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Study Confirms that Yoga and Stretching Help with Back Pain

The New York Times reported the findings of a study at the Group Health Research Institute of Seattle. The findings confirmed that people with chronic back pain who took weekly 75-minute classes and also practiced yoga or stretching three times a week for 20 minutes at home reduced their amount of back pain.The study examined 228 people. These people were then divided into three groups:

  • Group 1. These people took weekly yoga classes for 12 weeks. Activities included 5-11 postures, breathing exercises and “guided deep relaxation.” This group also received instructions on doing yoga for 20 minutes at home.
  • Group 2. This group did stretching and strengthening exercises including aerobic exercises. The exercises focused on the leg and trunk muscles. This group also received instructions on doing stretching and strengthening exercises at home for 20 minute sessions.
  • Group 3. This group just received a book on back exercises and things to do to reduce pain.The results of the study were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. After 12 weeks, both the yoga and stretching groups reported less difficulty doing routine daily tasks like bending to put on their socks.
  • The results continued to be good for these two groups after 26 weeks – one-half year.

The study found that the people in the yoga and stretching groups did twice as well as with functional tasks as those in the control group. Many in the first two groups said their pain felt significantly better and were very satisfied with the results.The doctor who ran the study cautioned that yoga may not work for everyone. She said that the amount of yoga that helps would vary from patient to patient.

The doctor also stated that the stretching exercises were deep stretches and not the light stretches most people do after a workout. Each stretching routine could last two minutes instead of the 30 second routine done in light stretch workouts.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship.

Contact us

If you have any pain problems or questions,  please call our office in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA at 215.741.7031.Our pain management doctors help patients in Bristol, Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other places in or near Bucks County, Mercer County, and Montgomery County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

 

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Summary of our recent blog posts

Here are some of our most recent blogs posts. We hope you’ll take a look. We try to write blogs that our patients appreciate.

Treatments for Cervical Disc Herniation
How Is a Diagnosis of a Cervical Hernial Disc Made?
What Is a Cervical Herniated Disc?
New Year Suggestions for Pain Management
Why High Heels Can Hurt Your Lower Back and Hips
Glossary of Pain Management Terms (I-Z)
Glossary of Pain Management Terms (A-F)
Pain Management Acronyms and Abbreviations
The Advantages of Exercise for Back Pain
Regenerative Medicine for Knee Pain – Part Two
Regenerative Medicine for Knee Pain – Part One
What is Vertebroplasty
Two prestigious medical hospitals explain the causes of back and neck pain
Autumn Gardening Tips to Reduce Pain
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Spinal PainBack Pain at Work
Why Understanding Your Pain Can Lead to Better Pain Management Results
Definitions of Different Types of Doctors

Disclaimer

The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship.

Contact us

If you have any pain problems or questions,  please call our office in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA at 215.741.7031.Our pain management doctors help patients in Bristol, Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other places in or near Bucks County, Mercer County, and Montgomery County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

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What is Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

According to the Colorado Spine Institute, Isthmic Spondylolisthesis is condition  where on of the vertebra of the spine slips forward over another vertebra. It’s usually due to a fracture of the bone which connects lower and upper facet joints The fracture may be due to a degenerative condition. It can also be due to genetics. It usually occurs between the L5 lumbar vertebra and the first sacral joint

Symptoms

Common symptoms include sciatica, lower back pain, weakness in the legs, a feeling of tightness in the hamstrings. Patients may even have a limp. Muscle spasms may appear.

Triggers

Some of the activities that can cause isthmic Spondylolisthesis include “heavy lifting, stooping over, or twisting.” Athletes may develop this disorder.How is the disorder diagnosed?As with most disorders, the physician will conduct an oral examination which reviews your symptoms, how deep the pain is, and whether you’ve tried any remedies.A physical exam. The doctor will check to see your range of movements, which movements cause pain, how good or bad your reflexes are, if your muscles are weak, and for any signs of nerve damage

Diagnostic tests

The standard test is an X-ray. Isthmic spondylolisthesis usually should show up on an X-ray. A CT scan or MRI may also be ordered.

Classification

The disorder is classified differently depending on how sever the slippage is.  Partial slips are graded I-IV. A complete slip gets a grade V. Treatments will vary depending on what grade is assigned.

Nonsurgical treatments

Nonsurgical treatments include bed rest, anti-inflammatory medicine, over-the-counter pain medicine, steroid injections, and physical therapy. The disorder can get worse without treatment.

Surgical treatment

Possible treatments include surgery which uses rods and screws (called spinal instrumentation) and bone grafts. Skilled physicians will explain the options in more detail.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship.

Contact Us

If you have any pain problems or questions,  please call our office in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA at 215.741.7031.Our pain management doctors help patients in Bristol, Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other places in or near Bucks County, Mercer County, and Montgomery County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

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Treatments for Cervical Disc Herniation

There are different types of therapies for people with a cervical herniated disc. Some of the remedies that experienced pain management doctors review are the following:

Home care

Many times, the pain will resolve within a month or two. Ice and heat therapy may help. Over-the-counter medications and NSAIDS may help too. NSAIDS are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, Motrin, Advil, and Aleve. NSAIds are generally used to reduce inflammation.

Other possible medications include muscle relaxants such as Flexeril, Robaxin, and Soma. Tylenol is used to manage pain but not inflammation. Patients should check with medications are right form them – and the possible risks before taking them.

Steroid injections

These are medical procedures often done in an ambulatory surgery center with the help of a fluoroscope. Steroid injections inject medicine into the area that is in pain – to help reduce nerve inflammation and swelling of the nerves. Most patients are given several injections. The length and quality of pain relief varies from patient to patient.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy helps patients strengthen muscles. Patients are normally given exercises that stretch their neck and the areas around the neck. Physical therapy also includes working on the flexibility of the spine.Additional therapies. Many patients find the acupuncture, a better diet, and yoga help minimize the amount of pain they have.

Surgical treatments

Some patients need to work with a neurosurgeon or other specialist if their pain can’t be managed by the above remedies. Possible surgeries include:

  • Anterior cervical discectomy & fusion
  • Artificial disc replacement
  • Minimally invasive microendoscopic discectomy
  • Posterior cervical discectomy

Disclaimer

The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship. If you have any pain problems or questions,  please call our office in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA at 215.741.7031.

CONTACT US

Our pain management doctors help patients in Bristol, Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other places in or near Bucks County, Mercer County, and Montgomery County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

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How Is a Diagnosis of a Cervical Hernial Disc Made?

MRI shown.

Some of the tests a pain management doctor may recommend to evaluate a cervical herniated disc include the following:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. This imaging test uses radiofrequency and a magnetic field to detail your spine’s soft tissues. A dye is sometimes used. An MRI can show which disc is damaged and whether there is compression of the nerve. It can also show many abnormalities such as tumors.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan. This text uses an beam of X-Ray and a computer to create 2-D images of your spine. A dye may be used. It helps to show if a disc is damaged.
  • Myelogram. Here an X-Ray and a dye are used together. The dye is injected using a spinal tap. The physician can see the dye (it looks white on the X-Ray) to show if there is a herniated disc, if the disc is pinching a nerve, if there are any abscesses or tumors, and if there are  tumors or bone overgrowths.
  • Electromyography & Nerve Conduction Studies (EMG and NCS). Here electrodes, or small needles, and put on your muscles to test the electrical activity of your muscles and nerves. This test helps to detect weak muscles and damage to the nerve.
  • X-Rays. X-Rays are typically used to examine bone damage. They can also show if the vertebrae or too close together, if there are bone spurs, or even if there is arthritis. This test is normally not the first test used to diagnose a herniated disc.

DISCLAIMER

The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship. If you have any pain problems or questions,  please call our office in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA at 215.741.7031.

CONTACT US

Our pain management doctors help patients in Bristol, Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other places in or near Bucks County, Mercer County, and Montgomery County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

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What Is a Cervical Herniated Disc?

A cervical herniated disc happens when there is a tear in the hard disc wall. The gel-like center then penetrates the wall causing an irritation to your spinal nerves. The pain happens because the spinal nerves become inflamed and swell. Many times, patients experience relief when the herniation begins to shrink. Patients should look to see if their pain gets better in six weeks. If the pain doesn’t reduce in six weeks, then you should seek medication attention

The symptoms of a herniated disc

Common symptoms, include:

  • Pain in the right or left side of the neck
  • Difficulty when turning the neck from side to side or when bending the neck
  • A feeling of numbness or tingling in the fingers and hands
  • Shoulder pain which radiates down the arm
  • Pain near your should blade• Some patients have muscle spasms
  • The biceps, triceps, and hand muscles may feel week

What causes cervical herniated disc?

Getting older is the main cause People in their 30s and 40s tend to develop it the most. This is because as you age, your discs harden and dry out. The disc wall can weaken. A cervical herniated disc can also occur due to an injury or not lifting something the right way. Other negative factors include smoking, genetics, and certain types of work or hobbies.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship.
Before starting any exercise routine, or changing other habits, speak with an experienced pain management doctor.

Contact Us

Please call our office in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA at 215.741.7031. Our pain management physicians help patients in Bristol, Doylestown, Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Warminster, Philadelphia and many other places in or near Bucks, Mercer, and Montgomery County.

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New Year Suggestions for Pain Management

Spine Health offers the following four recommendations for people with chronic pain to think about in 2019. As with all recommendations, it is best to consult with your physicians first.

 

1. Try some low low-impact aerobic exercise. This type of exercise can reduce joint inflammation and help the muscles become stronger. Plus, this type of exercise helps blood rich in oxygen travel to the parts of the body in pain. The easiest type of exercise, for many people is walking. It helps to walk with someone to keep you going. If walking hurts your knee or other parts of your body, then swimming may be an option.

2. Don’t use electronic media in your media. The priority should be on getting a good night’s rest. Get rid of the smartphone, the laptop, the tablet, and even the TV screen remote. Keep these items out of your reach so you can’t grab them if you wake up in the middle of the night. If you need mental stimulation, try a magazine or a book. The electronic devices are more distracting and harder to turn off than just closing a book.

3. Stay hydrated. Buy a bottle for water and carry it with you. Water can help nutrients get to the right organs and joints and help the discs. Some water bottles now have a “built-in-fruit infuser.” Drinking water is also good because it means drinking less alcohol and less soda.

4. Stop smoking. Nicotine destroys the cells bones need to grow. Addiction to smoking is a tough routine to break. Speak with your general practitioner about the various ways to quit this dangerous and painful habit.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship.

Contact Us

Before starting any exercise routine, or changing other habits, speak with an experienced pain management doctor. Please call our office in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA at 215.741.7031. Our pain management physicians help patients in Bristol, Doylestown, Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Warminster, Philadelphia and many other places in or near Bucks, Mercer, and Montgomery County.

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Why High Heels Can Hurt Your Lower Back and Hips

According to a recent story in the Huffington Post, wearing high heels hurts more than just your feet. High heels can affect your overall posture. Poor posture, in turn, can cause wear and tear on your spine and joints – which can mean pain and discomfort.

High heels do cause blisters and calluses. Your feet my swell. Other foot problems include bunions, plantar fasciitis, and hammertoes. The pain in your feet can extend up your body to your knees, hips, and back. Wearing high heels can make your calf muscles tight.

Back problems, due to wearing high heels, can be caused due to:

  • Changes in your posture. The discs in your spine act as shock-absorbers. When women wear high heels, their weight is pushed forward. To keep your balance, the upper portion of your body has to move backward. This backward pressure makes the discs work harder. The change in posture can also cause tight hamstrings which can cause back pain.
  • Changes to your anatomy. Extended high heel usage can, over time, cause the calf muscles to become shorter and the tendons to become thicker.

The long-term wearing of high heels, according to the article, can also cause:

  • Spondylolisthesis: This is chance in the position of the vertebra
  • Foraminal stenosis: This condition can squeeze the nerves which can cause pain in the legs and buttocks.
  • Sciatica. This nerve runs from the lumbar spine down the legs. A compression of the sciatic nerve can cause excruciating pain.

There are many possible solutions

The first starts with wearing more comfortable shoes. So, either stop wearing high heels, or begin to reduce the time you wear them. If you need to wear heels, choose shoes with lower heels. Stay away from pointy-toed shoes. Try leather insoles and arch supports. Wear shoes with thicker heels.You can try stretching exercises for your calves, hamstrings, thighs, and leg muscles. Massaging your feet can help. You can even work on increasing the range of motion in your feet and ankles.

If the pain in continuing, please make an appointment with an experienced pain management doctor.

DISCLAIMER

The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship.

CONTACT US

If you have any pain problems or questions,  please call our office in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA at 215.741.7031.
Our pain management doctors help patients in Bristol, Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other places in or near Bucks County, Mercer County, and Montgomery County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

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Glossary of Pain Management Terms (I-Z)

MRI machine

Hyperalgesia: Increased sensitivity to pain or enhanced intensity of pain sensation.

Inflammation: A reaction of tissues to injury or disease. Symptoms include swelling, redness, heat, and pain.

Joint: The junction of two or more bones. The joint allows for varying degrees of motion between the bones.

Ligament: Fibrous tissue that connects bone to bone at or near a joint. The ligaments provide joint stability. Torn or sprained ligaments can cause pain

Lumbosacral: Relating to or near the small of the back and the back part of the pelvis between the hips.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A diagnostic procedure that uses magnetic fields, radio waves, and a computer. It may be used to determine the source of pain.

Myelogram: X-ray procedure where a dye is injected into the spinal canal to determine the nerve roots.

Nerve block: The injection of a nerve-numbing substance into a group of nerves.

Neuropathic: A nerve-related condition.

NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These help to reduce inflammation and manage pain. NSAIDs are available over-the-counter and through a prescription.

Palliative care: Palliative care (also known as comfort care) aims to offer relief to chronically or terminally ill people through pain management and symptom management.

Pharmacotherapy: Medication-based therapy

Physical modalities: Physical methods, such as heat, cold, massage or exercise, used to relieve pain.

Prosthesis: An artificial replacement of a body part. The goal of a prosthesis is to mimic natural form and function.

Psychological approaches: Techniques or therapies used instead of or in addition to medication to help you manage your pain. The focus is on the emotional triggers of pain. Examples of this approach include biofeedback, relaxation, stress management and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Rehabilitation: Treatment plan used to help you regain function or relieve pain caused by an injury. Exercise is often a key component.

Tolerance: When the initial dose of a substance loses its effectiveness over time.

Yoga: Complementary medical technique. It exercises the mind and body with meditation, postures, and breathing techniques that can help manage pain Stretching is a key component.

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship. If you have any pain problems or questions,  please call our office in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA at 215.741.7031.

Contact us

Our pain management doctors help patients in Bristol, Langhorne, Levittown, Newtown, Richboro, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other places in or near Bucks County, Mercer County, and Montgomery County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

 

 

 

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Glossary of Pain Management Terms (A-F)

  • Acute: Pain that can be intense but usually lasts for a short period of time, usually shorter than six months. It usually relates to a bodily injury and ends  when the injury heals.
  • Acupuncture – medical technique that uses  tiny needles inserted in the skin at certain points along the body to help manage pain, produce anesthesia or promote therapy
  • Analgesic: A medication or treatment that  manages or relieves pain.
  • Arthritis: A generic term that describes over 100 different conditions; a disorder of a joint where two bones meet, creating swelling,  redness, warmth or tenderness. Includes loss of joint space and formation of spurs,  erosions or cysts in the bone.
  • Cancer Pain: May be acute, chronic or intermittent pain – often related to tumor recurrence or treatment
  • Central nervous system: The brain and spinal cord.
  • Chronic: Pain that lasts months or years. It may get worse with time.
  • Complementary Medicine: Treatment that falls outside the standard medical approaches. Complementary medicine techniques for pain may include acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbs and yoga.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: Diagnostic procedure that uses computers and X-ray technology.
  • Cryotherapy: Therapeutic use of cold to  decrease discomfort, reduce swelling or break a muscle spasm.
  • Conservative management: An approach to treating pain that uses physical therapy, medication and injections instead of surgery
  • Fibromyalgia: Chronic disorder that causes pain and stiffness throughout the body including muscle pain, fatigue, and often depression

We’ll have definitions soon.

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only. Please make an appointment so we can formally review your medical condition. This blog does not create a doctor/patient relationship. If you’re experiencing pain, please phone our Langhorne, PA office at 215.741.7031.

Contact us

Our pain management doctors and team help patients in Langhorne, Newtown, Richboro, Doylestown, Philadelphia and many other locations in or near Bucks County, Mercer County, and Bucks County. We can be reached at 215.741.7031

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