December, 2021

Below are links to articles posted in December, 2021


4 Worst Habits for Your Back

You may be surprised as to why you are experiencing back pain. Although sometimes it can be related to injury, the majority of the time, it stems from daily repeated habits you’ve adapted that are causing your back stress and discomfort. Over time, these small habits accumulate and take a toll on your back health.

16 million adults in the US experience nagging back pain that impacts their daily life. Eliminating or reducing certain daily habits can change your quality of life and improve your back health. Keep reading for insight on the four worst habits for your back that may be affecting you and information on how to change them over time.

Everyday Habits That Cause Your Back Pain

There are many non-invasive solutions that can help you achieve better back health and reduce the stress on your spine. The first step to correcting the bad habits for your back is to be aware of when you’re doing them. Taking the time to correct them will reduce aches and pains that are affecting your day-to-day life.

1.    You Sit for Long Periods of Time

Maintaining a proper posture during the workday is often not on the radar when there are so many things on your to-do list. There are a few reasons why back pain stems from sitting for long durations of time. Firstly, it puts more pressure on your spine than standing, the back muscles lose strength over time from not being used, and joints become less mobile.

When working at a desk, it is best to sit at a 135-degree angle because it takes the strain off of your lower back muscles and spine. This usually means that leaning back once in a while can help alleviate some discomfort. Also, think about the position of your head at a computer when you’re working. Are you keeping it in line with your spine or bringing it forward? Check to see if your chair supports your lower back properly, and take 5-minute breaks every hour to ensure your back says stress-free.

Driving and sitting in a car should also be considered when evaluating your posture. Hunching over the steering wheel puts stress on your back and shoulders and tightens your chest. Avoid extending your legs because it puts your spine in an uncomfortable position. When you’re at the wheel, sit at a 90-degree angle for the ideal driving posture.

2.    You Are Often Stressed

Stress often leads to clenching your shoulders, neck, and back. Usually, when you are under so much constant stress, you don’t notice the tightness in your body and continue to stay in this tightened state. This can cause unnecessary stress on your back and eventually cause pain.

A good way to remedy daily stress is to listen to music, practice meditation, journal, exercise, read, or do yoga. Dealing with stress with positive habits can help your muscles relax and diminish back pain over time.

3.    You Don’t Exercise Enough

Exercising is one of the primary ways that you can diminish and even eliminate back pain. Combining aerobic, flexibility, and strength training can improve the healing process, mobility, stiffness and strength in the muscles of your back.

Improve the health of your back by going on daily 30 minute walks, trying out yoga, or any other favorite exercise routine of yours to reap the benefits.

4.    You Haven’t Replaced Your Mattress

How long ago did you replace your mattress? The lifespan of a mattress is generally 9-10 years, but consider replacing it every five years if you have a troublesome back. Getting better sleep is vital to maintaining the health of your back. Your mattress should also be comfortable to sleep on, not too firm or plush.

Consider using a pillow to support your back when you sleep. Use it under your knees if you’re sleeping on your back, between your knees if you’re sleeping on your side, or under your hips if you’re sleeping on your stomach.

Consult Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery for Ways to Improve Your Back Pain

Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery (OLSS) recognizes that back pain is different for each patient and strives to offer the best individual, patient-centered treatment. The experts at OLSS are thorough in their approach to diagnosing and treating your specific back condition.

The medical team at OLSS are leaders in their fields. They specialize in providing the most innovative, non-invasive treatments for quick recoveries and confident diagnosis. For more information regarding ways to improve your back pain, call us at (855) 853-6542 or complete our contact form.


Tips to Prevent Winter-Related Back Pain

Winter is the time of year when you may notice an increase in back pain. Although there is still debate on what specifically causes it, you may be experiencing the winter-related symptoms like clockwork.

As you get excited about the winter months ahead and all of the snow-filled activities you can’t wait to participate in, consider these tips to prevent winter-related back pain to make the winter months more enjoyable for you.

The Cold Is the Culprit behind Your Winter Back Pain

There are a few potential reasons why you may experience back pain more in the winter months. One of the explanations is that colder weather is known to cause stiff joints and muscles. Cold temperatures restrict circulation and may cause straining and tightness in your back muscles. You may feel this especially during strenuous activities like shoveling snow or scraping ice.

Lack of exercise is also a factor in back pain during the winter months. Because of this lack of activity, muscles generally become weaker and are more susceptible to injury from winter- related activities. To protect the health of your spine and reduce your chances of developing winter-related back pain, here are a few simple tips.

Stretch and Exercise

Stretching is an essential way to warm up the muscles, increase circulation, and keep you flexible for every winter activity. Making the decision to stretch every day will help prevent your back from becoming injured, sore, or strained. When stretching, consider these guidelines:

  • Warm-up your muscles before stretching with a light walk
  • Don’t hold a stretch too long; aim for 10-30 seconds
  • Pay attention to your breathing
  • Don’t bounce during stretches
  • Stretch after exercising to cool off

Even though it’s tempting to stay cozy and warm instead of working out, your back and muscles will thank you. Continuing to exercise your core will also help strengthen your spine muscles and help prevent any future back pain.

There are many ways you can continue to exercise in the winter. Some ideas you could include in your workout routine are swimming in a heated pool, joining an indoor gym, and following along with workout routines online.

Layer Clothing and Wear Proper Shoes

Even though this is a typical staple of wintertime, this strategy to prevent back pain is especially important because it protects muscles and blood vessels from becoming constricted and tight. Don’t forget accessories like scarves, gloves, hats, and tall socks.

Wearing proper shoes could prevent you from slipping and falling while you are enjoying the cold weather. Shoes with deep treads or rubber shoes are perfect for walking on slippery surfaces. Back pain can be caused or worsened by fall injuries, so wearing appropriate shoes is essential to protecting your back.

One of the activities that should be done with care is shoveling snow. Even though it seems like a simple task, it can easily injure your back with the bending, lifting, and twisting motion it requires. Consider these tips when shoveling snow to avoid back injuries:

  • Don’t lift with your back, lift with your arms and legs
  • Shovel small amounts at a time
  • Push the shovel instead of lifting it
  • Take breaks and switch sides

This doesn’t just apply to shoveling snow, either. Any time you are lifting heavy objects or doing manual labor, make sure to lift with your full body instead of your back and take breaks.

To Prevent Winter-Related Back Pain, Consult with Our Spinal Pain Relief Specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery

Experiencing winter-related back pain can affect your enjoyment of the season. At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery (OLSS), we are determined to offer the best, cutting-edge medical care for back and neck treatments for our patients so they can return to everyday life or prevent future issues. Our team creates an individualized treatment plan for your specific needs and recovery.

OLSS expertly identifies a range of back and spine conditions and provides the most effective, non-invasive solutions to treat pain so that you can enjoy recovery as soon as possible. Call (855) 853-6542 for more information or fill out our contact form.


3 Top Benefits of Swimming Exercises for Back Pain Relief

Back pain can have various causes, including strain, injury, bone disease, and more. Depending on the origin, back pain can be alleviated through medicine, surgery, or other treatments. Exercise is another method of pain relief that can be very effective. While commonly associated with preventative care, exercise is also beneficial for those suffering from certain health conditions.

Some exercises can give you relief from your back pain and improve the health of your spine. Swimming exercises are an excellent way to manage your back pain. Doing exercises in the water has many benefits and advantages over other forms of exercise. Walking in the water, water aerobics, and swimming laps can make a difference in your back pain and overall health. Before committing to an exercise regimen, learn the benefits of swimming exercises and talk to an expert back doctor.

1. Swimming Builds Muscle Strength

A noticeable side effect of back pain is that it makes moving and performing certain activities difficult. Typically, people will treat this pain by getting rest, but there is such a thing as too much rest. If you are inactive for too long, your muscles could become weaker or even atrophy. Swimming exercises help build stronger muscles in the back, shoulders, legs, and core. Building up muscle strength in these areas will help support your spine and lower back. Water provides active resistance, which makes it suitable for building muscle strength.

2. Swimming Relieves Stress on Joints

One of the causes of back pain is stress or pressure on joints, which can be difficult to avoid when exercising. When you perform exercises in a pool, buoyancy supports a portion of your body weight. Buoyancy makes swimming exercises low impact. Low impact exercises put little to no stress on your body and are gentle on the joints. Pools are non-weight-bearing environments, so you’re not putting weight on your spine and exacerbating the pain.

3. Swimming Improves Blood Flow to Muscles

Swimming exercises are a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. Exercises such as water aerobics give you the cardio exercise needed to build muscle strength, improve flexibility, and condition your core and lower back muscles. Cardio promotes healthy blood flow to the muscles in your back. Healthy blood flow helps your muscles receive more nutrients which support muscle repair and reduce stiffness that can cause back pain.

Learn More from Experts in Back Pain Relief

Back pain is an issue that interrupts people’s daily life. Relief can be life-changing for those who have forgotten what it’s like to live without constant discomfort. While you may know that exercise can manage your back pain, you may not know which exercises will work best for you. Back pain can restrict you from doing certain activities, and some exercises could cause more damage, especially if done improperly.

You have a right to know all of your options for back pain relief. Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery has experts who can tell you the best methods to find relief. Our doctors have the experience necessary to give you proper guidance. To learn more about relieving your back pain or for back pain treatment options, call us at (855) 853-6542 or submit our contact form to receive more information.


Can Swimming Lead To Back Pain?

People all over the world enjoy swimming. It’s an activity you can do almost anywhere at any age. You can swim alone, with family and friends, or against others in friendly competition. Also, it’s a fun way to get a good amount of exercise. Whether you’re at the pool, water park, or beach, swimming has numerous health benefits, but can it also lead to back pain?

Back pain is often caused by strain or injury. Performing certain activities could damage the muscles in your back or hurt your spine, resulting in long-term back pain. Swimming is a low-impact activity, so it is often recommended to people with back pain. However, that doesn’t mean swimming couldn’t possibly injure someone.

Common Causes of Back Pain

Preventing back pain requires being careful with your positions, movement, and general health. A person could strain their back by sitting in the same position for too long. They could injure their spine by lifting a heavy box with improper form. Sometimes, back pain is a symptom of an illness or disease. Bad posture, chairs without support, looking down or up for too long, and other actions put pressure on your joints and strain your back muscles, making movement more painful over time.

The Benefits of Swimming

Swimming, like most exercises, touts many health and fitness benefits. Your active time in the water can build muscle strength and is excellent cardio to improve your blood flow. Swimming is also very customizable. If you’re swimming for exercise, you can decide which parts of the body you want to focus on and plan your strokes accordingly. Different strokes build different muscle groups, and some strokes use most of the muscles in your body.

Swimming Can Cause Back Pain If You’re Not Careful

Ultimately, it is possible for swimming to cause back pain. Though swimming can be beneficial for those with back problems, some strokes require forms that can be painful if you have pre-existing back pain. For example, front strokes like the butterfly can injure the lower back. To perform these strokes, you must arch your back, hyperextending your lower spine rather than keeping it neutral, putting more strain on the facet joints.

Also, just like with any exercise, improper form can injure your spine. While swimming, you have to be careful with your body’s position and movements because using improper form can strain your back muscles. For instance, jerking your body out of the water to take breaths can cause you to twist in a way that can injure your upper spine and damage vertebrae over time.

Talk to Spine Experts about How Swimming Can Affect Your Back

If you’re concerned about your back health, swimming exercises have some advantages. You are partially buoyant in a pool, so you’re putting less weight on your spine. On the other hand, your swimming technique could do more harm than good without proper guidance. Essentially, swimming has its pros and cons, but it’s always best to consult an expert on matters related to your health.

If you’re concerned about your back health, consider talking to a spine specialist at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery. Our doctors have the experience necessary to give you proper guidance on caring for your back muscles and spine. The spine specialists at OLSS are highly trained and are committed to giving patients the finest care possible. To learn more about preventing back pain or back pain treatment options, call us at (855) 853-6542 or submit our contact form to receive more information.


How to Train Yourself to Sleep on Your Back to Improve Your Spinal Health

To improve your spinal health, you may want to consider training yourself to sleep on your back. Unlike other sleeping positions, sleeping on your back can have a few long-term benefits. When you begin to train yourself to sleep supine, you may experience less pain in your neck and back. This is because the spine is set in a neutral position and doesn’t experience pressure during sleep.

Additional benefits of sleeping on your back include the reduction of headaches and possibly the prevention of the appearance of wrinkles. Training to sleep on your back is not always easy because you have already developed your sleeping habits, but if you want to improve your spinal health, keep reading for a few simple tips to make it easier.

Simple Tips for Training Yourself to Sleep on Your Back

One of the biggest challenges to training to sleep on your back is that you will change your sleeping position in the middle of the night most of the time. If you are advised by a physician to sleep in this position throughout the night, this can feel discouraging. However, there are many ways you can go about training yourself to sleep on your back:

  • Pillow Underneath the Knees Technique: This technique requires you to place a pillow underneath your knees so that they are in a slight bend. This can help any discomfort that arises in the low back when sleeping supine.
  • Pillow Underneath the Lower Back Technique: This technique may take some trial and error because the pillow has to be the right height to provide maximum comfort for your lower back. This technique supports the lower back and keeps you comfortable as you adjust to a new sleeping position.
  • The Starfish Position Technique: Although this technique requires more space, it may be more comfortable for someone trying to adjust to sleeping on their back. The starfish technique requires you to spread your arms and legs apart to relieve any pressure you feel in your body.
  • Get Picky About Your Head and Neck Pillows: Having the right pillows for your head and neck is important because they should support the natural curve in your spine. Having a pillow too high or low can put you out of alignment and make sleeping on your back uncomfortable.

How Do You Know If Sleeping on Your Back Is Not Right for You?

When you have certain health and medical conditions, it may not be the best option for you to sleep on your back. To avoid any injury or complications to your health, you may want to ask your physician what works best for you:

  • Pregnancy: Sleeping on your back can be harmful to the fetus. Side sleeping is usually recommended for pregnant women and can be most comfortable when using a pregnancy pillow to bolster your stomach and back.
  • Heartburn: Heartburn becomes more prominent when sleeping on your back and can lead to uncomfortable rest. If you rather sleep on your back, it may help to prop up your upper body using pillows.
  • Chronic Snoring: Sleeping on your back increases If it is disrupting your sleep, try to elevate your head slightly more with another pillow.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: This condition is exacerbated by sleeping on the back. It may be more beneficial to sleep on your side to get better quality sleep.

Consult a Skilled Spine Specialist to Improve Your Spinal Health

Training to sleep on your back can improve your spine health by allowing your spine to relax in a neutral alignment. Sleeping positions greatly influence your sleep quality and sleeping supine may not be right for you. At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery (OLSS), our knowledgeable spine specialists are highly trained in a range of spinal conditions and can expertly create a treatment plan that is personalized to your needs.

Our medical team offers cutting-edge technology and minimally invasive treatment plans for neck and spine injuries that allows patients to get back to living their everyday life with minimal recovery time and lasting results. Complete our contact form or call (866) 646-5090 for additional information.