Category Archives: Lifestyle

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Pinched nerves don’t have to be such a “pain in your neck”

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Prevention and treatment can make all the difference

By Grigory Goldberg, MD, FAAOS

Anyone who’s experienced a pinched nerve knows just how “unnerving” it can truly be. The odds are that most of you have dealt with an episode or two, and will more than likely will do so again in the future. After all, you might be surprised to know that a pinched nerve is one of the world’s more common medical maladies.

Sure, they can be short-lived in duration and minor in discomfort. But, they can also be quite lengthy, painful and debilitating, limiting your range of motion and impeding even the simplest of daily activities. It can be excruciating just lifting your head off the morning pillow, looking over your shoulder when backing out of a parking space or even pulling your shirt over your head.

 I would contend, however, that pinched nerves do not have to be such a “pain in the neck.” In fact, there are preventative steps you can take to limit your exposure, and treatment modalities you can follow upon occurrence that can make all the difference in the world.

Pay attention to the warning signs, though they’re hard to miss.

Read the full article here.


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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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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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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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Spine-Saving Back To School Bags

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Whether you’re heading back to school or to the office, chances are you’ve got some extra baggage on your back weighing you down. Laptops, planners, smart-phones, bottled water, cosmetics–it adds up fast and takes a real toll on your back. We’re not just talking one time aches and pains–all that stress, every day, can contribute to more significant injuries or conditions down the line. Here, our tips for minimizing your risk.

Think Small

Go with the smallest bag or purse possible to avoid the “goldfish effect” of gathering more stuff to fill extra space. If you like to have lots of “just in case” supplies, take a new approach. Instead of keeping those supplies in your back, get backups that stay in your office or locker. One big culprit to look out for? Keychains, which, when loaded up with assorted baubles, old cards, tchochkes, etc., can weigh several pounds. Make sure any old keys are off, along with anything else that can possibly go.

Backpacks: No Longer Just for Kids

Backpacks are the best bet for your back. Worn correctly, they disperse weight over a wider and more symmetrical area than messengers or other styles. For more conservative looks, try browsing the reviews here. Something like these simple, clean looking Knomo styles work for men and women in more formal business environments.

Wide Load

If you just can’t go with a backpack, then at least make sure to find something with wide straps that will distribute weight as evenly as possible.

Switch It Up/Break It Up

Another must if you go for a messenger bag or other asymmetrical style: switch shoulders regularly on your commute, and/or break things up into two small bags when possible.

Still struggling, or worried years of lugging too much around have caught up? Contact our office to request an appointment with our spine care experts.


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