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Understanding PSIS

 

The PSIS, or Posterior Superior Iliac Spine, is one of the three major components of the hip bone. Unlike most other major bones, it is not palpable and is instead recognized by a small dimple directly above the buttock. Patients experiencing severe and chronic lower back pain are often suffering from an injury to the PSIS. This article will provide an overview of the PSIS, an explanation of what it does, and an understanding of possible pain causes and treatments. If you’re suffering from pain in this region, contact a Spine Care NJ specialist to be properly diagnosed and to discuss the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery today.

What Is The PSIS?

Your Posterior Superior Iliac Spine is one of the three bones that make up the hip. As mentioned above, it is marked by a small dimple directly above the buttock and is responsible for providing an attachment for the posterior sacroiliac ligament, the sacrotuberous ligament, and the thoracolumbar fascia. In a nutshell, the PSIS is the crux of your hip bone and allows for major ligaments to attach to it and connect the rest of the body.

Understanding PSIS Pain

Generally felt directly above the buttocks, the PSIS is responsible for what is referred to as Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction and can leave sufferers in tremendous amounts of pain. Typically, the pain will be felt in one or both buttocks, but can radiate up and down the legs. In most cases, the pain is described as achy and dull and is often worse in the morning and relieved with physical movement.

PSIS Pain Treatment Options

The most common treatment option for PSIS localized pain is a pain-blocking injection. In this procedure, a trained and experienced spine care specialist will use imaging to isolate the pain area before injecting a numbing agent that serves to “block” the pain signals. For most patients, this offers an effective, non-surgical solution to chronic pain in their thighs and buttocks.

Contacting A Spine Care Specialist

If you’ve been experiencing persistent pain in the buttocks or thighs and have not been able to experience relief through over the counter medications or physical movement, contact a specialist at Spine Care NJ today. Our team will review your medical history, perform a thorough physical evaluation, and diagnose the cause of your pain. Once diagnosed, your treatment options will be laid out for you, and we will work with you to find the most minimally invasive treatment solution possible. Call us today to request an appointment.


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The Big Thaw : Getting Your Spine Ready For Spring

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The Big Thaw: Getting Your Spine Ready For Spring

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Finally, spring is right around the corner! After months of cold and indoor activities, most of us can’t wait to spend our days and evenings soaking up the mild spring air outdoors. Whether this means days spent gardening or brisk walks at night, spine care specialist, Dr. Grigory Goldberg, urges everyone to mind their spine and prepare their bodies for the increase in activities before spring officially blooms. Dr. Goldberg offers helpful tips for what we refer to as “The Big Thaw.” Read on to learn what you should be doing to prepare your back for the change of seasons.

Tips For Preparing Your Spine For Spring:

 

  • Opt For Foot Support Over Foot Fashion: Strappy sandals look great but offer minimal support for your feet. Spine health starts with supportive footwear. The less support your feet have, the harder your spine has to work. Sandals have negative effects on the shins and calves, and these effects can travel upwards and cause spine instability. Whether you’re spending the day planting flowers or are strolling the boardwalk with friends, opt for sandal options that offer adequate, full-body support.
  • Warm Up: Take a hint from the weather and warm up your body before any activity. The fastest way to damage your spine is to engage in strenuous physical activity without properly preparing your ligaments and muscles. Most of us decrease our physical activity level in the colder months. Start taking a little time each day to warm your muscles up in preparation for the increase in movement as the weather warms.

 

  1. Don’t Neglect The Core: Working your ab muscles is about more than just looking good on the beach. It is critical for gaining the strength needed to support your lower back. A solid core allows your spine to easily support the weight of your body. A weak core means your lower back has to overwork itself to support your body during your activities. As you’re preparing for the warm weather, spend a few minutes each day strengthening your abs.

Get ready for spring by strengthening your whole body. It takes no more than a few minutes each day and can mean the difference between a season of fun in the sun and a season spent recovering from a spinal injury. If part of your preparation for spring means finally calling to request an appointment with a Spine Care NJ specialist, call us today.


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Four Tips For A Healthier Spine

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For those living with chronic back pain, visiting specialist after specialist to conquer their spine pain can seem like a daunting proposition. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take from the comfort of your own home to help alleviate spine pain and prevent future episodes of back pain. Rather than proposing radical shifts to your day to day lifestyle, these tips suggest small adjustments to your current habits. Try out these suggestions and see the power a few small changes can have on your overall health. As always, if your back pain persists or worsens, consult Dr. Grigory Goldberg and his team for an evaluation and diagnosis.

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Four Tips For A Healthier Spine:

 

  • Invest In A Supportive Mattress and Pillow: Night is your spine’s chance to rest. After spending the day supporting your body in physical movement, your spine needs the opportunity to relax. Sadly, too many of us are sleeping on mattresses and pillows that actually require our backs to work to support our bodies while we sleep. When choosing a mattress, opt for personal preference. Consider your preferred sleep position and find a mattress and pillow with a support system that will complement these preferences.

 

  1. Shoe Shop With Your Spine In Mind: Your shoes have a direct impact on the overall health of your spine. Wearing shoes that lack the support needed to keep your spine and back aligned while you walk, workout, and participate in life’s daily activities will result in chronic and persistent back pain. For severe back pain, consider adding orthotics or inserts to your current shoes for additional support.
  2. Stand Regularly And Mind Your Posture: Spine pain rates have skyrocketed as more and more Americans are taking jobs that keep them sitting in front of a computer all day. Be sure to take regular breaks to stand, stretch your spine, and keep the joints moving and supported. When sitting, mind your posture. Keep your back straight and your head looking directly ahead of you. These simple adjustments keep the spine aligned and prevent chronic back pain.
  3. Indulge Yourself In A Massage: Massages are more than a feel good technique for stress relief. Studies have proven that messages have incredible therapeutic value for chronic pain sufferers. Massages release endorphins — your body’s natural painkiller. By getting regular massages, you are helping keep back pain at bay while reducing your need for pain medication.

Try these four simple tips for spine health and let us know what the results are. Comment on our blog, follow us on social media, and show us how you’re keeping your spine healthy. For recurring pain, call our spine specialists to learn more about minimally invasive spine surgery options. Click here to request an appointment with our team.


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Corpectomy 101

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Your spine is made up of a series of irregular bones, known as vertebrae. Each vertebra has a body, made up of several parts, which include the bone, spongy tissue, and a hard outer protective bone. In some cases, the vertebral body can become damaged, necessitating a procedure called corpectomy.

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A corpectomy is a surgical procedure that alleviates pressure on the spinal cord and nerves by removing a portion of the vertebral body of one of the vertebrae of your spine. Once the vertebral body has been removed, it must be replaced by a bone graft, which is made from bone taken from another part of the body. This keeps the spine supported and prevents the neighboring vertebrae from becoming compacted. The bone graft will enable new bone to grow where the vertebral body used to be. Additional instruments, such as plating and screws, may be employed to keep the vertebrae in place.

Conditions that may require corpectomy include:

  • Spinal fracture
  • Infection
  • Herniated discs
  • Bone spurs
  • Other degenerative spinal conditions

To determine whether your symptoms are being caused by one of these conditions, an x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be performed. Once diagnosed, your spine care specialist will work with you to determine whether corpectomy is an appropriate procedure for you based on your condition, age, medical history, and other factors.


Corpectomy and the subsequent plan of recovery your doctor prescribes will vary depending on your unique situation. For this reason, hospital stay and recovery time after corpectomy will vary for each patient. Consult with a Spine Care NJ specialist to determine if corpectomy is the answer to your spinal symptoms. Request an appointment with us today to get more information.


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Spine Care Tips for Winter

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The holidays are coming to a close, but there are still several months of winter ahead of us. Stay safe and avoid compromising the safety of your spine with the following fall prevention and spine care tips for the winter.

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  1. Take Care While Shoveling Snow: Keeping your property safe is an essential step in preventing winter falls and spine injuries. Although most dread the task of shoveling snow, it is important to take precautions when doing so. Always do some gentle neck and black stretches before you start shoveling and make sure you have the right tool for the job. Choose a shovel that is lightweight with a sharp blade that is appropriate for your height. A shovel that is too long or too short will cause you to bend forward or back to compensate, compromising the health of your spine.
  2. Keep Up Your Exercise Regimen: Strength and balance are your best defense against a winter slip and fall injury. When you are strong and stable, you are less likely to fall and better able to recover balance if you feel yourself starting to slip. Simple exercises like walking and swimming have tremendous benefits to your strength and balance. Yoga and Tai Chi are also effective exercises for fall prevention and classes are offered at many gyms, community centers, and online.
  3. Dress Appropriately for Winter Conditions: Appropriate footwear is imperative to avoiding a winter slip and fall. Select a shoe with a sturdy sole and a deep, thick tread. Additionally, many falls occur due to low temperatures, which can cause the fingers and toes to stiffen, compromising balance. For this reason, it is essential to dress for the weather with thick socks, gloves, a hat, scarf, and a warm coat.

If you have suffered a winter fall or want to learn more about how to protect your spine this season, Dr. Grigory Goldberg can help. Contact our offices today to request an appointment.


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Best Mattresses and Sleeping Positions for Spine and Back Pain

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For most of us, sleep is a restorative process. Our bodies are able to reset themselves, our minds decompress from our day, and we wake feeling physically and emotionally rejuvenated. For those suffering from back pain, whether chronic in nature or the result of recovery from minimally invasive spine surgery, sleep can be downright painful. For those of us with spine and back pain, there are a number of ways we can assist our bodies in making it through the night pain-free.

Best Sleeping Positions for Back Pain Sufferers:

  • Elevate the Knees: Regardless of the condition causing the back pain, most sufferers will benefit greatly from elevating their knees while they sleep. Place a thick pillow under your knees to naturally elevate them without sacrificing comfort.
  • Embrace the Recliner: Taking the idea of elevating your knees one step further, try sleeping in a reclining chair. The combination of elevated knees and supported neck often provides the greatest relief for sufferers of back pain. If you prefer to sleep in a bed, splurge on an adjustable bed to achieve the same relief.
  • Make Like the Babies: Many back pain sufferers, particularly those with Osteoarthritis and Spinal Stenosis, find significant relief from pain when they curl up in the fetal position to sleep. Lay on your side and pull your knees up to your chest. The positioning of the spine in this position has been shown to provide relief for many causes of back pain.

Best Mattresses for Back Pain Sufferers:

  • Firm is Best: For almost all patients, a firmer mattress beats out the softer varieties. In general, firm mattresses provide the spine with the support it needs, holds your position through the night, and supports your weight evenly. The exception to this rule is Bursitis. Those suffering from this condition generally find a softer mattress to be significantly preferable.
  • Full Coverage Support: Your mattress should support each and every curve of your spine. Inquire about the physical makeup of your mattress before purchasing. Ask about coil placement and quantity, mattress padding thickness and any additional support systems installed in the mattress.  

Embrace Latex: Latex mattresses have been shown to be the best for back pain sufferers. This is due to the springy feel of the mattress. The spongy material pushes into the crevices of your back and offers a degree of support that is vital for relief from back pain.


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Title: Simple Tips For Reducing Back Pain While Traveling

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The holidays are a time for making memories with family and friends. Accomplishing this often involves an intense amount of travel. Airlines and railroads report more than double the travel takes place during the months of November and December than during any of the other months of the year. Is your back prepared?

Dr. Grigory Goldberg, a spine care specialist in New Jersey, urges everyone to spend a few minutes educating themselves on how to reduce or eliminate back pain while traveling. For some, pain might be inevitable. Countless hours in a car or plane, nights of sleeping on a couch, a house full of crazy relatives to run around with — this all can be downright painful for your joints and bones. Check out this quick list of ways to minimize this pain before embarking on your travels this year.

Simple Tips For Reducing Back Pain While Traveling:

  1. Involve Your Spine Care Specialist: Airlines are not known for being the most accommodating of institutions. If you have a pre-existing condition that requires special accommodations while traveling, talk to your spine care health provider today. Often, our team can draft a letter that you can present to the airline before takeoff. This will significantly increase the chances of special instructions being carried out on your behalf.
  2. Schedule With Your Spine In Mind: When booking a flight or train trip, choose a time and day of the week when their plane, bus, or train is known for being less crowded. By opting for a less coveted departure and arrival time, you are increasing the likelihood of your having more personal space during the trip to stretch and spread out.
  3. Support Your Back: Lastly, ask your flight attendants for a couple of extra pillows. Most airlines are more than happy to provide these, and you can use these pillows to give your back additional support during the flight. Place directly behind your tailbone for optimal support.

Incorporate these tips for a less painful traveling experience. Still concerned your back can’t handle the travel? Consult one of our Spine care NJ specialists today to discuss your concerns, devise a plan, and get you connected with family in a pain-free manner.


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Don’t Put Yourself Out: Fall Prevention Tips to Avoid Back Injury

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If you’ve ever been so unlucky to experience back pain, or even worse, throw out your back, you know that recovery time can take days or even weeks.

Lower back pain is often due to injury or trauma to the ligaments and muscles from to quick movements, poor lifting techniques, or falls. Falls are extremely dangerous at any age – but especially for older adults who are more prone to osteoporosis and likely to break a bone.

Falls can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common are tripping or slipping, balance problems, poor vision, illness, side effects of certain medications like blood pressure and heart medications, and drinking alcohol.

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Prevention is Key

And there are a number of ways to help avoid slips and falls that everyone should put into practice, regardless of age.

When outdoors, wear shoes that provide good traction; high heels and flip-flops are more prone to making you slip and fall. Walk on grass when sidewalks appear icy or slick and put down salt or sand on icy steps and walkways. Indoors, you can help prevent falls by keeping items off floors, electrical cords out of walkways, and using rugs that have skid-proof back. Other fall-prevention tactics at home include using non-skid bath mats in the tub or shower, making sure all stairwells are lit properly and have hand railings on both sides, and purchasing a cordless phone so that you don’t have to rush to the phone when it rings in the other room.

Another key element to help reduce falls and injury is physical activity. Gentle exercises like water aerobics, yoga, walking, and Pilates help improve balance, core strength, coordination, and flexibility – all great health benefits that reduce the risk of falling. If you’re afraid that exercising might worsen your chances for a fall-related injury, speak with a doctor who can provide advice on low-risk activities. Dr. Grigory Goldberg and his team of experts at Spine Care New Jersey are available to provide suggestions and help you feel more comfortable about what you can do to reduce your risk for falls.

If you’ve recently fallen and have started to experience back pain, we encourage you to request an appointment with our spine care specialists.


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What is Cervical Radiculopathy?

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Cervical Radiculopathy is a common medical diagnosis that can take on a number of forms. Simply put, it’s the pain and neurological symptoms resulting from any irritation of a nerve in the neck, or cervical spine. Many refer to it as a pinched nerve.

Nerves in the neck branch out to the muscles that help your shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers move, function, and let you feel hot, cold, soft, etc. A patient’s symptoms and diagnosis of Cervical Radiculopathy vary widely and depend on the nerve that is affected.

Causes

Any type of injury or irritation can trigger Cervical Radiculopathy. A few of the most common causes include herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and arthritis. Cervical Radiculopathy is more common in middle to older aged adults due to natural degenerative changes in the discs of the spine as we age. Young people experience Cervical Radiculopathy most commonly as the result of a sport or other related injury.

Symptoms

The effects of Cervical Radiculopathy can vary, but the most common symptoms include a tingling sensation in the fingers or hand, weakness in the arm, shoulders, or hand, and loss of sensation.

Treatment

A variety of pain medications can be used to treat Cervical Radiculopathy. Anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids or nonsteroidal medications like ibuprofen are most commonly used. Physical therapy is another alternative. However, if intense compression of the affected nerve starts limiting mobility or causes weakness, surgery might be needed.

Dr. Grigory Goldberg and his team of experts at Spine Care New Jersey are trained in spine health and are available to help ease your symptoms and help get you on the road to recovery.

If you’ve started experiencing Cervical Radiculopathy symptoms, we encourage you to request an appointment with our spine care specialists.


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Stretch Your Way to a Healthier Back and Spine

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Back pain can be hard to deal with and can also slow you down. It can start for a number of reasons: old injuries, straining the muscles, arthritis, and more. The good news is, there are quick and easy stretches you can do in 10-15 minutes each day that can promote a healthier and more comfortable back and spine.

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Back pain is more common in the morning hours, so doing these stretches upon waking might help start your day a little more pain-free. Keep in mind that some patients find that it takes a few months of continued stretching to start seeing improvements. So stay consistent and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see the results you want right away.

Knee to Chest

Lying on your back, bend both knees and place your heels on the floor. Place both hands behind one knee and slowly bring your knee towards your chest. Alternate legs, holding each for 15 – 30 seconds.

Side Roll

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With your shoulders on the floor, roll both bent knees to one side of your body and hold for ten seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat the stretch on the opposite side. Repeat three to four times.

Back Arch

Position yourself on the floor on your hands and knees. Slowly relax your back muscles, letting your back and abdomen sink towards the floor, then slowly arch your back up, pulling your abdomen away from the floor. Repeat four to five times.

If pain continues or you’ve started experiencing worsening symptoms, we encourage you to request an appointment with our Spine Care NJ specialists.


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