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Frequently Asked Questions
How can I avoid back pain?
Prevention is the best strategy for coping with back pain and can save a great deal of time and agony. Become an educated health care consumer by learning about effective prevention methods.
- Stretch before and after strenuous activity.
- Use good posture at all times, and do not slouch. When standing, keep your weight balanced on both feet rather than shifting it back and forth.
- Sleep on a firm mattress.
- When sitting for long periods of time, take frequent breaks.
- Maintain a healthy weight and try to avoid weight gain, especially around the mid-section, which can take a toll on the low back.
- Don’t try to lift objects that are too heavy for you. When lifting, use the strength in your legs more than the back.
- Avoid smoking, which accelerates degeneration in the spine.
What is minimally invasive surgery?
Minimally invasive surgical techniques provide the opportunity to successfully treat back problems with minimal interruption to the patient’s regular, active lifestyle. Results achieved from these methods have been proven to match that of conventional “open surgery.” The surgeon makes smaller incisions, sometimes only a half-inch in length. Through these tiny incisions, the surgeon inserts special surgical instruments and probes in order to access the damaged disc in the spine. By using minimally invasive techniques, access and repair to the damaged disc or vertebrae is achieved without harming nearby muscles and tissues. Other benefits of minimally invasive techniques include shorter surgery duration and recovery time, less visible scars and reduced pain and blood loss.
When should someone consider surgery for back pain?
After nonsurgical treatments such as ice and heat therapy, bed rest (1-2 days at most), exercise, injections and medications have not proven effective, your physician may consider recommending surgery. A back pain sufferer may also want to explore alternative treatments such as acupuncture.
What’s the difference between a slipped disc, a bulging disc, a ruptured disc and a herniated disc?
All four cases occur when discs become weakened over time and part of a disc is sticking out between the bony parts of the vertebra.
How can I incorporate ergonomics into my everyday lifestyle?
Applying ergonomics can help prevent repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, particularly if you are constantly working at a computer.
- Use a headset for lengthy or frequent telephone work.
- A footrest should be used if, after adjusting the height of the chair, feet do not rest flat on the floor.
- When performing daily tasks, alternate between sitting and standing or take small walking breaks throughout the day.
- Position the monitor directly in front of the user to avoid excessive twisting of the neck.
- When typing, press the keys gently; do not bang them or hold them down for long periods.
- Keep your shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers relaxed.