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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: lower back pain

Why back surgery, if it isn’t effective?

Did you know that there is an 80% chance that you will suffer from back pain, if you already haven’t? Did you know that there are 500,000 disc surgeries annually and that most of them are unnecessary and ineffective?  Several studies now indicate that for many patients, fusion surgeries designed to alleviate the pain from degenerative discs, disc herniation’s, and/or radiculopathy do not work. This can lead to significant increase with disability, opiate use, prolonged work loss and poor return to work status. On the plus side, the medical world is now rethinking its approach to back problems because “the world of spinal medicine, unfortunately, is producing patients with failed back surgery syndrome at an alarming rate”. “There is an overwhelming body of evidence indicating that chiropractic management of low back pain is more cost-effective than medical management.” Dr. Anthony Rosner testifying before of the Institute of Medicine, stated, “Today we can argue that chiropractic care, at least for back pain, appears to have vaulted from last to first place as a treatment option.”  Spread the word to your friends and loved ones!

Latent pain..happens to everyone!!

Health Tip Today:  Well, as a doctor who likes to practice what he preaches, I must say that my last 2 health tips discussed injuries due to working in the yard.  As proof, I did some yard work over the weekend, mostly edging and raking.  I did this for two consecutive days (Sat & Sun) and for a limited time. Being right handed, the right side of my mid back and right shoulder felt some fatigue, but other than that, I was careful with bending as not to hurt my low back.  Today (2 days later), I went to the gym this morning and my mid-back and posterior aspect of the right shoulder started getting tight and sore.  Funny enough (duh), I couldn’t figure out why, as I hadn’t done anything to hurt it.  The light bulb finally came on during my drive home, as I realized that I had been pushing an edger and raking right handed over the weekend.  This is kind of humorous, as initially I couldn’t figure out why I was getting sore.  It happens to the best of us, but at least I know why.  I shall take a visit to my chiropractor for some treatment!! 

Latent symptoms!

I spent some time this weekend doing the very thing I discussed last time, performing chores in the yard, as the weather was finally decent.  Often times, neck and back pain manifests days to weeks after the event that causes injury.  This includes auto accidents, falling, bending or lifting and other such activities or incidents.  This sometimes makes it hard to pin point the incident that injured them.  This last month I have had patients come in with pain symptoms from incidents that happened several days previous.  One from a fall and one from lifting heavy boxes. They seemed fine after the event (fall and lifting) and basically pain free for days. However, they started getting sore and tight about 5-6 days later, and the pain and discomfort progressed to the point they saw me.  Car accidents often progress this way also.  A thorough history will generally uncover the cause, but if you find yourself or a friend in this scenario, hustle to your chiropractor to get the help you need so you are healthy enough to enjoy the nice weather…!!

Spring Back Care!

Now that spring is upon us, the spring chores will be consuming a lot of time, especially if you enjoy working in your yard and garden.  Bending over for an extended time is one of the most common causes of back pain during this time of year.  Often it is due to weeding, mulching, or any other chore that involves forward flexing, but lifting heavy items is also a concern. Maintaining a flexed posture, for any sustained period of time, is not healthy for your spine. It causes the discs and spinal muscles to come under extreme stress.  If it doesn’t cause pain immediately it may cause pain in the not-to-distant future.  Make sure you monitor your forward bending and take constant breaks to give your back some relief.  Also when bending, bend at the hips so you do not round your lower back, as this is a common mistake people make. Finally, never twist with something heavy in your arms.  Enjoy the spring and keep your back healthy!

Opioids and Risk of Death

Pain is a fact of life and because of that people tend to seek out ways to reduce pain with their daily activities.  Did you know that fatal drug overdoses now have surpassed suicides and car accidents as a cause of death according to the CDC?  The death rate for opioid overdoses quadrupled from 1999 to 2015.  That means 91 Americans a day now die from opioid overdose. Though all age groups are more at risk for dying, those between their mid-40s and 60s are the hardest hit.  Chiropractic helps people of all ages reduce the pain that prevents them from enjoying life and can improve the function of the spine and body for maximum performance.  Don’t let prescription pain killers control your life…talk to your chiropractor for more alternatives…. !!

Proper bending technique!

If you are like me and generally hate colder weather, then you have to admit this winter wasn’t so bad. I talked to my mom in Nebraska last night and they have 70 degree weather with 80’s on the way.  With the warmer weather, many people are chomping at the bit to get in the yard and perform those spring tasks that lead to back and neck pain.  This mostly comes from bending and/or lifting. Remember to slowly work your way into the yard chores.  I see more gardening injuries in the spring and summer than any other time of year.  There is a proper way to bend and it isn’t necessarily “bending and lifting with the legs”.  Bending properly comes from the hips while keeping the back in a neutral position. To learn this technique, place a broom handle against your butt with the top against the back of your head.  Slowly bend forward while keeping the broom in contact with the butt and head.  This forces you to bend at the hips.  It takes some practice but will keep your back healthier !! Give it a try!

Back Pain Odds?

Did you know that back pain costs the US billions in health care dollars every year?  In fact, the odds of you developing back pain is so high that…..chances are you have already experienced some.  Back pain is probably the most common problem I see in my practice, with neck pain being number two.  Anecdotally, in my practice, there is a higher percentage of guys with lower back pain and women with neck and upper shoulder pain.  One of the reasons back and neck pain costs the US so much, is that care is driven to those health care providers who cost more and are less effective with their treatment.  Studies and statistics show chiropractic as being less expensive, more effective and having better patient satisfaction with their outcomes down the road, than non-chiropractic treatments.  Why not get the care you deserve…visit your chiropractor today!!

Back Pain and Over-the-Counter Meds!!

Did you know that a study recently showed that NSAIDS, (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) are no more effective than placebo for combating low back pain and other forms of spinal pain? In other words, these meds work no better than doing nothing. What is even more interesting is that 5-6 patients would have to take medications in order for just one person to achieve any meaningful benefit.  Beyond that, these meds also can cause cardiovascular and GI issues.  So if you are in the majority of those who do not benefit from these meds, visit your chiropractor for the pain,. Why wait?

Bend & Lift Safely

Wow…What beautiful weather this last weekend here in the Chicago region.  Feels like mid April…hope it lasts.  Speaking of great weather, many people were working in there yards and did you know that bending forward while working in the yard is a very common reason people hurt their backs?  Bending of the spine causes the fibers of the disc to distort and increases pressure within the disc.  These fibers usually goes back to their normal orientation upon straightening.  However, enough bends over the course of time, for anyone individual, may be enough to push the disc to its breaking point.  Try to hinge at the hips instead of rounding your lower back when you bend.  when lifting, use the hips and not the knees. This takes a little bit of practice however this decreases some stress off the disc and makes bending and lifting safer.  If you do injure your back, make sure Chiropractic is your first stop for the best care available.  It works!!

Exercise To Reduce Chronic Pain!!

Would you like to live a pain free life?  The chances of that happening is fairly remote, however, did you know that if you exercise, even moderately, you have the ability to live life with considerably less chronic musculoskeletal pain than those who do not exercise?  Studies are showing that those people who do some exercise on a regular basis, even into later into life, are less at risk of developing chronic pain compared to those who are physically inactive.  It doesn’t take much to accomplish this as studies show about 2 to 2 1/2 hours a week is all that is needed to improve your health and reduce risk of chronic pain of the ligaments, tendons, muscles and bones.  Exercise has been shown to be the true anti-aging factor we all search for. It helps with back pain, arthritis, neck pain, fatigue, and even depression. It is never too late to start exercising or just slowly get back into it, if you haven’t done it in a while…!  Your life and health depends on it!