consult with one of the skilled spine experts at OLSS.

When you schedule an appointment at your local Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery branch, you will receive an expert medical diagnosis. At all of our facilities, you’ll find highly skilled board-certified surgeons who are trained in cutting-edge medical procedures for neck and back treatment. We pride ourselves on our ability to orchestrate personalized care plans that serve the unique needs of our patients.

To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled spine experts, call (855) 853-6542 or fill out our online contact form.


3 Most Common Misdiagnosed Causes of Back and Spine Pain

When you decide to see a spine doctor for your back pain, you have clear expectations: you want a professional to identify the cause of your pain and develop an effective treatment plan. However, in many cases, chronic back pain is misdiagnosed, leaving many patients at a loss for finding long-term relief. There are a variety of factors that can cause a wrong diagnosis, such as a doctor spending too little time with their patient or ordering the wrong tests and therefore, missing out on important information. Additionally, there are far more back conditions than there are symptoms, meaning a variety of conditions can present similar symptoms, making finding the correct culprit challenging. If you are struggling with chronic back pain, it’s essential to receive a proper diagnosis from a highly skilled spine specialist.  Here’s a look at three of the most common misdiagnosed causes of back and spine pain.

Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain

Commonly misdiagnosed, SI joint malfunction is responsible for 15-30% of back pain cases. The SI joint connects the hip bones to the sacrum and is responsible for absorbing shock between the upper body and legs. The SI joint can become inflamed both from hypermobility (too much movement) and hypomobility (too little movement). Dysfunction in the SI joint can often cause pain in the back and legs that are difficult to differentiate from the radiating leg pain caused by a herniated disc in the lumbar. Therefore, it is common for a patient to receive a diagnosis for a herniated lumbar disc when really the SI joint is the culprit.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Back pain is one of the most common symptoms of degenerative disc disease, a condition that causes the discs in the back to dehydrate and deteriorate. With time, this damage can become more severe as it can cause the walls of the discs to tear or weaken, causing significant back pain. Other common symptoms of degenerative disc disease include tingling or numbness in your extremities. Since degenerative disc disease is a relatively misunderstood condition, it is common for individuals with the disease to receive an improper diagnosis.

Herniated Lumbar Disc

Between each vertebra in the spine or flat, round discs that have gelatin-like centers. These discs act as cushions for the vertebrae. Sometimes, these discs become herniated, meaning their gelatin-like center starts to protrude outside of the spinal joints. While one of the major symptoms of herniated discs is lower back pain, sometimes they don’t cause pain at all. This means that if an imaging test reveals a herniated disc, the patient’s pain could still be coming from another source. Therefore, it is common for individuals to be diagnosed with herniated lumbar discs when their pain is really originating from somewhere else.

Consult the Trusted Spine Surgeons at OLSS for an Expert Diagnosis

Experiencing chronic back pain can be an extremely frustrating, emotional experience. Specifically, being misdiagnosed can lengthen your recovery time and add to the stress of your injury. Receiving a proper diagnosis is essential for effective treatment. If you are struggling with back pain and suspect you have not yet had a proper diagnosis, you should consult with one of the skilled spine experts at OLSS.

When you schedule an appointment at your local Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery branch, you will receive an expert medical diagnosis. At all of our facilities, you’ll find highly skilled board-certified surgeons who are trained in cutting-edge medical procedures for neck and back treatment. We pride ourselves on our ability to orchestrate personalized care plans that serve the unique needs of our patients.

To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled spine experts, call (855) 853-6542 or fill out our online contact form.


When Is It Safe to Take a Flight after Back Surgery?

If you have recently had back surgery or have a surgery scheduled in the future, you may be wondering how it could affect travel plans. If you have air travel planned before or after surgery, it’s important to consult your doctor to talk about the associated risks, as flying after surgery can result in certain health complications. Here is some important information to know about flying after back surgery.

The Risks of Flying Post-Surgery

The risk of flying after surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery you’ve had, which is why it’s essential to talk to your doctor to figure out the risks associated with your specific situation. While the cardiac and vascular effects associated with anesthesia typically don’t last very long and don’t affect a person’s safety while flying, long-distance travel puts individuals who have just had surgery at high risk for developing blood clots. One of the most common risks of travel after surgery is a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which involves blood clots forming in deep veins in the legs.

What to Know About Deep Vein Thrombosis and Air Travel

Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is one of the most common risks of flying post-surgery. Air travel places individuals at a higher risk for contracting DVT, as it involves sitting in the same position for a long time. When you’re seated on an airplane for an extended period, it can slow your circulation and cause blood to coagulate in the veins in your legs. While these clots can resolve on their own, they can break off, traveling to your longs and blocking blood flow. This can lead to a very dangerous and potentially fatal condition called pulmonary embolism.

While any person could develop a blood clot from staying sedentary for extended periods, the risk is higher for individuals who have recently had surgery. Some other factors that can elevate the risk for blood clots include:

  • A recent hospital stay that involved significant periods of bed rest
  • A family history of blood clots
  • A recent cancer treatment
  • Use of birth control or hormone replacement therapy
  • Obesity
  • Age
  • A history of smoking

These are a couple of factors that can place individuals who have just had surgery at an elevated risk for contracting a blood clot while flying. It’s important to note that individual risk factors should be considered. Consulting with your doctor is the best way to determine your risks of flying post-surgery.

How to Lower Your Risk of Complications

Every person is unique, which is why it’s essential to talk to your doctor about determining whether it is safe to travel after your surgery. Your doctor can assess your personal medical history and make a suggestion specific to your situation.

If you choose to fly after your surgery, there are some ways to improve your circulation and lower your risks of developing blood clots. These strategies include:

  • Extending your legs and flexing your ankles during your flight
  • Walking around the plane for a few minutes every hour
  • Avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages and drink lots of water
  • Wearing compression tights to prevent blood from collecting in your legs.

These are a handful of strategies for mitigating the risks of flying post-surgery. Ultimately, the best way to determine when it is safe for you to fly after your back surgery is to talk to your doctor.

Consult the Trusted Spine Surgeons at OLSS

Are you suffering from back pain and don’t know what to do? Visit your local Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery to receive an expert medical diagnosis. At your local OLSS branch, you’ll find highly skilled board-certified surgeons who are trained in cutting-edge medical procedures for neck and back treatment. We pride ourselves on our ability to orchestrate personalized care plans that serve the unique needs of our patients in Florida.

To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled spine experts, call (855) 853-6542 or fill out our online contact form.