Spine and Joint Pain Relief Tips http://www.basicspine.com/blog Back Pain Blog Health Topics | Mon, 24 Nov 2014 21:33:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 President John F. Kennedy – Did His Bad Back Play a Role in his Assassination?http://www.basicspine.com/blog/president-john-f-kennedy-bad-back-play-role-assassination/ http://www.basicspine.com/blog/president-john-f-kennedy-bad-back-play-role-assassination/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:00:04 +0000 http://www.basicspine.com/blog/?p=3935 On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while in an open convertible car in Dallas, Texas.  It was an event that left the nation and many parts of the world in a state of mourning.  This historic event fosters conspiracy theories to this very day and is … Continue reading

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On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while in an open convertible car in Dallas, Texas.  It was an event that left the nation and many parts of the world in a state of mourning.  This historic event fosters conspiracy theories to this very day and is a crime that will likely never be truly resolved.

jfk assination anniversary back pain President John F. Kennedy   Did His Bad Back Play a Role in his Assassination?

Photo credit: John F Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

For the past fifty-one years, photos, films, audio recordings and witness accounts used to support these theories are well known and have been masterfully presented by investigators, government officials, historians, authors and filmmakers.  Despite these efforts, no one has been able to prove that theirs is the correct theory.

A couple of lesser-known facts associated with the JFK assassination detailed in a CNN article on The Sixties written by Tricia Escobedo don’t contribute to any conspiracy theories, but are interesting and a little surprising at the same time.

  • Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected shooter in the JFK assassination, was never actually arrested for JFK’s murder.  He was arrested for the fatal shooting of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippitt; 45 minutes after the shooting of JFK.  Oswald was questioned about both killings.  He claimed innocence on all counts and was shot and killed two days later (while in police custody) by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub operator.
  • Following the death of JFK, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, with Jacqueline Kennedy by his side, was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States by Federal Judge Sarah Hughes, the only woman in history ever to have administered the presidential oath to a US President.

Much has also been written about President Kennedy suffering from chronic debilitating lower back pain for years prior to his assassination.  No specific cause is known; many speculate his bad back was the result of sports injuries sustained when he was a much younger man.  His spinal problems were so severe that JFK underwent several surgical interventions, including lumbo-sacral and left sacroiliac fusion to treat and eliminate his pain.  Sadly, these efforts proved unsuccessful, leaving the President reliant on a variety of medications, injections, back braces and even use of crutches to mitigate the pain.

jfk back problems sling 272x300 President John F. Kennedy   Did His Bad Back Play a Role in his Assassination?

Photo credit: John F Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

Even on the day he was killed, JFK was wearing an external device to help with his lower back problem.  While treating him after he was shot, E.R. doctors discovered that JFK was wearing a heavy, corset-like back brace that started at his chest and extended down below his waist.  CBS News Correspondent Bob Schiffer interviewed the E.R. Doctor; Kenneth Salyer who was on call for head injuries when JFK arrived at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital for treatment.   Dr. Salyer told Schiffer that he believes the heavy back brace worn by JFK actually kept him upright after he suffered the first gunshot and provided the shooter with time to take the second, more deadly shot that hit JFK in the head.  Had he not been wearing the brace, Salyer believes JFK would have slumped forward from the effect of the first shot and may have survived the attack by no longer presenting a viable target.  A YouTube video link to Schiffer’s interview can be found at the bottom of this blog.

Sad to think how different things may have been if President Kennedy had access to the advanced spine and pain treatments available today.  At BASIC Spine, lower back and sacroiliac conditions are diagnosed and treated using the least invasive methods possible. We understand that pain affects different people in different ways. This is why the experts at BASIC have carefully developed unique spine treatments and a chronic pain relief program.  Pain management, physical therapy, spinal decompression, pain injection therapy to more advanced treatments such as ultra-minimally invasive treatments and endoscopic programs allow you to be active with as little down time as possible.

Many back pain problems can be treated conservatively with no surgical interventions needed.  The first step is to call, make an appointment and let our experts determine what is causing your pain and the best way to treat it.

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Dr. Ty Explains How Important Bedside Manner Is To Becker’s Spinehttp://www.basicspine.com/blog/doctor-bedside-manner-important/ http://www.basicspine.com/blog/doctor-bedside-manner-important/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 22:19:38 +0000 http://www.basicspine.com/blog/?p=3916 What does the phrase really mean when it comes to high quality spine care? At BASIC, we talk a lot – to our patients, on our website and in our blog about high quality spine care. But when the rubber meets the road, one of the things that matters most … Continue reading

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What does the phrase really mean when it comes to high quality spine care?

spine doctor bedside manner 300x150 Dr. Ty Explains How Important Bedside Manner Is To Beckers Spine

At BASIC, we talk a lot – to our patients, on our website and in our blog about high quality spine care. But when the rubber meets the road, one of the things that matters most to patients is how they are treated by the physicians who they have selected to care for them.  In my practice, our surgeons and staff take great pride in treating our patients as we would our own family members – with compassion, understanding and a focused ear for listening.

I had the opportunity this week to discuss the topic of “bedside manner,” the term the public often uses to describe the approach a physician takes to interacting with his patients. I was interviewed by Becker’s Spine Review, a leading industry publication for spine surgeons and other professionals in the spine care world. The question they asked of me? “How far does compassion go?” It was an easy answer – really far.

Dr. Ty on “Bedside Manner”

IMG 9001 300x200 Dr. Ty Explains How Important Bedside Manner Is To Beckers SpineAs surgeons, we should never expect our patients to trust in or follow our advice if it is delivered in a way that makes them feel badly. Whether it’s the tone of voice, lack of focus, making them wait for hours to see us or not having a staff that behaves compassionately, it all matters. When patients are suffering from debilitating back pain, the quality of spine care we deliver to them has everything to do with our attitudes as much as it does our “skill” in performing particular procedures or treatments on them.

So how do BASIC physicians accomplish delivering the highest quality spine care to our patients? We treat them like they’re family. It really is that simple. And as I mentioned in the article, we have to view the way we care for spine patients through their eyes. They may be the 16th patient we’ve seen in that particular week. But to them, the physician they’re seeing that day has been the one person they have been waiting to see for days or weeks, in some cases. He or she is the person whom the patient hopes will solve their back problem and help them get back to living a pain free life.

“We physicians have been patients ourselves.”

Another important way we strive to empathize with our patients is to recall all of the times we physicians have been patients ourselves. Whether helping coordinate care for our children, loved ones or personally, we have ALL experienced the best and the worst of health care. Keeping those memories at the forefront of our minds each time that we interact with patients goes a long way toward understanding how they’re feeling.

 High quality spine care, or any type of medical care for that matter, doesn’t happen by accident. It is a conscious effort to put our patients first, every single time. When it is part of the way a doctor runs his or her practice, it really becomes second nature to everyone who works there – something that is done automatically and without effort. I am proud to say that the culture at every BASIC location is one of delivering the highest quality spine care to our patients. We’re here FOR them. And we’ll never forget it.

Read Besker’s Spine Article Here:

Dr. Ty on bedside manner in spine care: “we’ve been patients too.” More in this week’s @BeckersSpine article:

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Star’s Football-Related Back Injury a Cautionary Tale for Allhttp://www.basicspine.com/blog/stars-football-related-back-injury-cautionary-tale/ http://www.basicspine.com/blog/stars-football-related-back-injury-cautionary-tale/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 21:18:54 +0000 http://www.basicspine.com/blog/?p=3572 Whether or not you are thrilled about the start of the new football season, there is a lot to be learned from a football-related back injury. Recent sports headlines have been filled with commentary on college and professional players who have suffered injuries. There is concern about how their pain … Continue reading

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 Star’s Football Related Back Injury a Cautionary Tale for AllWhether or not you are thrilled about the start of the new football season, there is a lot to be learned from a football-related back injury. Recent sports headlines have been filled with commentary on college and professional players who have suffered injuries. There is concern about how their pain will affect their ability to perform, or if they can play at all. But the focus should really be on recovery. While all injuries take time to heal, back injuries can be especially difficult to overcome. And the bottom line is, whether you play a sport or simply want to get around, you can’t push yourself more than your body is willing.

Tony Romo Still Fights His Football Related Back Injury

Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo is a perfect example of how a football-related back injury can linger longer than desired. During a playoff game last season, the 34-year-old star began complaining of back pain, but he played through it and carried his team to a win. Afterward, Romo was in so much pain that he couldn’t sit down. An MRI revealed a herniated disk. A few days later, he had an epidural injection to see if that would lessen the pain so he could continue to play, but it was ineffective. He went into surgery shortly thereafter and began his long road to recovery; 254 days to be exact. All reports showed he would be as good as new for the 2014 season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately, despite rigorous rehabilitation efforts, Romo performed dismally in the game. Only time will tell if he can get back to his previous level of performance.

What can we learn from this football-related back injury? For starters, Romo continued to play through severe pain. In the days following that game, he admitted that it was the worst pain he’d ever experienced; even more than a game when he played with a punctured lung and fractured rib. Obviously, the lesson here is that a football-related back injury or any spine injury for that matter, should not be ignored. There is a high likelihood the quarterback caused greater injury to himself by continuing to play. In the end, his team didn’t last another playoff game. So it begs the question: was it worth it? Whether you compete in a weekend co-ed flag football league, your kid is the star of his pee wee tackle team, or you just like to toss the pig skin around with friends every now and then, it’s imperative to listen to your body and respond responsibly and quickly to pain.

Of course the best medicine is prevention. There are many ways to limit the chance you or a loved one will sustain a football-related back injury. To start, it’s important to ensure you are in proper physical health before performing any activity, especially one as rigorous as football. If your physician gives you a clean bill of health, set yourself up for success. Incorporate consistent warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after you play. Adding in strength training with a focus on your core, legs and gluteal muscles will help prepare your body for the expected and unexpected physical strains of the game. Stretching can also help in that regard. In addition, chiropractic spine alignment or decompression to open disc space can also preventatively alleviate pressure on the spine, which can aid in protecting you against injury.

For those who play in a regular league, the team of experts at BASIC recommend keeping up a physical routine even during the off-season. Proper hydration, equipment and playing techniques are also effective ways to prevent injury. And above all else, the importance of rest cannot be overstated. If you train too hard or too often, the overuse can lead to back pain. Building in rest days allows your muscles to recover so you can continue to perform when it matters. Finding a balance will lead to success.

If you haven’t played in a while, don’t go full force your first time out. A competitive spirit has been the cause of many a football-related back injury. Just look at Tony Romo. His desire to win kept him in the game when he should have been on a stretcher. And though he has met many physical milestones since surgery, he will spend the rest of his career following a strict physical therapy regimen to have a hope of playing like he once did. The moral of the story: understand your limitations. Even if you just set out to play a friendly game at the park, that one wrong twist of the torso could cause a football-related back injury that takes you out of the game for the long haul.

If you or someone you know has sustained a football-related back injury that hasn’t responded to conservative treatment, contact the team at BASIC for proper evaluation and an effective treatment plan.

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Tiger Woods Quits WGC Bridgestone in Need of Rehab after Back Surgeryhttp://www.basicspine.com/blog/tiger-woods-quits-wgc-bridgestone-need-rehab-back-surgery/ http://www.basicspine.com/blog/tiger-woods-quits-wgc-bridgestone-need-rehab-back-surgery/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:09:14 +0000 http://www.basicspine.com/blog/?p=3556 For EVERYONE – Rehab after Spine Surgery takes time, focus and patience Tiger Woods and anyone watching the WGC Bridgestone Championship at Firestone Country Club this past weekend hoped the four months of rehab after back surgery that he had given himself would be enough for him to play a … Continue reading

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back pain tiger woods pulls out 230x162 Tiger Woods Quits WGC Bridgestone in Need of Rehab after Back SurgeryFor EVERYONE – Rehab after Spine Surgery takes time, focus and patience

Tiger Woods and anyone watching the WGC Bridgestone Championship at Firestone Country Club this past weekend hoped the four months of rehab after back surgery that he had given himself would be enough for him to play a “perfect game.” For such a legendary athlete, pulling out of major golf tournaments with back pain has become an unwelcome habit that has cast a shadow over Woods’ storied career for the last few years. But after microdiscectomy spine surgery to fix the problem – a bulging disc in the back – he and his fans wanted to believe those difficult days were behind him.

tiger woods back problems 230x129 Tiger Woods Quits WGC Bridgestone in Need of Rehab after Back SurgeryUnfortunately this weekend, hopes were dashed. Woods missed a series of important shots during tournament and anyone watching could see he was in pain. So it was sad, but not surprising when he withdrew from the tournament with back spasms as his reason.  But with only four months to recover from spine surgery, should Tiger Woods, or anyone really, expect to be at full function? The answer might surprise you.

While we hold them in high regard, professional athletes are a lot like the rest of us when it comes to surgical spine recovery and back surgery rehab. They may have a bunch of experts helping them rehabilitate and re-train in their sport. Maybe they have nothing but time on their hands to engage in spine surgery rehab all day long – because the sport they play is their job. But ultimately, an honest commitment to the right kind of rehabilitation after back surgery, plus time, time, time are what EVERY patient needs to recover properly from spine surgery and to heal well.

We aren’t saying Tiger Woods hasn’t done the right type of rehab, but we do know that it’s only been four months since his surgical spine repair. Even for the most physically fit, dedicated and lucky patient, that isn’t a lot of time. The thing is, no matter how good we are at a particular sport or other special ability; we just can’t change human anatomy. When the body undergoes surgery, on the spine or anywhere else, the gift of time to heal often does it good.

Then there’s the subject of the “right” kind of rehab after back surgery. When people in the athletic world think of rehabilitation, sometimes they relapse to a belief that re-training for their particular sport after spine surgery is the same thing. It isn’t. Every patient must commit to a full schedule of intense, daily spinal rehabilitation after back surgery. The first step will include exercises given to you by your spine surgeon and a licensed physical therapist that is trained in providing rehab to patients who have undergone spine surgery.  These exercises are designed with the sole purpose of strengthening and re-training your spine to function normally after surgery. We’re talking baby steps here. When it comes to back surgery rehab, no matter who you are, you’ll need to walk before you run. We mean that literally and figuratively.

tiger woods back injury 2014 230x126 Tiger Woods Quits WGC Bridgestone in Need of Rehab after Back SurgeryOnce the physical therapist has shown a patient how to perform the right exercise for their specific rehab after back operation, then it will be the patient’s turn to put in the hard work. That will usually start in the physical therapists office, where he or she can watch how the back surgery rehab exercises are performed, noting anything that needs to be corrected for proper form. Once the physical therapist is confident that a patient has the hang of things, there will be DAILY homework.

Yes, you read that right. Rehab after spine surgery isn’t magic. And while allowing the spine time to recover completely after back surgery is important, it doesn’t mean patients won’t need to put in work. They will. Most patients will only see their physical therapist one or two times a week for spine surgery rehab. That leaves five or six other days to be working at strengthening the back at home. The patient’s role in this process is crucial. You may not be Tiger Woods, but with dedication to the right type of rehab after back surgery and patience over time, you can get back to living the life you want, pain free.

March 6, 2014 - Tiger Woods Withdraws from the Honda Classic Just Shy of Finishing
March 12, 2014 - Will Tiger Woods Back Problems End His Season Early?
April 1st, 2014 - Tiger Woods Pulls Out of Masters for a Microdiscectomy Spine Surgery
July 15, 2014 - Tiger Woods at the British Open After Lumbar Spine Surgery

August 4th, 2014 - Tiger Woods quits WGC Bridgestone in Need of Rehab after Back Surgery (this article)

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Blake Griffin’s Fracture in the Back and Not “Playing Through Pain”http://www.basicspine.com/blog/blake-griffins-fracture-back-fiba/ http://www.basicspine.com/blog/blake-griffins-fracture-back-fiba/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:32:54 +0000 http://www.basicspine.com/blog/?p=3544 Blake Griffin Fracture in the Back and FIBA Future A fracture in the back has prompted Los Angeles Clippers basketball forward Blake Griffin to leave the USA Team training camp for the FIBA World Cup next month. Even though the injury was sustained during the NBA playoffs earlier this year, … Continue reading

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fiba blake griffin spine fracture 300x200 Blake Griffins Fracture in the Back and Not “Playing Through Pain”

Blake Griffin Fracture in the Back and FIBA Future

A fracture in the back has prompted Los Angeles Clippers basketball forward Blake Griffin to leave the USA Team training camp for the FIBA World Cup next month. Even though the injury was sustained during the NBA playoffs earlier this year, Griffin’s doctors said he should “sit this one out.” It’s solid advice. Right now, the broken vertebrae in his back are a fairly small and easy to manage problem. With the right kinds of rest and therapy, his healing should be quick and complete. So here’s the lesson for anyone facing the effects of vertebral fracture – small problems can become bigger when they’re not taken care of right from the start.

chicago bulls spine injury 230x209 Blake Griffins Fracture in the Back and Not “Playing Through Pain”

Blake Griffin has back injury, will not play in FIBA World cup.. #Bulls #NBA

Though a fracture in your back can sound like a major spine condition, it usually isn’t. It can be a common problem in people who regularly take part in physically demanding activities. But when treated quickly and expertly, the broken vertebrae in the back usually heal fast and without the need for surgery.  Are you thinking you don’t need to read any further because you’re miles away from Blake Griffin and his professional athlete status? Think again. We have plenty of patients who aren’t elite athletes and have suffered a compression fracture anyway.  For some, it happened when they simply bent down to pick up a bag of groceries. For others, they stepped off of a curb the wrong way or tripped over a rug. It can happen to anyone.

There are different types of vertebral fracture. Since timely action is a major factor affecting the outcome on the patient, knowing the symptoms to look for is crucial. Sudden, severe pain in your spine after a fall or injury is the most common symptom related to a compression fracture.  Other symptoms include pain that worsens when sitting or standing and difficulty or pain when bending or twisting. More severe symptoms can include a decrease in height or an obvious deformity of the spine. If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, make an appointment to see an expert spine specialist right away.

Diagnose and Early Treatment Makes a Difference

blake griffin fractured back injury 300x168 Blake Griffins Fracture in the Back and Not “Playing Through Pain”When a small compression fracture in the back is diagnosed early, the first line of treatment is usually rest. This doesn’t mean sitting still, because complete inactivity can actually make matters worse. You should definitely take some time off from any strenuous activities that could result in further injury. However, walking and stretching exercises designed to strengthen the spine and surrounding muscles are important. Seeking treatment by an expert spine care team that includes physical therapy professionals is the key. They can help you with a specific exercise plan that is designed exactly for your type and severity of injury. Other conservative treatments for minor broken vertebrae in the back can include pain relief medicines that help reduce inflammation. These are used to reduce pain related to the stress on the spine from the injury, allowing it the time it needs to heal and the pain relief you need to get back to your daily activities. Blake Griffin is not alone in the NBA with recent reports of spine injuries. Last season, Andre Drummond recovered from a lumbar stress fracture.

Sometimes, a fracture in the back has resulted in more serious damage and may not respond to simpler treatments. When that is the case, an expert spine surgeon might recommend surgery. The goal of any surgical procedure for this type of injury is to make the spine stable and to restore a normal range of motion for the patient. At BASIC, we take that a step further. We want patients to enjoy a life free from pain using the least invasive treatment methods possible. And when necessary, we have surgical procedures designed to do just that.

Avoid Long Lasting Effects of A Spine Fracture

While we applaud their strength, “suffering through” the discomfort for any lengthy period of time does no good. In fact, it usually has the opposite effect. Vertebral fracture is a serious condition and requires immediate attention from an expert spine specialist team. Don’t play through the pain. Have it evaluated and treated from the beginning. That way, you’ll be back to living and playing “pain-free” in shorter time and with less need for invasive treatment down the road. Sadly, we see too many patients in our office who have tried to be heroes through their pain related to a fracture in the back. We are sure to see the USA team miss the presence of Griffin on the court, it is likely that he will be playing once the season starts again for the LA Clippers.

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Tiger Woods at the British Open After Lumbar Spine Surgeryhttp://www.basicspine.com/blog/tiger-woods-british-open-lumbar-spine-surgery/ http://www.basicspine.com/blog/tiger-woods-british-open-lumbar-spine-surgery/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:52:31 +0000 http://www.basicspine.com/blog/?p=3518 As Tiger Woods makes his rounds on the press circuit this week talking about his hopes for a win at the 143rd British Open, the world of golf lovers is curious to see how well he will perform after having lumbar spine surgery a few months ago. Overwhelmed by lower back pain caused by a pinched nerve that in … Continue reading

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tiger woods british open trophy 300x264 Tiger Woods at the British Open After Lumbar Spine SurgeryAs Tiger Woods makes his rounds on the press circuit this week talking about his hopes for a win at the 143rd British Open, the world of golf lovers is curious to see how well he will perform after having lumbar spine surgery a few months ago. Overwhelmed by lower back pain caused by a pinched nerve that in early 2014 prevented him from golfing, getting out of bed and playing with his children, Woods recently told USA Today that since lower back surgery “each and every week, I’ve gotten stronger and faster.” Recovery like that doesn’t happen by accident. Here’s what it takes.

The medical term for the lumbar spine surgery that Tiger Woods had in March to relieve the pinched nerve pain in his lower back is called Microdiscetomy. During this minimally invasive spine surgery, expert spine surgeons use a microscope to guide them in taking out a small part of the bone or spinal disc matter that is “pinching” the nerve or nerves in the lower back, so that the affected area can heal and the pain can be relieved.

tiger woods british open 2014 300x213 Tiger Woods at the British Open After Lumbar Spine SurgeryDon’t let the term minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery fool you. Whether you’re Tiger Woods or someone who just loves gardening – recovering from any type of spine surgery takes a focused effort by you and the team of expert spine doctors caring for you.

In the early days of lumbar spine surgery recovery, rest is important for the body to heal. Patients won’t be back to playing golf or gardening the day after surgery. But, “rest” doesn’t mean sitting still all day either. In fact, for most minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery patients, getting up and moving after surgery is an important part of the healing process. Over the years, there are many clinical studies that have shown the more a patient moves (carefully and on the advice of their expert spine surgery team), the more likely it is that their lumbar spine surgery healing will have the best possible outcome. For Tiger Woods, that’s getting back to the game of golf – in less than four months.

Stay in constant contact with your expert spine team to determine the best levels of activity for each stage of your lumbar spine surgery recovery. You will likely have scheduled physical therapy visits designed for your type of surgery. These will be intensive and focused. But you will have “homework” lumbar spine surgery physical therapy exercises to do too. You must make sure you do them. An hour a day, a few days a week with an expert spine physical therapist won’t be enough to retrain your spine after lumbar back surgery. You will need to put in hard work too, just like Tiger Woods did. When done right, you won’t be in this stage for long.

tiger woods back surgery recovery 216x300 Tiger Woods at the British Open After Lumbar Spine SurgerySince we’ve discussed at length how important activity after lumbar spine surgery is, don’t overdo it. Especially for very active patients like Tiger Woods, the desire to move faster and do more is so great that they can actually end up delaying the healing process. Remember that story of the tortoise and the hare? When it comes to lumbar spine surgery recovery too, slow and steady wins the race.

An important part of not overdoing it after surgery on the lower back is good pain management. Staying in front of the pain with the right medications prescribed by your expert spine doctor is critical and will actually allow you to do more focused and intense physical therapy activities. No one wants to move when they’re in pain. So make sure you aren’t altering your medication doses without talking to your doctors first.

As Tiger Woods takes to the British Open links this week and the world watches in anticipation, perhaps some of his biggest invisible cheerleaders will be the lumbar spine surgery team that has helped him reach this incredible goal of getting back on the course just a few months after he wasn’t even able to get out of bed. Whether your inspiration is Tiger Woods or running through the sprinklers pain-free with your kids, the team at BASIC Spine is here to help.

 

 

Get The Full Scoop on Tiger Woods Spine Condition

Want the whole scoop on Tiger Woods and his spine troubles?  Catch up about this topic by reading our timeline articles about Tiger Woods recent Microdisctomy. We’ve followed all events leading up to the British Open and Tiger Woods speedy recovery from his recent minimally invasive microdiscectomy lumbar spine procedure.

March 6, 2014 - Tiger Woods Withdraws from the Honda Classic Just Shy of Finishing
March 12, 2014 - Will Tiger Woods Back Problems End His Season Early?
April 1st, 2014 - Tiger Woods Pulls Out of Masters for a Microdiscectomy Spine Surgery
July 15, 2014 - Tiger Woods at the British Open After Lumbar Spine Surgery

british open tourney 2014 tiger woods 1024x421 Tiger Woods at the British Open After Lumbar Spine Surgery

 

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Neymar and the Road to Recovery after a Spinal Fracturehttp://www.basicspine.com/blog/neymar-road-to-recovery-after-spinal-fracture/ http://www.basicspine.com/blog/neymar-road-to-recovery-after-spinal-fracture/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 23:32:31 +0000 http://www.basicspine.com/blog/?p=3502 Neymar and the Road to Recovery after a Spinal Fracture 22-year-old Neymar’s dreams of helping his team win a World Cup Championship were crushed last week as his fractured spine forced him out of the tournament. Of course the game will go on, but what will happen to Neymar? How … Continue reading

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Neymar and the Road to Recovery after a Spinal Fracture

neymar speaks spine recovery Neymar and the Road to Recovery after a Spinal Fracture22-year-old Neymar’s dreams of helping his team win a World Cup Championship were crushed last week as his fractured spine forced him out of the tournament. Of course the game will go on, but what will happen to Neymar? How will that compression fracture in his spine heal? And how long will it take? Will he be able to return to the sport he loves again? These are great questions and we hear them from many of the patients we see in our practice.  Unfortunately, the media can make it look like athletes in the spotlight bounce right back onto the playing field in no time after traumatic spine injuries. In reality, that’s rarely the case for anyone.

The initial goal when treating a compression fracture of the spine is pain relief. And we can help patients reach that goal through a number of non-invasive treatment options. Bracing, for example, can help keep the spine stable and prevent it from further injury during the healing process.

Another option for pain relief from a spinal compression fracture is chiropractic care. This provides pain treatment with massage and manual manipulation of the spine, as long as the compression fracture has not affected the surrounding nerves. This gentle technique includes light manual manipulation above and below the compression fracture site, but not directly on it. To keep the injury from getting worse, chiropractic treatment can be beneficial to help prevent guarding and muscle spasms around the compression fracture site.

When bracing, massage and chiropractic manipulation aren’t enough to relieve the pain associated with a spinal compression fracture, an epidural steroid injection may be added to the treatment plan. Like the other options mentioned, epidural steroid injections are designed to alleviate the pain symptoms associated with a compression fracture and other types of spine injuries. And while they can be effective for short-term pain relief and allow patients the ability to resume at least some of their daily activities, their effect is usually temporary.

In cases where non-invasive treatment attempts have failed to provide adequate pain relief, surgery may be the appropriate next step. The great news is that there are minimally-invasive treatment options that can help permanently correct compression fractures.

At BASIC, our skilled and highly trained surgeons are experts in procedures such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, which are designed to correct compression fractures, wedge fractures, spinal stenosis and osteoporosis. Vertebroplasty takes just 20 minutes to perform and uses special bone cement injected through a small needle into the spaces where the spine fracture has occurred. Kyphoplasty on the other hand, uses a balloon to inflate the spine compression fracture area, thus relieving pressure and creating space between it and the other vertebrae.

When traumatic spine injuries are detected and diagnosed at their earliest stages, vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are known to be quite effective in helping patients achieve permanent symptom relief. Even better is the fact that both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty can be performed using an ultra-minimally invasive approach. This means they can be done in an outpatient setting, using bloodless spine surgery techniques, with or without the use of general anesthesia and without the need for stitches – all of which can lead to a faster and less painful recovery for patients than the “open” techniques traditionally used to repair these types of spine injury. In rare circumstances, an open surgical spinal decompression or spinal fusion may be necessary if the compression fracture is also causing severe damage to the nerves surrounding the spine.

As you can see by the above treatment path example, Neymar’s spine fracture likely won’t heal on its own. He and his physician team will need to carefully monitor and evaluate the extent of his spine injury and the treatment methods that will best correct it. And if he does end up undergoing spine surgery down the road, there will be intensive physical therapy included in that course of treatment as well. Athletes are humans just like the rest of us. They don’t have healing super powers, even if the TV news would like you to think so. What they do have is determination. And so do you. If you’re determined to end your back pain once and for all, we’re here to help.

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Moments after sustaining Neymar’s broken spine injury on field during the 2014 World Cup

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Neymar was transported quickly to the hospital following his injury to his spine

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Neymar is seeing a huge support for his spine recovery

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Neymar being transported to the hospital via helicopter

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Neymar’s team showing support for spine recovery

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The Back Injury Tour de France Cyclists Might Want to Think Abouthttp://www.basicspine.com/blog/back-injury-tour-de-france-cyclists-might-want-think/ http://www.basicspine.com/blog/back-injury-tour-de-france-cyclists-might-want-think/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 21:53:04 +0000 http://www.basicspine.com/blog/?p=3489 Have you ever heard of something called Coccydynia?  Probably not. Well, it’s a pain in the butt. Really. To say it and to spell it. But most importantly, to feel it. For people who have this condition, a fancy medical word for tailbone pain, it really does feel like a … Continue reading

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pain in the tailbone 300x225 The Back Injury Tour de France Cyclists Might Want to Think AboutHave you ever heard of something called Coccydynia?  Probably not. Well, it’s a pain in the butt. Really. To say it and to spell it. But most importantly, to feel it. For people who have this condition, a fancy medical word for tailbone pain, it really does feel like a pain in the back side. As the Tour de France gets underway, it’s a safe guess that some cyclists in the race are suffering from this type of lower spine pain right now as they ride for 21 days through the French countryside. So what exactly is coccydynia and bike rider or not, what can you do to find relief from this seldom-discussed spinal condition?

Understanding where coccydynia occurs on the spine is important in order to fix it. Did you know? The coccyx is the last section of bone located at the very bottom of your spine, most often called the tailbone in humans.

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The root cause of pain in the tailbone is not always clear, but it has been linked to sitting in one position on a hard surface for long periods of time – something Tour de France cyclists do for about three weeks and more than 2,000 miles of riding.  People with jobs such as truck driving can also suffer from this lower spinal condition, due to the nature of their work – long hours of driving over many days at a time. Less often, tailbone pain can be the result of a major spine injury, like a hard fall or a long and difficult time with childbirth. While the classic symptom of coccydynia is deep pain in the tailbone, it can also be felt as a sudden jolt of pain in the lower spine while having a bowel movement, during sex or when getting up to stand after sitting for a long time.

To best treat tailbone pain, the team at BASIC talks to you at length about your medical history and does a physical exam on each patient. This includes notes on any spine injuries you have had before that may be related to the pain, as well as feeling for masses on the lower spine that could be due to a spine tumor or infection. In order to get to the bottom of this pain in the bottom, we will often take an X-ray of the coccyx, looking for any obvious signs of spinal trauma, like a fracture.

Once a diagnosis is made, the expert team of doctors and therapists at BASIC puts a treatment plan in place, wanting to first relieve the tailbone pain using the least invasive treatments possible. This can include the right types of medicine for pain relief, physical therapy for tailbone pain including stretches and exercises to make the muscles around the lower spine stronger, chiropractic treatment to relieve the pain if the coccyx is not in the right position or epidural injections to achieve longer-term tailbone pain relief.

MRI Post surgery coccydynia  300x141 The Back Injury Tour de France Cyclists Might Want to Think AboutIn rare cases, these less invasive ways of treating tailbone pain might not work and surgery to relieve the pain is in order.  Coccygectomy means removing the coccyx bone during surgery. For many patients, this may help them get permanent relief from what can be a tough and painful spine condition. While all types of surgery have risks, it is best to find a doctor who is experienced in performing coccygectomy and to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with him or her. Knowing what to expect, the risks and rewards and feeling good about the surgeon you choose is really important.

While the Tour de France is a great way for us to get the word out about coccydynia, its causes, symptoms and treatment options, we also want to issue a word of caution. No matter where the spinal pain is located, you should have it looked at by an expert spine specialist. Leaving any type of pain in the back untreated for too long can end up leading to larger spine problems and more complicated treatments down the road. If you are looking for an expert team to help you with lasting tailbone pain relief, don’t wait until the race is over. Contact us today for a consultation.

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Neymar Out of World Cup Due to Fractured Spine Injuryhttp://www.basicspine.com/blog/neymar-world-cup-due-fractured-spine-injury/ http://www.basicspine.com/blog/neymar-world-cup-due-fractured-spine-injury/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:33:48 +0000 http://www.basicspine.com/blog/?p=3485 2014 FIFA World Cup forward for the Brazilian team, Neymar, was likely ruled out for the rest of the tournament when a high-speed hard knee to his lower back resulted in a fractured spinal vertebra suffered during a quarterfinal game against Columbia on Friday. While spine trauma and back injuries are big risks in contact sports like … Continue reading

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Neymar xray back spine 217x300 Neymar Out of World Cup Due to Fractured Spine Injury2014 FIFA World Cup forward for the Brazilian team, Neymar, was likely ruled out for the rest of the tournament when a high-speed hard knee to his lower back resulted in a fractured spinal vertebra suffered during a quarterfinal game against Columbia on Friday. While spine trauma and back injuries are big risks in contact sports like soccer, a fractured spine is more common than you might think and can happen to anyone, not just star athletes. Here’s what you should know about lumbar fractures and how we approach their treatment for lasting pain relief.

Pain in the lower spine that comes on suddenly is something doctors call “acute” and can be caused by a direct injury to the spine. Though it was a knee to the back in Neymar’s case, there are other injuries that can cause this type of sudden pain, like car accidents, falls or work injuries.  However, the most common cause of acute lower back or lumbar pain that results in a spine fracture is osteoporosis. This condition is caused by weakening of the bones in the body over time, due to a lack of calcium in the diet. Learn more about it, here.

In any case, in order to figure out what exactly is causing the lumbar pain, doctors may use a series of examinations, including an X-ray image of the spine. When a spinal fracture is obvious on the image, the next step is to figure out how best to treat it in order to relieve the pain.

This is where things can sometimes get tricky. The road to lower back pain relief isn’t the same for every patient. Some people respond very well to less invasive options like medication, physical therapy or chiropractic care. For Neymar, early reports are saying he sustained a “benign” spine fracture and won’t need spine surgery.  The truth is, only time and management by an expert spine team will tell the extent of his spine injury and whether or not it will respond well to other spine treatment methods, or require a more aggressive approach to relieve his pain and get him back into the sport he loves in the future.

You see, sometimes spine fractures don’t stay “easily managed.” Over time, they can get worse or may cause other problems in the spine that can’t be predicted at first. At BASIC, our goal is to get every patient back to living the life they WANT to live, not the one they have to settle for because they’ve had a back injury. Neymar is 22 years old. He’s young, fit and obviously very active. His treatment path may be very different from the one for someone who is older and not as physically active. This is one of the reasons that seeking an experienced TEAM to care for your spine injury is so important.

neymar spine injury 300x149 Neymar Out of World Cup Due to Fractured Spine InjuryBASIC Spine provides a complete approach and wide range of options for the treatment of spine injuries like the fractured spine that Neymar is facing. We try first to relieve the pain using the least invasive, most effective treatments possible. Our goal is for those methods to work. But, if they don’t, we are prepared with a skilled and experienced team of spine surgeons and neurosurgeons who are experts in a wide variety of spine surgery procedures designed to help each patient achieve long-term pain relief.

The goal in every spine injury case should be long-term pain relief. And we won’t quit on you until we help you achieve it, no matter the form of treatment or the path that it takes.

We all wish Neymar a speedy and complete recovery from his injury. As long as there is contact sport, spinal fractures and lower back injuries like his will continue to appear in the mainstream news media. In a way, we’re glad they do make headlines because it offers us the opportunity to inform and educate the public. The reality is, far more of these lower back injuries are seen in doctor’s offices all over the world, than those that actually hit the news. If you’re among the millions suffering from the pain of a traumatic spine injury, give us a call.

Read our most recent updated blog article about Neymar’s injury and road to recovery.

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