• How Sciatica Affects Pregnant Women

    Spine specialists frequently treat patients affected by sciatica, which is a common source of lower back pain and the need for spine pain relief in Los Angeles. If you are pregnant, you may be wondering if you will need spine pain relief and how you will be affected by this condition. Sciatic pain during pregnancy is typically caused by weight gain, additional pressure on the sciatic nerve, and changes in your center of gravity. To learn more about how sciatica affects pregnant women, watch this video.

    The sciatic nerve is one of the major nerves in your body. It attaches at several locations in the lumbar spine, runs under the piriformis muscle, and extends into the thigh and lower leg. When the sciatic nerve is irritated, it can cause lower back pain. Other sciatica symptoms include numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the buttock or leg. Luckily, sciatica can often be treated with non-surgical spinal solutions.

  • What Spine Injuries Are Most Common in Athletes?

    Amateur and professional athletes alike subject their bodies to considerable stress from overtraining, repetitive movements, and abrupt impacts. Any part of the body can develop athletic injuries, including the back. Athletes who have suffered a spinal injury in the Los Angeles area can consult a spine doctor for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Athletic spinal injuries can often be treated with conservative therapies, but sometimes, spine surgery is recommended.

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    Herniated Discs

    Disc injuries are more common among older athletes. These refer to injuries of the intervertebral discs, which are cushion-like structures located between the vertebrae. With age, the discs begin to lose water content, which makes them less flexible and more prone to injury. Athletes who suffer a sudden impact can sustain a herniated disc, which occurs when the inner material pushes through the exterior wall. Herniated disc material can compress nearby spinal nerves, leading to back pain. Other symptoms of disc herniation include numbness, muscle weakness, and tingling that radiates down the limbs. For a serious athlete, getting back in the game quickly is the ultimate goal. Minimally invasive spine surgery translates to a shortened overall recovery time compared to open spine surgery. After the procedure, athletes can expect a period of rest and rehabilitation before getting back to their usual training routines.

    Spondylosis

    Spondylosis does not refer to one specific injury. Rather, it’s an umbrella term that encompasses any sort of degeneration that affects the spine . Anyone can develop spondylosis, but athletes might be more likely to develop it at a younger age than the general population because of the considerable stress placed on their bodies. For instance, gymnastics, football, and weightlifting exert major stress on the lower back. The strain on the back might lead to spondylolisthesis, which is a condition in which a vertebra begins to slip out of place. This may require surgery to correct.

    Soft Tissue Injuries

    Soft tissue injuries can involve muscle strains and tears of the ligaments. Although these might not require spine surgery, they do require proper treatment to avoid future complications. Rest is called for when athletes experience back pain and other unusual symptoms. After a period of rest, physical therapy can help restore proper functioning.

  • Why Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Means Maximum Health

    The decision to have any sort of spine surgery should not be taken lightly. All spinal surgeries at clinics in Los Angeles carry inherent risks, such as the risk of adverse reactions to the anesthesia. However, minimally invasive spine surgery is definitely a superior choice. With this approach, the spine doctor creates a few very small incisions instead of one very large incision. Specialized surgical tools are used to complete the procedure through these tiny incisions. Minimally invasive spine surgery is generally preferable for patients because the body can heal smaller incisions much more easily and quickly than a large incision.

    This translates to a shorter stay in the hospital or clinic and an accelerated overall recovery time. Patients can get back to their normal daily routines more quickly. Additionally, spinal surgery performed with minimally invasive techniques typically results in less blood loss and a reduced risk of complications. There is usually less damage inflicted on the surrounding muscles and other tissues, which provides for better long-term functioning. Patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery often find that they need less pain medication, thereby reducing the risk of adverse reactions from these powerful drugs. If you’ve been told that you may need spinal surgery, consider asking your spine surgeon if you’re a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery.

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  • What to Expect Before, During, and After Spinal Injections

    For minor spinal injuries such as back strain, oral pain relievers and a brief period of rest may be all that is needed to address symptoms. In more serious cases, patients might consider undergoing spinal injections at a spine and pain center in Los Angeles. A spinal injection will deliver anti-inflammatory and numbing medications directly to the site of the injury to promote healing and bring rapid relief of your back pain. If your spine specialist determines that you could be a good candidate for spinal injections, he or she will let you know what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.

    Spinal-Injections

    Preparation

    It’s important to provide your spine specialist with the full details of your medical history. Let him or her know if you’re taking any medications or supplements, particularly those that can thin the blood such as aspirin and St. John’s wort. Bring any imaging studies you’ve already had, such as X-rays or CT scans. If you haven’t yet had imaging scans performed, you may be asked to undergo some testing. You might be asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything for a period of time prior to the injection. This is for your own safety. Arrange to have someone else drive you to the spine center and back home afterwards. If your health suddenly changes before your appointment, such as if you develop a cold or other illness, inform the spine specialist. He or she may need to reschedule your injection.

    Procedure

    When you arrive at the clinic, the doctor may place an intravenous line and monitoring equipment to keep track of your vital signs. You’ll be asked to lie on a table in a certain position. Your skin will be sterilized and numbed. Under live X-ray guidance, the doctor will place a needle in the epidural space before injecting the medicines.

    Recovery

    If you received a sedative, you’ll be asked not to drive for at least eight hours. It’s also a good idea to have someone stay with you for the rest of the day. You should plan on taking it easy for the remainder of the day, although you can generally expect to return to work the following day. If you experience pain at the injection site, you can apply a cold pack wrapped in a towel. It can take a few days or perhaps a week to experience the full benefits of the anti-inflammatory medications.