• When Should You Consider Spinal Surgery?

    Spinal surgery is used to treat a variety of conditions that affect the back and neck. In many cases, your spine doctor will advise surgery only after non-surgical spinal solutions have failed to provide spine pain relief in Los Angeles or improve your mobility. Under certain conditions when suffering from a spinal issue, you may benefit from considering spine surgery. spinal - surgery

    Herniated Discs

    Sitting between each of your spinal vertebrae are cushioning discs of tissue called spinal discs. When one of these discs breaks or slips out of place, it results in a herniated disc. This condition can cause symptoms such as back pain or pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in one of the limbs. If your doctor diagnoses you with a herniated disc, there are several treatments that he may recommend to provide spine pain relief. Conservative therapies such as rest, medication, and physical therapy are often sufficient for alleviating herniated disc symptoms. If these non-surgical spinal solutions fail to provide you with relief after an adequate period, then your doctor may suggest spinal surgery.

    Sciatica

    When a herniated lumbar disc affects one of the sciatic root nerves, which attach to several vertebrae of the spine, the result is a condition called sciatica. The sciatic nerves run from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down through the legs. Symptoms of sciatica often include low back pain or pain that begins in the buttock and reaches the thigh and sometimes the lower leg and foot. If you are diagnosed with sciatica, your doctor is likely to recommend non-surgical spinal solutions such as rest, medication, and physical therapy. If these treatments fail to provide you with sufficient relief, then it may be time to consider spine surgery.

    Scoliosis

    Although scoliosis is often thought of as a childhood condition, it can occur in adults as well. Curvatures of the spine can develop for several reasons, such as undetected birth defects, as a secondary result of degenerative diseases, or spinal cord injury. When conservative treatments fail, your doctor may suggest surgery for scoliosis if you are experiencing chronic and debilitating pain or if the curvature continues to worsen.

  • 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.

  • Differentiating Between Disc Conditions

    When you see a spine specialist, he or she will begin treatment by determining the exact nature of your problem. For many people, back pain is the result of a disc disease, such as a bulging disc, herniated disc, or degenerative disc disease. Your spine doctor in Los Angeles will diagnose the nature of your disc problem before choosing a treatment plan. Watch this video to learn more.

    In all of these conditions, a chronic or acute spinal injury that damages one or more discs causes pressure on the nerves in your back. This pressure causes pain that eventually sends many people to a spine specialist for treatment. The causes and symptoms of disc conditions vary depending on the nature of the injury, so your doctor will tailor your treatment plan accordingly.

  • A Look at Ligament Injuries in the Back

    There are many causes of back pain and, luckily, some conditions can be treated easily and non-invasively by a spine specialist. For people suffering from back pain or back spasms in Los Angeles , the cause of their discomfort may be an injured ligament. Made of tough, gristle-like tissue, ligaments support and surround your joints.

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    Ligament Injuries

    Frequently seen in athletes, ligament injuries are caused when a ligament is torn or immobilized after overstretching a muscle. Called lumbosacral sprains or strains, this type of injury causes the surrounding muscles to spasm as a way of protecting the tissues from further damage. Ligament injuries typically occur after physical trauma to the area. Back sprain, a common cause of lower back pain, is caused by damaged or stretched ligaments in the pelvis.

    Causes of Ligament Injuries

    People are sometimes surprised to learn that poor posture can result in severe ligament damage. After standing for long periods, people typically begin to slouch forward unconsciously. This causes strain on the ligaments in your back and pelvis. Over time, this way of coping with fatigue can stretch and damage the ligaments, preventing them from properly controlling our joints. Another common source of ligament injury is overuse of our backs in the workplace. For people who consistently bend, lift objects, or twist their backs, over-stretching of the ligaments and back sprain can result.

    Ligament Injury Prevention

    While work and posture are both common culprits, sports and physical activities are a primary cause of injury to ligaments. Using proper technique and protective gear offer a great defense against injuries of this kind, as well as warming up and stretching prior to engaging in athletic activity. Maintaining a healthy weight is another way of protecting our ligaments from strain and injury. When somebody is carrying excess weight on his frame, the body compensates by arching forward. This promotes abnormal posture, which puts added strain on ligaments in the back and pelvis. Your spine specialist is likely to recommend stretching and exercising properly to help prevent these conditions and ligament injury.

  • An Athlete’s Guide to Protecting the Spine

    If you’re an athlete, it’s important that you take care to avoid suffering from athletic spinal injuries in Los Angeles . A spine specialist at a spine and pain center near you can advise you on how to avoid sports injuries, spinal injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Here is an athlete’s guide to protecting the spine while working out, training, or playing sports.

    Warm Up Appropriately Before Physical Activity
    When you stretch and warm up before you engage in physical activity, you make your muscles, tendons, and ligaments more flexible and relaxed. This prevents strains, sprains, and tears that can result from tight muscles, and can also Athletic Spinal Injuries in Los Angeles improve your performance and prevent sports injuries. You should stretch slowly, and hold each stretch for ten to thirty seconds without bouncing. You should stretch each muscle and limb for the same amount of time for best results. You can also take a brisk walk prior to beginning your workout to further stretch your muscles.

    Use the Right Equipment and Gear
    It’s crucial that you use equipment and gear that is appropriate for your physical activity and skill level. If you’re participating in contact sports, or an activity that puts you at risk for a spinal injury or spinal cord injury, you must wear protective gear. This gear may include helmets, mouth guards, face guards, neck rolls, and protective pads. Repetitive stress to the feet and legs can cause lower back pain, so it’s important to also wear the correct shoes for your athletic activity. Your shoes should fit well and provide the appropriate amount of support.

    Don’t Overdo It
    Many sports injuries can occur as a result of pushing yourself beyond your limits. Pay attention to the signals that your body is sending you, and stop before you injure yourself. You can rest for short periods of time during physical activity to allow your muscles time to recover. You can also try cross training to work different muscles at different times to reduce your risk of a sports injury.