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Pain Prevention

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Become Pain Free | Pain Specialist in Texas

Once you encounter back or neck pain, you are four times as likely to experience it again. This is why prevention is essential to your long-term recovery.

One of the best ways to avoid back pain is by exercising and stretching. Low-impact aerobics, such as walking or swimming, is an ideal way to prevent or treat back pain. Stop if the exercise becomes painful, and always remember to stretch. Stretching is easy to incorporate into your daily routine. You can even do it in front of the television.

Below are some more specific ways to prevent back or neck injuries:

Sitting for long periods

The spine likes movement. Anything that puts the spine in a static position creates stress, which can cause back and neck pain. Every hour, stand, walk around, bend, arch backward gently, and twist. Doing so at regular intervals will lengthen the amount of time you can sit comfortably. Also, get an ergonomically-designed chair or an orthopedic insert to support your spine, espetexas spine center provides information about preventing back pain neck pain ergonomic chaircially if your job involves long periods of sitting. Or roll up a towel, and place it behind your low back.

A comfortable way to stand

Prolonged standing can also strain the back. If you have to stand for long periods of time, prop one foot on a small stool or telephone book to reduce stress in the low back. Alternate with the other foot. Every half hour, bend over and touch your toes, with your knees slightly bent, or do some of the stretching exercises shown in the Seton Spine and Scoliosis website. They will help loosen your muscles, ligaments and joints.

Plane rides

While traveling on a plane, it helps to raise your feet on a briefcase or a bag underneath the seat in front of you. Ask for a pillow to place behind your low back to improve lumbar support. It is important to get up frequently and walk to the bathroom and back, whenever possible. Avoid hour-long periods in your seat.

The best sleeping position

Avoid sleeping on your stomach, which arches your back and puts pressure on your spine. Instead, lie on your back with a small pillow tucked under your knees. This position unloads the spine. An alternate position is to lie on your side with a pillow between your knees. If you like sleeping on your stomach, place a soft, flat pillow under your stomach to eliminate some of the arch that can stress your back.

texas spine center provides information about preventing back pain neck pain, information about choosing the right mattress, sleeping position

Mattress considerations

It is important to sleep on a mattress with optimal back support, whether it is a conventional mattress or a waterbed. Older waterbeds were mushy and provided little support. However, now there are waterbeds that allow you to adjust their firmness. A good mattress should relate to your body shape. Generally, go with what feels comfortable to you.

Pain is a signal from the body to the brain that something is wrong. Either the back is too weak, too inflexible, or the wrong body mechanics were used to perform a task.

 

Become Pain Free | Pain Specialist in Texas

Written by becomepainfree

February 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Posted in Complex regional pain syndrome, Dallas Doctors, Dallas Texas Pain Doctor, Discectomy and Stabilization, Endoscopic and Laser Spine Surgery, Failed back surgery syndrome, fellowship in Disorders of the Spine, fellowship trained Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, Fibromyalgia, Fort Worth Orthopedic Surgeon, Injured on the Job, injured workers, Laser Back Surgery, laser spine procedures, Laser Spine Surgery, Low back pain, Lumbar and Cervical Radiofrequency, Lumbar Microdiscectomy, M.D., minimally invasive procedures, Minimally Invasive Spine, minimally invasive spine procedures, Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Minimally Invasive Stabilization, Minimally Invasive Surgery, MIS, Myofascial pain syndrome, Natural and Ethical, Neck pain, Neck Pain Treatment Texas, Neuropathic Pain, non-invasive procedures, North American Spine Society, Obese Patients, Open Surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Pain, Pain Doctor, Pain Doctor Dallas, Pain Doctor Fort Worth, Pain Doctor Irving, Pain Doctor Plano, Pain Doctor Texas, Pain Doctors, Pain Dr, pain management, Pain Medicine, Pain Prevention, Painful nerve injuries, Painful osteoarthritis, patients’ own stem cells, Pelvic pain/Genital pain

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A new hope for back pain sufferers?

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Become Pain Free | Pain Specialist in Texas

(CBS News) Back pain is one of the most common of human complaints, which is why new treatments in the works are raising so many hopes. Our Sunday Morning Cover Story is reported now by Martha Teichner:

 

Consider the human spine, in all its glory.

 

The 24 vertebrae, cushioned by gelatinous discs . . . the little facet joints that help make your back flexible . . . all the ligaments and muscles and nerves.

 

The spine’s elegant complexity is a miracle of engineering, or a curse when something goes wrong.

 

Eight out of ten Americans will experience debilitating back pain sometime in their lives.

 

“My pain was very excruciating,” said Lenda. “I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t bend over. I couldn’t lie down.”

 

“I’d say, ‘Oh Lord, can’t you help my back, it does hurt bad’ – he didn’t help me a bit,” said Leila.

 

And the most common culprit?

 

“I think most people would think it’s the inter-vertebral discs, whether it’s herniated or whether it’s just worn and arthritic and associated with pain,” said Dr. Augustus White, a professor at Harvard Medical School. He has literally written the book on lower back pain.

 

He says the easiest way to understand a herniated disc is to think of a jelly doughnut: When what Dr. White calls “the jelly” gets squeezed out, it presses on nerves, which can mean excruciating pain. Barring serious illness, the first line of treatment may not be what the patient (who only wants a quick fix) wants to hear.

 

“You need to make sure the patient doesn’t have tumor or infection,” said Dr. White, “but once you rule those out, you can be confident that you’re not going to harm the patient by saying, ‘OK, give yourself four to six weeks.'”

 

Believe it or not, 90 percent of disc injuries heal themselves after a few weeks, especially with physical therapy. But waiting it out can be torture, and not everybody gets better. So that’s where surgery comes in.

 

More than 1.2 million Americans undergo spinal surgery each year. That’s more than TRIPLE the number of coronary by-pass surgeries (415,000), and nearly FOUR TIMES the number of hip replacements (327,000).

 

Approximately 300,000 of those back surgeries were spinal fusions, where vertebrae are joined surgically so they can’t move. They’re often held in place, permanently, with metal screws or rods.

 

For many patients, surgery is the only answer – salvation. But for all too many others, it can be a nightmare.

 

Which brings us to Dr. Kevin Pauza, a founder of the Texas Spine and Joint Hospital in Tyler, Texas.

 

“I spent decades treating patients who’ve had surgery, the surgery was fusions,” Dr. pauza said. “Patients would do well for a year or two, and they’d always come to me and need more help.”

 

In his experience, fusion was usually the wrong answer: “The spine’s made to be a structure that bends with every movement we make, and if we immobilize a segment of the spine, the adjacent segment breaks down. That’s known as the domino effect.

 

“So my thought was, can we do something to that disc so that we don’t have to fuse it? Can we bring the disc back to life?”

 

And that’s the headline of this story. Just imagine: A procedure that repairs and re-grows discs, that doesn’t involve spinal fusion, that’s no more than minimally invasive, outpatient surgery.

 

The inspiration came to him when he thought about something as basic as how an ordinary cut heals.

 

“I realized what heals a cut is something that’s very simple: It’s two products that are in you and I, they’re in everybody.”

 

In our blood plasma – they’re called thrombin and fibrinogen. For the cut to heal, the two components come together, and they make a substance called fibrin.

 

When the two components, in concentrated form, are injected into the disc through a kind of squirt gun Pauza invented, just like epoxy glue, they combine and become fibrin.

 

Injected into the damaged disc, the compound acts like a sealant, filling cracks and crevices, and eventually allowing the disc to re-grow. “It allows our degenerated disc to turn into a young, healthy, normal disc,” said Dr. Pauza.

 

Rusty Templeton is typical of Dr. Pauza’s failed fusion patients. He had his surgery in 2008, but the pain came back and was agonizing.

 

“I’ve kind of damaged the disc above and below my fusion, and of course that fusion disc is also in pretty bad disrepair,” said Templeton.

 

Templeton is given a local anesthetic. The procedure takes about five minutes…there’s no incision..no hardware…

 

Typically, at first, patients feel discomfort. “Some patients even say, ‘Gosh, I wish I never had this done,'” said Dr. Pauza. “And then several weeks later, the patients just turn a corner. We tell them that they can expect that there will be one day where they have pain, and the next day, it’ll just stop.”

 

Dr. Pauza is hoping for Food and Drug Administration approval of the procedure by 2015, and to make it available to the public shortly thereafter. Phase III clinical trials are underway now at 20 sites around the U.S.

 

Dr. Pauza has successfully treated more than a thousand patients in his private practice. “We started treating the first patients approximately five or six years ago, and the success rate is approximately 86 percent,” he said.

 

So how did Rusty Templeton do? “My pain before was at least a ten,” he said. And two months after the procedure? “It’s still around a five, because I have underlying issues. But I can lay down now. I can, you know, walk around. I can drive where I couldn’t drive before.

 

“The pain level I had before the procedure was probably around anywhere from about a six to worse, eight,” he said.

 

Christopher Joseph is a home restorer who was in a car accident. How was his pain two months after the procedure? “Right now, it’s at zero.”

 

Dr. Michael DePalma is a spine specialist in Richmond, Va. The North American Spine Society has just published his paper on the latest experimental therapies involving disc restoration.

 

“Stem cells are something that’s being investigated to replenish cells within the disc directly, injecting growth factors, which are proteins, to try to stimulate repair in a disc have also been evaluated,” said Dr. DePalma.

 

He is involved in 4 different FDA trials of the new procedures and believes these so-called biologics are the future of back treatment. Based on the results so far, he thinks Dr. Pauza’s fibrin sealant offers the most promise.

 

If the treatment, asked Tecihner, is even 50% successful with someone, is that significant? Dr. DePalma replied, “It’d be huge.”

 

And then there’s the cost. Compare spinal fusion and fibrin treatment: “The treatment for a fusion – and this is the hospital fee – typically is in the $100,000 range, not including the physician’s fee,” he said. “We don’t have a set cost for [fibrin] treatment yet, but it’s approximately 95 percent less than the cost of a fusion.”

 

Dr. Pauza expects it to be widely available within five years.

 

“It’s the first time in history that we’ve been able to cause new tissue to grow within the spine. This procedure is the procedure that really the world has been waiting for,” he said.

 

Is it? The procedure is only for back pain sufferers with specific disc problems, but there are a lot of those . . . and Dr. Kevin Pauza is absolutely sure he’s found a better, safer, cheaper way of improving their lives.

 

 

Become Pain Free | Pain Specialist in Texas

Confusion about Spinal Fusion, Spine Fusion, Spine Fusion Surgery, Back Fusion Surgery, Back Surgery

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Spinal Fusion is used to treat spinal instability and alleviate chronic mechanical back pain but many people are unsure of what spinal fusion actually does.  Spinal fusion is surgery to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in your spine, eliminating motion between them.

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Spinal fusion involves many techniques designed to mimic the normal healing process of broken bones. During spinal fusion, your surgeon places bone or a bone-like material within the space between two spinal vertebrae. Metal plates, screws and rods may be used to hold the vertebrae all together, so they can heal into one solid unit.

lumbar-fusion

Because spinal fusion surgery immobilizes parts of your spine, it changes the way your spine can move. This places additional stress and strain on the vertebrae above and below the fused portion, and may increase the rate at which those areas of your spine degenerate.

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