• 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.

  • Tips for Preventing a Season-Ending Back Injury

    Spinal injuries and back pain are significant risks in nearly every sport. For athletes, back injuries can be particularly troublesome because they often require lengthy recoveries. While your spine specialist in Los Angeles can offer non-operative spine care and other back injury treatment options that can get you back in the game as soon as possible, prevention is the best strategy. Protect your back from an injury that ruins your season with this advice.

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    Stretch and Warm-Up

    Before any physical activity, whether in practice or in a game, always stretch and warm-up before taking part. Stretching and warming up boosts circulation to your muscles and helps loosing them up in preparation for exertion. Skipping this pre-activity routine means you’ll be going right from rest to intense activity, which can cause tears and other injuries in the stiff muscles in your back.

    Wear Appropriate Safety Gear

    Most sports have safety equipment that is designed to prevent a range of injuries, including spinal injuries. Reduce the urge to compete without it, even during practices. If you already have a back injury and your spine specialist recommends that you wear a brace or other type of protection for you back, follow the treatment protocol. Even if this kind of safety gear isn’t typical of your sport, wearing it can make the difference between a minor injury and one that ends your ability to compete for the season.

    Listen to Your Body

    No athlete wants to volunteer to sit out of a game, but if you experience back pain, rest is essential. Playing through the pain can worsen a spinal injury and lead to long-term immobility. By allowing your body time to heal, your injury may not require any additional treatment, while causing your injury to get worse may leave you in need of spine surgery. For persistent pain, see a spine doctor for a diagnosis and to begin treatment as soon as possible.

  • What to Expect During an Epidural Injection

    Spine specialists in Los Angeles recommend epidural injections to treat a range of spinal injuries and sports injuries. Epidural injections are an incredibly safe and effective form of neck pain, lower back pain, and back injury treatment. If you’re considering visiting a spine doctor for an epidural injection, take a look at what you can expect during the procedure.

    Prior to the Injection
    A spine doctor at a spine and pain center will administer your epidural injection while you are lying flat on a table. If this position is uncomfortable or increases your back pain or lower back pain, you may be able to sit up

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    during the injection, or lie on your side. Be sure to speak up and let your spine doctor know if you experience pain or discomfort at any point during your back injury treatment. Before administering your epidural injection, your spine specialist will clean the injection area, and then numb it with a local anesthetic.

    During the Injection Process
    The spine specialist will use fluoroscopy (a live X-ray) to guide a needle into your skin and towards your epidural space. When the needle is in the proper position, your spine doctor will inject a contrast solution that will confirm that the epidural injection will be directed to the appropriate area. Next, your spine doctor will inject the epidural steroid solution very slowly. You may experience a feeling of pressure, but you should not feel any pain. After the injection, your spine doctor will monitor you for fifteen to twenty minutes to ensure that you do not experience any adverse reactions.

    Success Rate and Recovery After the Injection
    You may experience tenderness at the injection site after your injection, but this can be treated with ice packs and anti-inflammatory pain medication. You can usually resume your normal daily activities 24 hours after your back injury treatment. You may require a series of multiple injections for up to a year to maintain your back pain relief. The results of an epidural injection can last between one week and one year.