Tag Archives: back pain

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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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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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Scoliosis

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Scoliosis, a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine, can be a scary and confusing diagnosis. The severity of scoliosis can vary greatly, but with proper treatment, most patients can live a normal life. Usain Bolt, Kurt Cobain, Elizabeth Taylor, Shailene Woodley, Yo Yo Ma, and Sarah Michelle Gellar are among the many scoliosis survivors who’ve had successful careers despite their diagnosis. Read on for more on scoliosis symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Symptoms

Symptoms of scoliosis most often appear in puberty, which is why screenings are mandatory in many public schools. Some signs to watch for include:

  • Legs may be different lengths
  • Asymmetrical rib cage
  • Shoulders at different heights
  • One shoulder blade and/or hip being more prominent
  • Head not centered directly above the pelvis
  • Back pain
  • Heart and lung issues (in very severe cases)

In some cases, infants may have symptoms as well. These include:

  • Bulge on one side of the chest
  • Odd posture, such as laying curled and favoring one side.

Causes and Risk Factors

Signs of scoliosis usually appear just before puberty, and are more common in those who have a relative with the condition. Women are more likely to experience more severe symptoms.

Most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning they have no known cause. However, scoliosis can be caused by neuromuscular conditions, like cerebral palsy, uneven leg lengths, and abnormal fetal development.

Treatment

Most children diagnosed with scoliosis don’t require treatment, as the curvature corrects itself naturally as they grow. Some others may need a back brace for a short time. Yoga and other stretching exercises may be prescribed to help with pain or to encourage healthy development. Only in rare cases is surgery required.  

Although intervention is rarely necessary, it’s extremely important to get regular checkups to prevent the condition from developing into something more serious. Untreated scoliosis that does not correct itself can lead to severe heart, lung, spine, and pelvis damage.

Concerned for your child, or worried you may have an undiagnosed case of scoliosis? Request an appointment for a screening a treatment plan.


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