Back Pain Warning Signs That May Signal a Trip to the Doctor

Back pain can occur from irregular sleeping positions, muscle strain, and past accident injuries. There are a lot more common occurrences of pain in the back and shoulder area as we age. While many normal and less concerning symptoms happen, there are also instances where a doctor should be involved.

If recurring pain makes it hard for you to go about your daily life, it’s essential to talk with a doctor and see if your back pain is a sign of a serious injury or illness. When considering either an appointment with the doctor or an emergency room visit, analyzing how urgent your needs are can save you money and time. Consider the following red-flag symptoms before making your decision to either see a physician or urgent care.

When Should I Go to the ER for Back Pain?

A visit to the ER means that your symptoms and pain require immediate assistance.

For those who suffer from intense pain or have other medical conditions, the emergency room is essential. When assessing an injury or illness, consider the following symptoms when deciding whether to wait for urgent care or make your way to the ER:

  • Inability to walk, stand, or control bowel movements
  • Intolerable pain in the lower back or legs
  • Pain following a previous injury, like a car accident, falling from stairs, or sports-related damage
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Previous medical conditions, like osteoporosis, arthritis, or recent immunosuppression

All these symptoms or medical conditions can play a role in the severity of your back pain and danger to your health.

Signs You Should Make a Trip to Urgent Care

Maybe your back pain is less severe than those above and you’re able to wait for urgent care. If your symptoms do not need immediate assistance but you’re unable to wait for an appointment with your primary care physician, urgent care is needed. Whether you’re unable to schedule a meeting or require an analysis of your symptoms, urgent care can aid in identifying the gravity of your situation.

Examine these symptoms to help determine if urgent care, rather than emergency services, is your best option:

  • Severe back pain that fluctuates with movements
  • Back pain that causes vomiting or nausea
  • An increase in pain that cannot be subdued with over-the-counter pain medication
  • Stiffness in the back
  • Pain that travels down the hip or leg

Urgent care is an excellent option for those in need of prompt medical care.

Signs You Need a Doctor’s Appointment For Back Pain

If you can continue with your daily life until a scheduled meeting with your primary physician, a regular doctor’s appointment is most likely the best choice. For this option, symptoms should be tolerable with the aid of pain medication and self-care tips—stretching, heat/cold therapy, or a therapeutic back massage.

An important quality to note is that back pain can quickly become chronic and is harder to treat. Ensure that you’re not pushing yourself to wait for a doctor’s appointment if you’re in dire need of emergency care.

Simple Ways to Prevent Back Injuries

In order to prevent a doctor’s appointment or urgent care trip, there are a few great ways to help keep you and your back happy, healthy, and safe. Consider incorporating the following into your daily routine:

  • Adjust your sleep position: A great way to support your back during sleep is by positioning pillows to align your spine.
  • Lift carefully: Make sure when you squat to lift something, you’re bending so your knees don’t go over your toes, and your back is upright instead of hunched.
  • Exercise those muscles: Your chest, core, and back muscles all play a role in your back health. Try some great at-home physical therapy exercises here.

Explore Your Medical Options with Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery

Back pain can make you feel exhausted and frustrated. Here at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we’re determined to have you feeling free of pain and excited for the day. With innovative state-of-the-art technology that allows for small incisions and minimal downtime, our procedures are tailored to your needs without wasting any of your precious time.

Our respected and dedicated medical team at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery will diagnose and create a detailed plan specifically for you and your needs. To learn more about how our leading orthopedic team in Florida can relieve your back pain, contact us today at (855) 853-6542.


Does Dehydration Impact Your Spine and Back?

Water makes up 60% of the human body. As we move throughout the day, we need to replenish the water lost to keep ourselves running. When we lose more water than we take in, our body experiences dehydration, making it harder for essential processes to function properly.

Doctors recommend that men drink 3.7 liters of water and women around 2.7 liters of water daily. Drinking the suggested amount of water will make sure that our body can properly perform its routine. The amount of liquids in your body can impact your energy levels, bowel movements, and organ health.

How Does Water Affect the Spine?

Our spine is made from rows of bone called vertebrae, and between each of these is a disc. As you bend and move around, your discs absorb the shock from your movements and protect the bones.

Inside each disc is a cushion for the vertebrae called the nucleus pulposus. Surrounding the nucleus pulposus is a ring of a rigid and flexible gelatinous substance that works as another protective layer. The nucleus pulposus is mainly water. When we’re properly hydrated, our spine has more mobility and less tension than when it needs water.

Can Back Problems Occur from Dehydration?

So, what does this have to do with dehydration? The inner part of the spinal disc is mainly water, and it’s the part of the spine that acts as a buffer for the vertebrae bones. If you’re dehydrated, the disc won’t be able to absorb shock and the bones will grind together.

Earth’s gravity weighs down on our bones, and as we move throughout the day, our vertebrae compresses the discs and pushes the water out. When we keep ourselves hydrated, the discs are replenished and can continue to act as a cushion. If we become dehydrated, our discs can’t refill, and our bones will stay compressed. See the list below for some back injuries caused by dehydration:

  • Immobility
  • Bulging or herniated discs
  • Weakness in leg muscles
  • Spinal pain
  • Shooting pain through the legs

Water makes sure that our bones don’t rub together and create serious injuries.

How to Start Drinking More Water

It’s vital to drink enough water throughout the day. More than just preserving your back and spinal health, water consumption can improve metabolism, prevent headaches, and maximize physical performance. If you’re someone who forgets to drink water, try some of these tips:

  • Set daily goals and reminders
  • Carry around a reusable water bottle
  • Flavor your water
  • Eat foods high in water—zucchini, watermelon, or cabbage

Any of these tips can help keep your body in peak performance, and finding more ways to increase your water intake can improve your back and spine health.

Trust in Our Expert Back and Spine Surgeons at OLSS

Our respected and passionate medical team at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery is always willing to help those in need of assistance with back or spine injuries. From non-surgical methods to minimally invasive surgeries, our team uses state-of-the-art technology to provide our clients with a tailored treatment made specifically for their needs.

If you’re looking for reputable back and spine doctors, contact us today at (855) 853-6542 to learn more about our treatment procedures.


10 Tips to Reduce Back Pain While Driving

Nothing beats driving out on the open road, blasting the radio, without a care in the world. However, if you are experiencing back pain while driving, that pain can be a buzzkill whenever you get ready to go for a cruise. Whether you have a twenty-minute commute to work every day or are gearing up for a cross-country road trip, you do not want your back pain ruining the fun.

Back pain is rarely a cause for serious concern. Still, it is never a bad idea to consult a medical professional if you are continuously experiencing this issue every time you get in your car for a drive. Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery is a team of highly experienced doctors that offer both non-surgical and surgical treatments for back pain and are ready to offer you the personalized care you need. So, don’t cancel those summer road trips just yet. Keep reading to learn some tips to help prevent back pain as you take to the open roads.

What Causes Back Pain While Driving?

For many people, driving becomes an action as natural as breathing. While a short commute to the office may not seem like something to even think about, it can be an excruciating ten minutes to someone experiencing back pain when they drive.

You may find it odd that you experience pain when you sit in your car seat but not when you sit in a chair in your living room or at your desk. The reason for this is the motion of your car. While operating a motor vehicle, your body is affected by acceleration and deceleration, whole-body vibrations, and moving side to side. The following list contains some other common causes of back pain while driving:

  • Bad posture
  • An accident or collision
  • Overuse of ligaments or muscles outside of driving
  • Compression fractures
  • Arthritis
  • Lifting heavy objects improperly

To prevent developing back pain while driving, try to avoid any of the above causes for smooth sailing, or driving, for all of your trips to come.

10 Best Ways to Reduce Back Pain in the Car

Experiencing back pain while driving can make you want to stop driving altogether. The situation may seem helpless, but do not give up just yet. The following tips can help you achieve relief while driving your car and allow you to get back to enjoying the trip without thinking about that shooting pain.

  1. Adjust your seat and headrest. When driving in the car, it is better to have your seat positioned forward rather than farther back for the best posture and to alleviate pressure from your back.
  2. Change your steering wheel grip. Try placing your hands at nine and three o’clock to alleviate pain in your upper back region.
  3. Create lumbar support with something as simple as a rolled-up sweatshirt or jacket placed at the small of your back.
  4. Use cruise control if your vehicle offers it. This will allow you to periodically place both feet on the floor of your car, evenly distributing your weight and relieving stress from your back.
  5. Try a heated seat, if your car has them. Turn it on for periods throughout your drive.
  6. Make a stop along the way. Something as simple as taking a break from driving and moving around can help ease your back pain.
  7. Bring an ice pack with you for a longer driver.
  8. Remove any items from your pockets, like a phone or wallet, while driving to allow you to sit flat against your seat.
  9. Stretch before you go driving and during any breaks you take.
  10. Adjust your mirror so that you do not need to twist or strain your upper body or neck at all.

If you try these tips for a few weeks and are still experiencing back pain when you drive, it is probably time to seek the help of a medical professional.

Experienced Back Doctors to Help Treat Your Back Pain

When nothing seems to help your back pain while driving, that is usually a sign that there is something more serious going on. Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery has the resources and experience to help you understand your back pain and treat it. Reclaim the roads and start your journey to recovery by filling out our contact form or calling us at (855) 853-6542.


Understanding the Symptoms of Bone Spurs

Neck and back pain can severely hinder the way we live our daily lives. It can be hard to enjoy your day when something as simple as sitting in the wrong chair can cause you to experience pain. Neck and back pain can start as a slow burn that eventually erupts into a more significant issue that can affect your job, hobbies, and even your family life if not recognized and treated.

Bone spurs, often popping up in the joints of the neck or back, are a bony growth or hard bump that forms on the ends of bones. These smooth and hard bumps can cause neck and back pain that does not seem to go away. Recognizing the symptoms and then seeking help from professionals like Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery is the only way to ensure a speedy recovery to get back to the life you know and love.

What Are the Symptoms of Bone Spurs?

Understanding the symptoms of bone spurs means also understanding where you are experiencing the painful bumps. Bone spurs can grow on the bones of your neck (cervical spine) or your lower back (lumbar spine). Typically, there is a slow development of pain that worsens with time and activity. The other symptoms for these two regions can vary, so pinpointing where the origin of the pain is coming from is crucial.

Bone Spur Symptoms in the Neck Area

Everyone may experience symptoms differently. Yours will depend on the exact location of the bone spurs. The following is a list of some of the most common symptoms of bone spurs along the cervical spine:

  • Pain that radiates in one or both shoulders
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in either or both arms
  • Feeling weakness in the upper limbs
  • Dull or achy pain in the neck
  • Headaches that seem to start with a dull pain in the neck

If you have experienced one or more of the above symptoms, then you likely are experiencing bone spur symptoms and should consult a medical professional for the next steps.

Bone Spur Symptoms in the Lower Back

Bone spurs in the lower back region can cause a condition called spinal stenosis. People with spinal stenosis typically experience the following symptoms:

  • Dull pain in your lower back when walking or standing in place
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in the buttocks and back of the thighs
  • Weakness in your legs
  • Relief from pain when flexing at the waist

Experiencing any of the above symptoms could mean it is time to request the help of a doctor to determine a treatment plan.

Can Bone Spurs Go Away on Their Own?

Unfortunately, bone spurs will not go away on their own. If you have experienced any of the symptoms of bone spurs, you should immediately see your local medical professional to officially be diagnosed and make sure nothing else is going on.

While troublesome on their own, bone spurs can also indicate other issues, like spinal stenosis, degenerating discs, or herniated discs. To prevent further damage or ongoing pain, head to a doctor to ensure you can start on the path to recovery as soon as possible.

Treatment Options for Bone Spurs

When appropriately treated, bone spurs are not permanent. This should give you a much-needed sigh of relief as there are a few different treatment plans that are suited for each unique case to help you ease back into a life free of neck and back pain.

Non-Surgical Treatment

In the early days after the diagnosis of bone spurs, treatment can be pretty straightforward and easy. Unless your symptoms are severe enough to cause serious concern, your doctor may opt for these treatments while monitoring the healing progress:

  • Rest
  • Pain medications
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Holistic therapy

The above treatments may be enough to make you feel back to your old self, but if the pain continues, you should talk to your doctor about what you need to do next.

Surgical Treatment

While it is rare to need surgery for bone spurs, it is a possibility if pain persists for weeks. The following surgeries are often used to treat bone spurs:

  • ACDF
  • Posterior cervical laminoplasty
  • Laminectomy

If surgical treatment becomes necessary, these particular treatments are minimally invasive and will have you pain-free in no time.

Get Help from Neck and Spine Specialists

Experiencing pain in your neck and spine should not be something you endure on your own. Whether you have a question about symptoms or are seeking specialized care, Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery is ready to help you achieve a life without neck and back pain. Contact us online or call (855)-853-6542 to start your journey to a pain-free life today!


Is Scoliosis Bracing Right for Your Child?

Scoliosis is characterized by a side-to-side curvature of the spine. Most cases of scoliosis have no known cause, but research has shown that it tends to run in families. In children between the ages of 10 and 18, the most common spinal disorder is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that appears during a child’s pubescent growth spurt. It is at this time that the human body grows rapidly, causing the spine to curve in some individuals.

Although we may not always know what causes some spines to curve incorrectly, we know that the disorder is found in millions of people worldwide. Current literature even suggests that scoliosis may affect up to 5% of children. Unfortunately, even with today’s modern technology, there is still just one way to reduce the curve or prevent it from progressing without a surgical procedure: scoliosis bracing.

What is Scoliosis Bracing?

When you choose Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery for your child’s spinal care needs, one of our renowned back doctors will create a personalized treatment plan for your child to get them started on a path to a more comfortable life. This specialized treatment plan may include bracing your child.

A scoliosis brace is a stiff plastic jacket that fits around the torso, from underneath their arms to their hips, similar to a corset. There are many different kinds of braces for scoliosis, but most include straps to help straighten the spine and keep it in place. Bracing is often the first step in pediatric scoliosis treatment, with doctors hoping that it will prevent the curve from getting worse and requiring surgery in the future.

Should You Treat Your Child or Teen’s Scoliosis with Bracing?

Fortunately, few pediatric scoliosis patients require treatment, and only about 30% of patients require bracing. For scoliosis bracing to be effective, a child must still be growing. Before starting any treatment, such as bracing, an orthopedist will examine your child to ensure that they:

  • Are not too far along in growth and development
  • Don’t have a curve that is too severe
  • Don’t have a curve that is too small

If the orthopedic specialist determines that your child will be able to achieve the desired results by bracing, a brace will be specially made for your child’s body type. As the child grows, their brace may need to be adjusted or replaced.

About 10% of scoliosis patients require surgery, and if your child is one of the few that requires a surgical procedure, the sooner it can be performed, the better. Surgeries done earlier tend to be simpler and necessitate less fusion of the spine. Often, recovery from pediatric scoliosis surgery takes about one to two months.

Discover Reliable Treatment for Pediatric Scoliosis with a Florida Spine Doctor

Whether your child has been diagnosed with scoliosis and you are researching treatment options, or if you would like to have your child checked out for scoliosis, give us a call at (855) 853-6542 or complete a contact form to schedule an appointment at one of our Florida clinics. At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we offer minimally invasive treatments for many spinal conditions, including pediatric scoliosis.


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!