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Wed, 13 Nov 2019

How to Treat Your Spine Better

lower back pain

It is estimated that 80 percent of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). There are a lot of factors that can lead to people experiencing back pain.

Age and Weight

Age is something that often leads to an increased amount of back pain. When people get old, their body often gradually starts to wear out. Thus, it is important to try to limit the breakdown of the body by staying as healthy as possible. Weight is an added stress to the spine which often leads to back pain. Maintaining a healthy weight is a good way to minimize some of that potential pain.

Job Strain

Some people have a lot of strain in their jobs too. People who have a lot of lifting and twisting will often lead to back pain. However, people who sit at a desk all day without adequate back support will often eventually start to feel the pain too.

Exercise

Many people think that as long as they get out and exercise that it can limit their back pain. While exercise is important, it is important to be careful. Many of “weekend warriors” do not exercise during the week and then do strenuous activity on the weekend, which can cause pain to the spine. It is important to remain active throughout the week as well. Swimming is often a good option for those already suffering from back or neck pain. Also, always remember to stretch before and after to help reduce extra muscle tension and improve mobility.

Proper Lifting

People constantly hear the phrase, “Lift with your legs, not your back.” However, many people do not really know what that means. Be sure to stand as close to the object as possible. With bended knees, make your arms level with the top of the item. Then, be sure to keep your back straight and head down. Some things might be harder to do this with than others, so do not be afraid to ask for help. These tips will help limit some awkward twisting or pulling of your spine that often occurs with improper lifting of objects.

How You Sleep

How people sleep can have an impact on back pain too. It is not only a matter of how one lays but making sure to get enough sleep so the whole body may be well-rested is important. Sleeping on one side is typically considered better than sleeping on the stomach. This method reduces some of the pressure on the spine that occurs when someone is on their stomach. It is recommended to have a pillow between the legs for this method, to increase support. It also can help with breathing and apnea, which often force people to awaken in the night. The more people are awake during the night, the less rested they will be in the morning.

Sleeping on one’s back with proper support under the knees to help with the natural curve of the spine is typically considered the best sleeping position for a healthy spine. Having proper neck and back support with pillows and mattresses are also important in helping with back pain. However, if people already have some back conditions, like a herniated disc, for instance, then a specialist might suggest a different sleeping position to help reduce pain or open the spinal joints.

Stay Hydrated

One simple thing that can help maintain a healthy spine is staying hydrated. This is a small thing that can help the disks in the spine maintain their height, which minimizes the chance of bulging disks and lessens pressure on the spine.

Contact a Specialist

It is good for someone to see a specialist if they have back pain. Spine specialists can help come up with a customized treatment plan to help diagnose the current issue, find methods to reduce pain, and give suggestions on other ways to prevent some future back pain.

Dr. Ricart is a Board Certified, fellowship-trained spine specialist. He is fluent in both Spanish and English and is accepting new patients in both Omaha and Council Bluffs. If you’re having issues with your spine then maybe it’s time to give Dr. Ricart a visit!

Contact Miller Orthopedic Specialists to have our specialists help relieve your back pain!

Mon, 14 Oct 2019

Treatments for Osteoarthritis in the Hand

hand arthritisOsteoarthritis is a common cause of hand pain. This disease is one of the most common forms of arthritis. This is a very common reason people experience pain or stiffness in their hands. Osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative arthritis, meaning the cartilage is being broken down due to the rubbing of bones on other bones. This often causes pain, inflammation, decreased range of motion, and stiffness.

If you are experiencing osteoarthritis there are a few things you can do to help ease that pain in your hands. Different things work for different people, so it is important to note that not everything will provide relief for all.

Exercise

Hand exercisesExercise is one thing that can help ease the pain. This is something that might be painful during, but it can help build up those muscles around the arthritic joints. Maintaining daily range of motion is very important in helping with arthritis. This can help minimize some of the stiffness and help gain some strength in the hands that otherwise might dissipate as the arthritis progresses. So it is important to do various squeezing and stretching exercises every day.

Ice and Heat

Moist heat is another option that can help with some of the stiffness or pain. This is something that can be really good before a lot of use in the joints, such as first thing in the morning. Icing arthritic joints at the end of the day or activities can help. It is important to only ice or heat them for no longer than about 20 minutes at a time. These are both simple, inexpensive ways to help relieve some pain.

Cortisone Injections

Cortisone injections is often a treatment method for those with Osteoarthritis. This can help patients regain some range of motion and reduce some pain. It is important to note that this does not always work for everyone.

The things listed above are just a few common, non-surgical methods used to help relieve some pain caused by arthritis in the hand. These are good things with which to start once diagnosised with osteoarthritis in the hand. However, these are not cure-all options and many times patients eventually need something more.

Orthopedic Surgery

While these treatments can help the process slow down and relieve some pain, osteoarthritis is currently a disease without a cure. Many people will look to surgeons to help assist them when they need more help than what they can do at home. Surgery is an option that is used once the conservative treatment methods have failed. The goal of surgery can vary. Some include:

  • Restoring as much function as possible
  • Eliminating or minimizing pain to a tolerable level
  • Reconstructing joints
  • Fusing of joints

When needed, hand and finger joint replacement surgery can be done, similarly to how knee and hip replacements are done for arthritis.

Contact a Hand Specialist at Miller Orthopedic

If you are experiencing hand pain, visiting a hand specialists who can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment is important. Dr. Hsu is a hand surgeon who is fellowship trained and Board Certified. She can help work with patients experiencing hand pain or arthritis. Through a thorough examination, Dr. Hsu will come up with the best treatment plan for each individual patient.

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