6 Sleeping Positions for People with Lower Back Pain

There is nothing like a good night’s sleep to invigorate and energize you, but extended rest can be elusive for anyone who suffers from lower back pain. Many adults find that the discomfort they experience wakes them up in the middle of the night, and some individuals report that it can even prevent them from falling asleep at all.

For eight out of ten individuals who experience lower back pain, finding the right balance of comfort and support can be a challenge. Sleeping positions can directly impact your spinal alignment, and while there is no definitive sleeping set-up that will alleviate all back pain, there are many ways to minimize discomfort. Below are some of the best sleeping positions for anyone who experiences chronic lower back pain.

Side Sleepers

While this is the most common sleep position, strain can be placed on the spine if there is not adequate support in the correct areas. These positions will work best for side sleepers who are experiencing lower back pain.

  • On Your Side, Knees Bent. Lying on your side, draw up your knees as if you were seated in a chair so that your knees are bent, then place a pillow between your knees to support your spine.
  • On Your Side, in the Fetal Position. Similar to the above position, this one requires that you pull your knees up closer to your body. This position is particularly helpful for those who experience sciatica pain.

When looking into pillows for side sleepers, ensure you are also supporting your head and neck in order to properly aid the spine.

Stomach Sleepers

Although many sources will advise you against sleeping on your stomach, many individuals find that it is the only way in which they can get comfortable. If you choose to sleep on your stomach, utilize the following positions to help reduce chronic back pain.

  • On Your Stomach, Pillow Under the Abdomen. By using a thin pillow under your stomach, you are tilting your pelvis into alignment with the rest of your body. This can reduce pressure on your lower back.
  • On Your Stomach, Head Facing Down. This position works best if you have a body pillow, which you can lay flat underneath you. From there, your head will move down and face the bed. Though it may seem strange at first, this position is great for those who are dedicated stomach sleepers and need to find relief for their lower back pain and pressure.

Remember to use a pillow that supports you fully. We can sometimes be fooled into thinking that a soft pillow is better than a firm one, or vice versa, but the truth is that either can do more harm than good if you are using the wrong one. Your doctor will be able to help you determine which type of pillow will provide you with the appropriate support.

Back Sleepers

You may think that sleeping on your back is the best way to treat lower back pain, but it can occasionally make the discomfort worse. These positions will allow you to sleep on your back comfortably, regardless of the severity of your pain.

  • On Your Back, Pillow Under the Knees. One benefit to this position is that the weight of the body is evenly distributed, providing almost immediate relief to the lower back. Placing a small pillow underneath your knees while you are laying on your back can allow you to maintain the natural curvature of your spine, which relieves pressure.
  • On Your Back, Reclined. If you have the ability to utilize an adjustable bed, this position can be particularly helpful. Lying in a reclining position can help take away some of the pain and stress on your lower back, especially for those who have isthmic spondylolisthesis. This is a great position if you are looking for lumbar support.

As with other positions, it is important to identify the best pillow for beneath your knees and under your neck. Firm pillows beneath the knee may be more difficult to find comfort with, whereas a soft pillow beneath the head can prevent you from getting good support to the spine.

Treat Your Lower Back Pain at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgeons

Are you ready to learn how you can treat your lower back pain and finally get a good night’s sleep? Look to the professionals at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgeons in Florida. Our team of highly skilled surgeons will work with you to determine your condition and find the best approach to treating it. You won’t find a one-size-fits-all approach here: we are dedicated to using the most appropriate treatment plan for each individual. Our commitment to using modern techniques and our patient-centric approach to care has helped many individuals reclaim their normal lives.

Our modern approach to health and wellness can help get you back on your feet to enjoy life once again. To start on your path to recovery, contact us today at (855) 853-6542 or online. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you heal.


Common Causes of Lower Back Pain in Women

For many women, pain can often go untreated and unrecognized for years. This can happen for several different reasons, including doctors who do not take their pain seriously or an inability to access treatment due to restrictive insurance policies. It is important to acknowledge and address discomfort whenever possible.

It is especially important to consider treatment when it comes to lower back pain, which is one of the most common reasons for physician visits. Women can encounter varying degrees of lower back pain throughout their lives, but what are the underlying causes of that discomfort? Below, we will examine a few select causes of lower back pain in women that might be causing you discomfort. Speak with your physician if you would like to learn more about any of these conditions.

Lack of Exercise

If your job requires you to sit at a computer for most of the day, there is a good chance that you also experience some level of discomfort in your lower back. This may be a result of your desk chair being uncomfortable, but more than likely, it is because your body is not staying active during office hours. Women who lead sedentary lifestyles find that they tend to experience more localized pain in their back after sitting for long periods of time. This pain can create muscle tightness and soreness that persists for days at a time.

One simple solution is to stretch frequently. Exercises that last for only a few minutes can still significantly reduce lower back pain and free up movement once the tense muscles have been activated and stretched. Stretching and low-impact exercises can alleviate lower back pain and even reduce muscle tension in other areas of the body as well.

Poor Posture

While poor posture can occur for a variety of reasons and often stems from youth, many women find that their posture has directly contributed to their lower back pain as they have matured. Unlike an uncomfortable desk or office chair, poor posture is more challenging and complicated to correct.

Prolonged sitting or standing in uncomfortable positions can develop into poor posture practices, putting a strain on already overtaxed muscles near the lumbar spine. Working with a physical therapist on developing good habits can significantly reduce pain as a result of poor posture.

Scoliosis

If your spine has a sideways or otherwise altered curvature, you may want to speak with your doctor about scoliosis, which is a spinal condition that disproportionately affects women. Most cases of scoliosis are considered mild, but some individuals can experience painful spinal deformities if the condition is not properly treated. Although the cause of scoliosis remains unclear, physicians speculate that neuromuscular conditions and injury are a large component.

While scoliosis itself is not life-threatening, complications from the condition can often arise, including:

  • Twisting or rotating spine
  • Persistent back pain
  • Lung and heart damage from the pressure of a curved rib cage on the lungs and heart

Surgery and physical therapy can work in tandem to help women suffering from scoliosis in addition to varying degrees of neck and back pain. Speak with your physician about whether you might have scoliosis and how you can begin to treat it.

Treat Lower Back Pain with Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery in FL

Your health should always be your number one priority. Here at Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery, we take that to heart. Our experienced medical team will help you determine the best treatment option for your condition and work with you to provide compassionate, modern care that fits your needs.

Work with a medical team that puts your best interests first and guarantees you peace of mind. Call (855) 853-6542 or fill out an online contact form today, and one of our team members will connect with you to schedule an upcoming appointment or answer your questions. We look forward to helping you find the relief that you deserve.


When Is Back Pain Caused by a Pinched Nerve or Degenerative Disc?

Many conditions are linked to back pain. When back pain results from a spinal disc problem, it’s usually being aggravated by a bulging disc. Identifying the exact source of your pain can be challenging, as physicians often use a range of medical jargon to define the issue, such as a protruded disc, slipped disc, degenerated disc, or a pinched nerve.

All these types of spinal disc issues affect the body in different ways. Being able to differentiate between a pinched nerve and degenerative disc is essential to your health and the type of treatment you may receive. The information below discusses the difference between a pinched nerve and a degenerative disc and what back pain looks like in each.

What’s the Difference between a Pinched Nerve and Degenerative Disc?

A pinched nerve is essentially a nerve in your body that’s compressed. When a significant amount of pressure is placed on the nerve and its surrounding structures, like tissues, muscles, and tendons, you may experience major discomfort and disruption to your everyday life. Pressure on the nerve is typically caused by a protruding disc that hits a nerve or group of nerves.

On the other hand, a degenerative disc is a debilitating spinal condition that occurs when discs weaken and age. Wear and tear may also be initiated through an injury or trauma. Back pain caused by a degenerative disc can be excruciating. This is because discs are designed to act as gel-like cushions between the vertebrae, and when they wear out, it may make moving extremely painful.

Back Pain from a Pinched Nerve

Spinal nerve inflammation and irritation can cause severe lower back pain that may radiate down the legs and feet. In addition, a pinched nerve can lead to neurological issues like numbness, fatigue, weakness, and tingling. Pain from a pinched nerve is often referred to as radiculopathy, specifically lumbar radiculopathy, or sciatica, which affects the lower back.

Generally, pinched nerves may be caused by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, or osteoarthritis. In rarer cases, pinched nerves may arise due to other medical complications, such as an infection, tumor, or spondylolisthesis.

Back Pain from a Degenerative Disc

As discs degenerate, pain can increase due to a number of mechanisms, including inflammation, shrinkage, and motion segment instability. When discs inflame, chemical irritants may be released into the spinal canal, contributing to nerve compression. During shrinkage, the disc begins to dry up and lose fluid. Depending on the degree of fluid loss, the spinal canal may start to narrow and cause radiculopathy. Segment instability is when discs weaken to the point where they are unable to support the weight and motion of the body. In each of these instances, you may endure sharp and persistent back pain.

Effective Back Pain Treatment with Trusted FL Spine Specialists

If you’re still unsure what’s causing your back pain and want to receive a proper diagnosis, reach out to Florida’s trusted spine specialists at Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery. Our team of board-certified doctors and passionate medical staff is here to help you get back your lifestyle, free of pain. Our main goal is to identify the root cause of your pain and proceed accordingly with your best interests in mind.

At Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery, our medical group is highly experienced and trained in understanding the range of conditions that affect the back and neck. What’s more, we know the most effective ways to treat pain and use minimally invasive techniques so you can get back on your feet faster. Call (855) 853-6542 or complete a contact form today for a consultation about our services.


5 Things to Consider Before an Endoscopic Discectomy

Suffering from back pain is one of the most common medical conditions. Experts even say that 31 million Americans suffer from back pain at any given time. Back pain can ruin your quality of life as you miss work or even stop physical activity.

If you suffer from chronic back pain because of a herniated disc, you may want to consider an endoscopic discectomy. As with any surgery, there are a few things you need to know.

What Is an Endoscopic Discectomy?

This procedure removes herniated or slipped discs through a minimally invasive surgical method. Herniated discs cause significant pain that surgery can ease. The surgeon makes a small incision, about the size of a postage stamp, and inserts a camera to project the operating area onto a larger screen. This avoids the need to make a large incision.

What to Consider Before an Endoscopic Discectomy

Before you choose any treatment, it’s essential to know all the facts. Read on for five things to consider before selecting an endoscopic discectomy.

Faster Recovery

This surgery usually only lasts about half an hour, whereas some surgeries take hours to complete. Patients are typically able to return home a couple of hours after the surgery and resume everyday activities a few weeks after surgery. Compared to artificial disc replacement or spinal fusion surgery, where it takes a few months to recover, returning to normal after a few weeks is much preferable.

Anesthesia Is Not Required

Many people are uneasy about the thought of going under anesthesia, so they put surgery off. Other people can’t go under anesthesia due to life-threatening allergies or other underlying conditions. If you fall into one of these categories, you may want to consider an endoscopic discectomy.

Though some surgeons may suggest anesthesia, many give the option to perform it under local anesthesia, meaning they block nerve signals from reaching the surgery site so that the patient won’t feel anything.

Alternatives for Pain Medicine

Many people take opiate-based pain pills and strong medication after a herniated disc surgery, which may lead to a severe addiction. However, after an endoscopic discectomy, you can choose from other options.

Acupuncturists strategically place needles into the skin to stimulate natural healing properties and block pain signals. Some surgery may also bring on mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, which can increase your pain. Consider seeing a therapist before or after your procedure to help you cope with any emotional distress.

You’ll Need Physical Therapy Afterward

While endoscopic discectomies require less recovery time, you’ll still need physical therapy. Weakened back or neck muscles leave your spine unsupported and can lead to pain or risk of further injury. Physical therapy will also decrease the amount of time it takes to recover fully. Safely working your muscles in a controlled setting will improve your quality of life after surgery.

Endoscopic Discectomy Can Fix Other Back Issues

While this surgery is mainly performed to repair or replace herniated discs, a doctor may suggest the procedure to fix disc bulges or tears. If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, ask your doctor if an endoscopic discectomy can ease your pain.

Contact Expert Spine Surgeons at OLSS in Florida

If you’re suffering from back pain, reach out to the spine surgeons at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery. Our doctors are leaders in their fields and have dedicated their careers to ensuring patients receive the best possible treatment. Choose a medical group that cares. When you choose OLSS, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing our commitment is to you.

Call (855) 853-6542 or complete our contact form today. We’re here to help you get back to the life you once enjoyed before your back pain began.


4 Common Causes of Low Back Pain in Older Adults

There are a variety of reasons why older adults tend to experience more back pain than younger adults. Individuals over the age of 60 have an increased chance of stiffness and discomfort in their lower back. If you’re among this group, you’re not alone, and you’re not without options, either.

Your condition is unique after a lifetime of posture habits, previous injuries, and genetic factors. Ultimately, you will be best off consulting with a professional who can examine and treat your specific condition. Here are a few common factors that could be contributing to low back pain.

Osteoarthritis

If the pain that you experience in your lower back is most intense in the morning or before you go to sleep, it might be caused by osteoarthritis. Older adults with this condition have reported symptoms such as tenderness around a particular area of the spine, pain that worsens after physical movement, and limited range of motion.

This condition is caused by cartilage degeneration and can even result in sciatica pain if not properly treated by a medical professional.

Spinal Compression Fracture

Compression fractures are common among many older adults, particularly women over the age of 50 who have experienced menopause and have osteoporosis. These fractures can result from even gentle activities and will cause sudden pain along the spine.

The discomfort that can occur from spinal compression is usually lessened by laying flat on your back and can be exacerbated by walking or even standing for prolonged periods. If you believe you are experiencing spinal compression or a spinal fracture, ensure that you reduce any physical activity until speaking with your doctor.

Pinched Nerve or Herniated Disc

Nerves that travel from the spine are at risk of becoming pinched for a variety of reasons. Whatever the cause, the pain that results is persistent. While age is not necessarily a factor when it comes to experiencing this problem, older adults suffering from pinched nerves will experience sharp or even shooting pain which branches out towards the arms or legs.

Herniated discs will also result in similar discomfort, and it is important to ask your doctor to help you identify which of these issues you are experiencing to find the best treatment option.

Muscle Strain

Older adults who frequently participate in physical activity are more likely to experience muscle strain. Even low-impact activities such as walking, jogging, or yoga can result in this particular discomfort. Muscle strain can cause a feeling of tightness in the back that can persist for hours.

Adults who experience this pain have also reported persistent soreness and even occasional spasms. While many choose to seek out home remedies for this type of pain, including the application of both hot and cold temperatures to the affected area, the best course of action is to seek treatment with a medical professional as soon as you believe there is a problem.

Treat Your Lower Back Pain in Florida

If you find that your lower back pain interferes with your daily activities, contact us here at Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery in Florida. Our world-class specialists will provide you with a thorough evaluation and put you on the path to recovery by using state-of-the-art technology and treatments.

Want to learn more? Call 855-853-6542 or fill out a contact form to book an appointment today.