It’s the perfect time to celebrate World Spine Day 2022, informally on October. 16. The purpose of the designation is to encourage the physical activity, healthy posture, responsible lifting , ergonomic and healthy working conditions.
However, after two and one-half years of COVID-19 pandemicthat has changed work from an office to the at-home, back issues have immerged like never before due to excessive or inadequate sitting, and also a inactivity level that is not as high.
Around 540 million individuals across the globe suffer from low back discomfort at any given moment, and it is the primary reason behind disability. For the U.S., back pain is among the top reasons for a visit to a doctor. The neck (neck) and the lumbar spine are also the most common chronic health problem for adults who are 60 and over.
What is one of the main messages of World Spine Day? We have asked Baptist Health experts to provide information on this subject.
“The principal idea is spine health shouldn’t be thought of as an isolated body,” explains Jason Liounakos, M.D., a neurosurgeon with a specialization in disorders of the spine at the Miami Neuroscience Institute, part of Baptist Health. “Instead it should be considered as an integral aspect of our overall well-being and health. Through making small, tangible modifications to different elements of life such as the development of healthy habits and changes to our lifestyles, we do not only improve our overall health, but also to our spine health as well.”
If the discomfort or pain extends into the legs, it’s important to consult a doctor who can explain the situation. Matthew Moore, M.D. director of neurosurgery integrated at the Marcus Neuroscience Institute, established at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, part of Baptist Health.
“Spine-health and exercise that is done with warm-ups is a long-term objective,” said Dr. Moore. “If you notice that unusual, new neck or arm painsor tingling, or back and leg pains occur, it’s recommended to first consultation with a neurosurgical specialist who is knowledgeable and knows the most appropriate first nonsurgical treatment to address your issue. The cervical or the lumbar MRI is the fastest and most precise evaluation of the issue.”
The majority of patients with spinal issues are treated without surgery through physical therapy as well as “prescribed” lifestyle adjustments — to relieve back or neck pain.
“Most people are managed non-surgically using medications and therapy,” said Dr. Moore. “A regular follow-up with your neurosurgeon is the best way to ensure the complete resolution of the issue.”
The Dr. Liounakos says “conservative management” is the pillar of any treatment program. “This could include pain medications particularly non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as well as muscles relaxants, a brief treatment with oral steroids exercise modification and physical therapy, bracing or consultation with a physiatrist or a pain management doctor.”
If the symptoms are serious, they can be controlled with interventional techniques including epidural injections of steroid, he adds.
Here are additional insights from Dr. Liounakos and Dr. Moore.
Do the majority of patients suffering from spine issues realize the importance of regularly exercising as well as weight management and other factors in their lives that affect spine health?
“The health of the spine is supported by healthy muscles ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The well-being of these structures is heavily dependent on good habits, like getting a healthy diet, regularly exercising and stretching, ensuring good posture, maintaining an ideal weight and abstaining from dangerous behaviors such as drinking alcohol and smoking. A major concern for people suffering from spine problems is that it can be difficult to make changes in lifestyle factors when affected by severe discomfort and impairment.”
“Spine issues can appear in both old and young in a flash of light or after what’s been their “everyday routines. 90% of sufferers will have some kind of spine issues, be it neck or back discomfort throughout their lives. After the first incident and recovery, the majority people will maintain an active lifestyle however, they will become more aware of their spine’. A regular practice of stretching and warm-ups, and being mindful of not pushing the limits is a sensible guideline. Even experienced and dedicated athletes can occasionally push their bodies to the limit and experience symptoms of neck or back discomfort.”
We understand how important it is to choose a chiropractor that is right for you. It is our belief that educating our patients is a very important part of the success we see in our offices.