Can Surgery Fix Your Back Problem? 

Bottom Line:  Over 90% of us will experience back pain during their life. Thankfully, less than 5% will need surgery. So why are so many operations being performed? And does surgery fix a back problem? You may be surprised to learn that an enormous number of back surgeries don’t give patients long-term relief. Jumping over less invasive conservative care options is often not a good idea and can result in a poor surgical outcome. In …

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The Low Back: Your Foundational Core

Bottom Line: Your core is made up of the groups of muscles that provide stability in the abdominal and lower back regions. It includes your abs and the deep muscles that surround and support your spine. These muscles also coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and spine. Ideally, your core and low back work together in a balance of strength and flexibility. A lack of flexibility or strength in your core can contribute to …

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Fixing Low Back Pain

Bottom Line: Restrictions and limited mobility of your lower back may be causing your pain. If your low back doesn’t have a full range of motion, then you are setting it up for future injuries. Bending forward and back (flexion/extension), side bending (lateral bend), and turning side to side (rotation) are the three movements that make up a full range of motion. You have to use it, or you’ll lose it. Neglecting your lower back …

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The Top Causes of Low Back Pain

Bottom Line: It’s been estimated that over 90% of us will deal with low back pain at some point in our life. So, you may be wondering why. What causes most of us to deal with lower back pain? How we move our body, previous injuries, and the habits we do (or don’t do) each day can play a huge role in either increasing or decreasing your risk of an aching back. Why it Matters: …

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What is Sciatica?

Bottom Line: Nearly everyone will have back pain at some point in their life, but with sciatica, you’ll know something is different right away. Pain that begins in your back travels down to your buttocks, and shoots down your leg is a classic sign of sciatica. The shooting pain down your leg is caused by compression on one of the nerves exiting your spine. Even a small amount of pressure can cause a tremendous amount …

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The Bowling Ball and the Pin: How Poor Posture Causes Neck Pain

Bottom Line: The average human head weighs about 8 pounds. Each day we all walk around with a bowling ball (our head) balancing on a toothpick (our neck). We are designed this way to allow for the full range of motion we all know and love. Even under the best circumstances, this places a lot of stress on our spine. But leaning forward even just 15 degrees pushes that weight up to 30 pounds, and …

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Taking Control of Your Health: Slowing Down the Degenerative Process

Bottom Line: The dreaded degenerative disc disease. Well, it may not be so dreaded after all. You may be surprised to learn that degenerative disc disease is a part of the normal aging process. As we age, our discs lose some of their water content and become less supple. This makes them appears darker on an MRI. And when they appear darker on MRI, you guessed it; they are labeled as degenerative. Why it Matters: …

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Your Arm Pain Could Be a Neck Problem

Bottom Line: Pain in your hand, wrist, or arm can be frustrating. You don’t realize how much you use your arms and hands each second of the day until pain, numbness, or tingling gets in the way. But, getting rid of the pain may be easier than you think. Why it Matters: Hand, wrist, and arm pain often starts with a neck problem. When a spinal disc in your neck irritates or presses on a …

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Is Your Cell Phone Causing Tech Neck?

Bottom Line: Staying connected to friends and family is easier than ever with social media. The tradeoff is that your daily screen time may be 1, 2, 3 hours or more. And let’s face it, a lot of those hours online are spent in an awkward forward head posture that experts have begun to call “tech neck.” It can result in neck pain, headaches, spinal disc issues, and even pinched nerves. Why it Matters: Each …

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How to Prevent Spinal Disc Injuries

Bottom Line: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. I often wonder if the author of that quote happened to have a disc herniation. By investing in a pro-active approach to your spinal health now, you may be able to avoid suffering from a disc injury later in life. And, while there is no specific protocol to guarantee you will never have a disc herniation, there are a few action steps you …

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