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    Having a Pinched Nerve in Your Lower Back

    by User_01 Sortino Marketing

    Your lower back is more susceptible to injury than the other regions of the spine. So, it’s unsurprising that a pinched nerve in the lower back is among the most common spinal injuries. Though a pinched lumbar nerve can often clear up on its own, some patients may need medical attention to resolve their symptoms. 

    This article will answer the most common questions about having a pinched nerve in the lower back, including the available treatment options.

    What is a Pinched Nerve?

    A pinched nerve is a condition that can cause pain and restrict one’s mobility. It develops when adjacent tissue, such as bone, muscle, or cartilage, impinges on a nerve. This can lead to various neurological symptoms, namely weakness, tingling, and numbness in the extremities. 

    Though pinched nerves can occur almost anywhere, the spine and, in particular, the lumbar region of the spine, account for a significant percentage of cases. This is due to the spine’s complex structure and the fact that the lower back experiences more strain with motion than the cervical or thoracic spine. This condition is referred to as a pinched lumbar nerve or a pinched nerve in the lower back. 

    The nerves of the lumbar spine extend throughout the pelvis, legs, and feet. The sciatic nerve, for example, is the longest nerve in the body and runs from the lower back through the hips and down the backs of the legs. A pinched sciatic nerve can cause persistent back pain, tingling, and other symptoms that are referred to as sciatica.

    Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve in Lower Back

    The symptoms of a pinched nerve in the lower back include lower back pain that radiates to the buttocks, legs, and feet, along with weakness, numbness, and tingling in the extremities. 

    In some cases, a pinched nerve in the lower back may also cause muscle spasms, the sensation of the feet “falling asleep”, or a “pins and needles” sensation. These symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the nerve impingement, along with the patient’s overall health.

    Sometimes, a pinched nerve in the lower back can escalate, leading to a condition known as cauda equina syndrome. This dangerous condition can lead to permanent neurological damage if it’s not promptly treated. So, if you have a pinched nerve in the lower back, keep an eye out for the following warning signs of cauda equina syndrome:

    • Loss of bowel and/or bladder function
    • Saddle anesthesia, which is a loss of sensation in the buttock, genital, and anal region
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Sudden, severe weakness and/or pain in the lower back and extremities

    If you experience the warning signs listed above, seek out emergency medical care. 

    What Does a Pinched Nerve in Your Back Feel Like?

    A pinched nerve in your back may feel like sharp, shooting pain, a burning sensation, weakness in the legs, and/or tingling. In mild cases, patients may experience only minor discomfort or back pain that comes and goes. 

    The symptoms of a pinched nerve vary depending on the exact nerve and the extent of the pressure. In addition to the symptoms listed above, this condition can cause a loss of reflexes and motor skills, as well as atrophy of the affected muscles. 

    Can Pinched Nerves Go Away On Their Own?. 

    The symptoms of pinched nerves will go away on their own if the pressure on the nerves is only temporary. If this is the case, patients will regain the full function of the spine without the need for medical intervention. 

    It typically takes four to six weeks for a pinched nerve to go away on its own. To manage your symptoms while this spinal injury naturally heals, consider at-home treatment options like rest and over-the-counter pain medications. While you’re resting with a pinched nerve, make sure to avoid activities that may strain the affected area of the spine, such as:

    • Lifting weights or heavy objects
    • Excessively twisting your back
    • Highly-impact exercise
    • Sitting or standing with poor posture

    Can I Exercise With a Pinched Nerve?

    You can perform some forms of exercise but not others with a pinched nerve. Gentle, low-impact exercises that don’t strain the spine are considered beneficial for a pinched nerve in the back. This is because they promote circulation, muscle strength, and flexibility. 

    The best forms of exercise for a pinched nerve in the back include:

    • Walking
    • Swimming and water aerobics
    • Resistance training
    • Yoga (while avoiding exercises that excessively twist or bend the spine)
    • Tai chi
    • Gentle stretching

    Forms of exercise to avoid with a pinched nerve in the lower back include:

    • Weight training
    • Running
    • Cycling
    • High-impact sports, including basketball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, and football, among others
    • HIIT workouts
    • Kickboxing

    What If My Pinched Nerve Doesn’t Go Away?

    If your pinched nerve doesn’t go away on its own, there are many treatment options available to you. These include:

    • Physical therapy

    A physical therapist can provide special exercises to help resolve pinched nerve symptoms. These exercises focus on strengthening the abdominal muscles to better support the spine and stretching the back to alleviate muscle tension. 

    • Manipulation

    Spinal manipulation may help ease the symptoms of a pinched nerve by relieving pressure on the affected nerve and promoting circulation to the area. 

    • Medication

    Over-the-counter and/or prescription medications may be used to reduce tension in the back muscles and alleviate inflammation in the painful area of the back. 

    Is a Massage Good for Pinched Nerves?

    Massage therapy is often good for pinched nerves in the lower back. This is because it can help alleviate muscle tension that may be causing or worsening nerve impingement. As a safe and natural treatment option, massage therapy is widely used by patients to help with pain and stiffness from a pinched nerve. 

    There are many different types of massage, but the most popular for pinched nerves in the back include deep tissue massages and Swedish massages. Make sure to visit a licensed and reputable massage therapist to prevent further irritating the impinged nerve. 

    Can a Chiropractor Fix a Pinched Nerve?

    A chiropractor can treat a pinched nerve with manual adjustments, along with remedies like heat/cold therapy and lifestyle changes.

    During a chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor will use their hands or a small instrument to manipulate the spine. This helps restore the proper alignment of the spine, reduce pressure on the spinal nerves, and promote circulation to the injured area. 

    How To Prevent a Pinched Nerve?

    For virtually any condition, the best therapy is preventive. Pinched nerves and many other spinal problems can be avoided by:

    • Maintaining good posture
    • Remaining physically active and fit
    • Reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight
    • Avoiding unnecessarily straining the back 

    How Do I Get Rid of a Pinched Nerve in My Back?

    To get rid of a pinched nerve in your back that doesn’t respond to non-surgical treatments, you may want to consider surgery. 

    What Does Surgery For a Pinched Nerve in The Back Involve?

    When preventative measures and non-invasive treatments fail, surgery for a pinched nerve is a viable option. Spine specialists don’t consider surgery for a pinched nerve in the back unless the patient has undergone six to 12 months of conservative therapies with no notable improvement. Additionally, candidates for pinched nerve surgery typically have severe, chronic pain that diminishes their ability to complete day-to-day tasks. 

    Spinal decompression surgery is recommended for some patients who don’t respond to minimally-invasive treatments for a pinched nerve. Spinal decompression therapy can have a dramatic effect on relieving the symptoms of a pinched nerve in the lower back.

    The most common form of spinal decompression surgery for a pinched nerve in the back is laminectomy. During this operation, the surgeon removes a small piece of the bone that covers the spinal canal, known as the lamina. Removing some of this bone allows the surgeon to create more space for the affected nerve and resolve the impingement. 

    Typically, spinal fusion back surgery is performed in conjunction with decompression surgery to stabilize the spine. Without some form of stabilization, decompression surgery can leave the spine vulnerable to future injury. 

    What Happens During Spinal Fusion For a Pinched Nerve Among Other Reasons?

    Spinal fusion is performed after decompression surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon positions bone graft material in between the affected vertebrae. Gradually, this bone graft will cause the vertebrae to combine into one bone. 

    Regain your mobility with Premia Spine! Contact us now

    This process eradicates all motion between the fused vertebrae, which prevents injuries related to instability of the area. Unfortunately, it also permanently reduces the patient’s mobility and can cause degeneration in the adjacent spinal segments.  

    Today, the TOPS (Total Posterior Spine) System provides an alternative to spinal fusion for a pinched nerve in the back. In contrast to spinal fusion, TOPS restores the full range of the spine’s natural motion. It’s also been shown to provide superior outcomes when compared to fusion in clinical studies performed around the world.

    The TOPS System presents a great new option for some individuals affected by pinched nerves in the lower back. Contact a medical center that offers the TOPS System in your area to learn more!

    Causes of Back Pain in Women

    by admin

    Back pain is a universal health concern, and it doesn’t discriminate. The factors that trigger back pain are often the same in women and men. However, certain causes of back pain, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and osteoporosis, are either unique to or more prevalent among women.

    What Causes Lower Back Pain in Females?

    The most common issues of lower back pain in females are menstruation, pregnancy, stress, osteoporosis, and spinal conditions like disc disease, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis. Let’s research them deeper:


    Menstruation is a key cause of back pain that exclusively affects women. During menstruation, the uterus produces substances known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins manage muscle contraction, and during menstruation, they send messages to the uterus instructing it to contract. 

    These muscle contractions are the direct cause of cramps and back pain during menstruation. Additionally, the cramps associated with menstruation place added stress on the back muscles, potentially leading to back muscle pain.


    Pregnancy often causes back pain, particularly in its later stages. The added weight of carrying the fetus puts significant stress on the spine, as well as the supporting muscles and ligaments. 

    Additionally, the ligaments stretch and soften during pregnancy. This is one of the body’s methods of childbirth preparation. Unfortunately, as the ligaments soften, the lower back and pelvis become less supported. This may trigger back pain. 

    Also, while being overweight for any reason can cause back pain, the rapid weight gain that occurs during pregnancy compounds the problem.


    Mental stress is known to cause or contribute to back pain, in part because it contributes to the involuntary tightening of muscles in the back. Stress can also cause or exacerbate back pain during pregnancy which, as a major life change, is a time of great psychological stress.


    Later in life, our bodies’ bone-building process gradually weakens. As a result, calcium is depleted from our bones, and our overall bone mass drops. The bones become more brittle, making them more prone to breakage. This phenomenon, which is referred to as osteoporosis, is more common among women than men. 

    If osteoporosis causes spinal fractures (known as compression fractures), it can lead to severe back pain. With a compression fracture from osteoporosis, patients typically struggle to sit, stand, and walk. 

    Spinal Conditions

    Common spinal conditions, such as degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis, affect women, just as they do men. These conditions can lead to chronic lower back pain. 

    Lower Right Back Pain in Females

    Lower right back pain in females can be caused by spinal conditions, soft tissue injuries, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, pregnancy, or various underlying conditions. 

    The spinal conditions that can cause lower right back pain in females include spinal stenosis, degenerative spondylolisthesis, and disc degeneration. These conditions can trigger spinal nerve compression, which may lead to sharp or burning pain in the right side of the back. 

    Endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and pregnancy are possible causes of lower right back pain that can only occur in women. 

    • Endometriosis is a condition that impacts the lining of the uterus and may lead to chronic pain in the lower back. 
    • Pregnancy can trigger pelvic pain that impacts the lower back. Women may experience this pain in one or both sides of the back. 
    • Uterine fibroids are a type of non-cancerous growth that develop in the uterus. Lower right back pain is a potential symptom of uterine fibroids. 

    What Female Organs Can Cause Lower Back Pain?

    Certain internal organs can lead to lower right back pain in female patients. Specifically, organs located in the pelvis, abdomen, and mid-back area may be the root of lower back pain. 

    • Reproductive organs

    In women, the reproductive organs in the pelvis can trigger pain in the lower right area of the back. For instance, endometriosis, which typically affects the ovaries and fallopian tubes, can lead to pain that extends to the lower back. 

    • The appendix

    The appendix is an organ that’s linked to the large intestine. People who develop appendicitis, which occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed, can develop lower right back pain. 

    Appendicitis requires immediate treatment to prevent rupture and complications. In addition to lower right back pain, symptoms may include sudden pain on the right side of the lower abdomen that worsens with abrupt motions, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. 

    • Kidney

    The kidneys are organs that remove waste from the blood. Kidney issues, such as kidney stones or a kidney infection, can lead to pain on one side of the lower back. Other symptoms of kidney problems often include pain while urinating, nausea, and vomiting. 

    • Colon

    Ulcerative colitis is a condition that’s characterized by inflammation in the colon. It causes repeated cramping in the abdomen that may trigger lower back pain, as well as symptoms including diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue. 

    How Can a Woman Find Out That Their Lower Back Pain is Serious?

    Extreme lower back pain can be a cause for concern. But, since back pain is a common ailment, it can be difficult to know whether or not your pain requires medical attention. 

    As a general rule of thumb, visit your doctor for an evaluation if you experience back pain that persists for longer than two weeks and holds you back from regular activities. If you experience severe back pain, visit a doctor sooner than after two weeks. Additionally, seek out immediate medical care if you have:

    • Fever with back pain
    • Sudden weakness in the arms or legs
    • Unexplained weight loss with back pain
    • Lost bladder or bowel control
    • Back pain following trauma, such as a car accident

    Lower Back Pain Treatment For Women

    Whatever its origin, there’s no reason to live with back pain, as a variety of treatment options exist for all their causes. Women wondering how to help lower back pain may consider physical therapy, medication, or even lifestyle changes to alleviate back pain caused by spinal conditions.

    • Physical therapy

    Physical therapy can help with lower back pain by helping relieve tension in the back muscles. Additionally, physical therapy exercises can target and strengthen the muscles that support the back. 

    • Pain medication

    Over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications may help women manage lower back pain in the short term. These medications can also help alleviate menstrual cramps and the associated back pain.

    However, women experiencing back pain caused by more complex conditions, such as endometriosis, should speak with their doctors about the available prescription medications for the condition.  

    • Lifestyle changes

    Lifestyle changes may help you naturally achieve relief from lower back pain. For example, in women experiencing back pain during pregnancy, gentle, low-impact exercise may offer relief. 

    Women with back pain caused by cramps during menstruation can consider lifestyle changes including quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol consumption and adding more high-fiber foods to their diet. Additionally, women with spinal conditions, such as spinal stenosis, may need to modify their activities to avoid straining the spine. 

    Spine Surgery For Back Pain in Women

    Surgery is rarely required for women with back pain. However, if the back pain doesn’t resolve within six months of conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend spine surgery for lasting pain relief. 

    Among women for whom spine surgery is recommended, there are multiple surgical approaches to consider. Thankfully, advanced microsurgical techniques and stabilization systems provide effective treatments for potentially disabling spinal conditions.

    Decompression Surgery For Back Pain in Women

    Decompression spinal surgery is a commonly performed spinal procedure for conditions including spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and herniated disc. In this procedure, a portion of the vertebra that’s impinging on a spinal nerve is removed. Decompression surgery can have a dramatic and immediate impact on back pain associated with prevalent spinal conditions.

    Spinal Fusion

    Spinal fusion surgery has traditionally been performed in conjunction with spinal decompression. This process involves fusing adjacent vertebrae at the affected segment to stabilize the spine.

    Unfortunately, while spinal fusion may offer pain relief for patients suffering from chronic back pain, it has numerous drawbacks. For one, spinal fusion eliminates the patient’s motion at the affected segment. As a result, the patient loses the ability to bend, twist, and flex that area of the spine. 

    Additionally, spinal fusion can lead to adjacent segment disease. This fusion complication occurs when the vertebrae surrounding the fused bone degenerate faster than usual. As a result, the patient may experience back pain, stiffness, and/or neurological symptoms.  

    Spinal Fusion Alternatives For Women With Back Pain

    Alternatives to spinal fusion are available and can help patients avoid the drawbacks of spinal fusion. The TOPS™ System from Premia Spine, in particular, provides a superior, clinically-proven outcome when compared to spinal fusion back surgery.

    Regain your mobility with Premia Spine! Contact us now

    Unlike spinal fusion, the TOPS™ System preserves the vertebrae’s range of motion. Having been used since 2005, the system has enabled patients around the world to maintain their full range of activities following decompression surgery. TOPS™ has further advanced the treatment of common but potentially debilitating spinal conditions.

    Women experiencing back pain from spinal conditions should consult their doctors to learn about the complete range of spinal treatments available today. 

    Causes of Back Pain in Men

    by admin

    Back pain affects people of all ages and genders. Although back pain is more common in women than in men, it also affects a significant portion of the male population. Given that back pain can lead to diminished mobility and a decreased quality of life, it should be given prompt medical attention. 

    In men, back pain can be triggered by a broad range of factors, from a severe infection to a mild injury. Understanding the different causes of back pain in men can help you identify the warning signs of a serious condition and seek out the medical care that you need. 

    This article will explore the possible causes of back pain in men, as well as the treatments available today. 

    What Causes Back Pain in Men?

    There are several different causes of back pain in men. The most common of these conditions include:

    • Spinal disorders

    Spinal disorders can lead to inflammation, nerve impingement, and, ultimately, back pain. Some of the most prevalent spinal disorders that affect men include:

    • Spinal stenosis, a condition involving the narrowing of the spinal cord
    • Bulging or herniated disc, which occurs when an intervertebral disc becomes damaged
    • Spondylolisthesis, a condition involving a displaced vertebra due to spinal instability
    • Spinal fractures, which typically result from a sudden impact, like a car accident
    • Scoliosis, which refers to an atypical spinal curvature
    • Degenerative disc disease, a condition referring to back pain caused by age-related wear and tear on an intervertebral disc
    • Spinal tumor, which can press on nerves within the spine and cause back pain

    Additionally, spinal injuries that occurred in childhood can manifest in later years, providing a painful reminder of long-ago trauma. 

    Back strains and sprains are extremely common causes of lower back pain across all demographics. A back strain occurs when some of the muscles and/or tendons of the spine become damaged. The tissue may be pulled, torn, or twisted, typically due to overextending the spine.

    Though it’s commonly confused with a strain, a back sprain affects the ligaments of the spine, not the muscles or tendons. With this injury, the ligaments are strained or torn due to excess strain on the back. 

    • Underlying medical conditions

    A wide range of medical conditions can trigger back pain in men. The most prevalent of these conditions are arthritis, sleep disorders, shingles, kidney stones, and kidney infections. 

    • Arthritis refers to joint inflammation. Many different types of arthritis can affect the facet joints of the spine, such as osteoarthritis. Typically, arthritis of the spine causes chronic back pain.
    • Sleep disorders can contribute to back pain by compromising the body’s natural repair processes. When you sleep, your body releases growth hormone, which heals damaged tissue and prevents pain. Men with disordered sleep don’t receive enough growth hormone, which can exacerbate back pain. 
    • Shingles is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes a painful, blistering rash. In some patients, shingles also leads to burning, aching, and/or stabbing back pain. 
    • Kidney problems, including kidney stones and kidney infections, can cause intense back pain
    • Poor posture

    Over an extended period, poor posture can lead to back pain in men. This is because poor posture forces the spine out of its proper alignment. This places added stress on the structures of the spine and speeds up the process of spinal wear and tear. 

    • Obesity

    Being overweight or obese is a key risk factor for back pain in men. With every step, excess weight places added impact on the structures of the spine. Over time, this extra stress with day-to-day motions can lead to back pain. 

    • Physical activity and lifestyle habits

    Men are especially prone to traumatic back pain due to their participation in high-impact physical activities and other lifestyle habits. These activities and habits include heavy lifting, prolonged sitting, and inconsistent exercise (i.e., the weekend warrior). These activities carry a significant risk of injury to the structures of the spine, as well as the ligaments, muscles, and tendons that support the spine.

    Accidents and sports injuries can lead to sudden back injuries. But, even simple day-to-day actions, such as improperly lifting a heavy object or twisting the back awkwardly when reaching for an object can trigger traumatic back injuries.

    The physical stresses and strains on the spine to which men are subjected can also accelerate and exacerbate the onset of spinal conditions, such as degenerative disc disease.

    Which Infection Causes Back Pain in Men?

    Kidney and bladder infections can cause back pain in men. With a kidney infection, men typically experience pain in the sides of the back. If a bladder infection spreads to the kidneys, it can cause mid-back pain. 

    Back pain caused by an infection won’t improve with changes in body positioning. This is unlike most other forms of back pain, which can be alleviated by moving or changing position.  

    How Can I Tell If My Back Pain is Kidney-Related?

    To tell if your back pain is kidney-related, consider the following factors:

    • Location

    Kidney pain is generally felt higher on the back and “deeper” within the body when compared to back pain. Additionally, kidney pain can radiate to the abdomen or crotch area. In contrast, if back pain radiates, it typically travels down the legs. 

    • Frequency

    As mentioned in the previous section, back pain can usually be improved by changing the position of the body. Patients may find temporary back pain relief by bending forward, standing up, or sitting down. 

    Kidney pain, on the other hand, won’t improve with different positions or movements. It tends to be constant. 

    • Other symptoms

    Serious kidney problems can cause other symptoms, including fatigue, fever, and body aches. If you experience these symptoms with what you suspect is kidney pain, or if the pain is sudden and excruciating, visit a doctor immediately. 

    Can Prostate Problems Cause Lower Back Pain?

    Yes, prostate problems can cause lower back pain in men. Recurrent pain or stiffness in the lower back is a symptom of prostate problems, along with:

    • A frequent impulse to urinate
    • Having to get up at night several times to urinate
    • Painful ejaculation
    • Pain or burning while urinating
    • Bloody semen or urine
    • Persistent pain and/or stiffness in the hips, pelvis rectal area, or upper thighs
    • Urinary dribbling

    If you experience these symptoms of prostate problems, seek out urgent medical care. 

    What Organs Can Cause Lower Back Pain in Men?

    The kidneys, prostate, bladder, colon, liver, gallbladder, and appendix are organs that can cause lower back pain in men. With organ-related lower back pain, you may experience pain in only one side of the back. 

    Why is Back Pain at Night a Red Flag?

    Back pain at night is considered a red flag because it can be a sign of a serious condition, like cancer or an infection. This is particularly true for back pain that doesn’t just continue at night but worsens when you’re sleeping. 

    If you experience worsening back pain at night, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious medical issue. But, especially if you experience other symptoms in conjunction with back pain, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. Other symptoms to keep an eye out for with back pain at night include saddle anesthesia, incontinence, and weakness, numbness, or pain in the leg muscles. 

    What Helps Back Pain for Men?

    Prompt medical treatment and self-care help back pain for men. If you’re concerned about an underlying condition that could be causing your back pain, remember that the great majority of back pain cases in men involve muscle trauma, strains, or other minor injuries. These common conditions resolve on their own with rest and proper care.

    However, if your back pain persists despite at-home therapies, a qualified medical specialist can identify the problem. After diagnosing the condition, your physician can recommend a variety of effective treatment options, most of which are non-invasive. Even serious spinal conditions such as degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis can be effectively treated.

    When non-invasive treatments fail to provide relief after six to 12 months, your physician may recommend surgery. Spinal decompression surgery can relieve pressure on spinal nerves, dramatically reducing pain and the other symptoms associated with various spinal conditions.

    Thankfully, patients today no longer need to surrender the full range of spinal motion to benefit from spinal decompression surgery. In the past, spinal fusion surgery was routinely performed in conjunction with spinal decompression surgery to stabilize the spine. Now, the TOPS™ System is available as a spinal fusion alternative.

    As a non-fusion implant, the TOPS™ System enables spinal decompression patients to maintain their full range of spinal motion. Instead of fusing adjacent vertebrae at the point of the decompression surgery, this implant allows each vertebra to maintain independent flexion and lateral motion.

    Regain your mobility with Premia Spine! Contact us now

    Though men are likely to experience back pain at some point in life, they have many advanced treatment options to choose from today. With these effective therapies, men can achieve relief from back pain, even in its most serious forms. 

    What is Spinal Decompression?

    by admin

    Spinal Decompression

    Though you may not realize it, spinal decompression is an important topic for many people suffering from debilitating back pain. Spinal decompression refers to the process of relieving pressure on one or more pinched (or impinged) nerves in the spinal column. The pressure on such nerves can cause pain, restrict mobility, and a host of other physical problems.

    A vast range of spinal conditions, including spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, bulging, herniated or slipped discs, and facet syndrome, can place pressure on nerves emanating from the spinal column. This may create the need for spinal decompression surgery. 

    This article will dive into the specifics of spinal decompression and how it could benefit your recovery from chronic back pain. 

    Defining Spinal Decompression

    So, what is spinal decompression? It’s a treatment for various spinal conditions that can be performed both surgically and non-surgically.

    Non-surgical spinal decompression utilizes mechanical, computer-controlled traction devices to reduce the pressure placed on nerves in specific portions of the spine. Inversion therapy, in which patients hang upside down, is another form of non-surgical spinal decompression. Certain spinal decompression exercises may also be effective for alleviating back and nerve pain. 

    For patients who don’t respond to non-invasive methods, spinal decompression surgery can provide dramatic symptom improvement. In this surgical procedure, portions of the bone or tissue of the spine that impinge on a nerve are cut away, relieving the pressure.

    Historically, the spinal fusion procedure has been performed in conjunction with spinal decompression surgery. Fusion stabilizes the spine at the point where the decompression procedure was performed.

    Unfortunately, spinal fusion, which fuses two (or more) vertebrae to enhance spinal stability, eliminates the independent motion of the fused vertebrae. This may accelerate the degeneration of adjacent vertebrae.

    Today, the TOPS™ (Total Posterior Spine) System provides a spinal fusion alternative for patients who are considering spinal decompression surgery. In contrast to fusion, TOPS preserves the complete range of the spine’s natural motion and has been shown to provide better outcomes than fusion in global clinical studies.

    Contact now for more details.

    Why Would You Do a Spinal Decompression?

    A large nerve pathway extends through the middle of the spinal canal. When these nerves become compressed and irritated, whether due to an injury or age-related degeneration, you may experience lasting pain. With this in mind, patients undergo spinal decompression for relief from spinal nerve compression symptoms. 

    Non-surgical spinal decompression is performed as a conservative treatment option for persistent back pain. Whether caused by a condition like spinal stenosis or simply poor posture, back pain can benefit from non-invasive spinal decompression. 

    Surgical spinal decompression, on the other hand, is typically done only for severe spinal conditions. It’s generally only considered after the patient has undergone six to 12 months of non-surgical treatment without experiencing improvement. 

    Additionally, surgical spinal decompression is typically implemented for patients experiencing severe spinal nerve compression and who are at risk of permanent nerve damage. 

    What Conditions Does Spinal Decompression Treat?

    Spinal decompression, both surgical and non-surgical, may be used to treat:

    • A bulging disc

    The tough outer shell of an intervertebral disc becomes weaker and thinner with age. Eventually, the disc may flatten and bulge out into the spinal canal.  

    • A herniated disc

    A herniated or slipped disc goes one step beyond a bulging disc. When a disc becomes herniated, it means that the soft disc interior protrudes through a crack in the disc exterior. 

    • Sciatica

    Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back through the backs of both legs, becomes irritated. This results in symptoms including burning, tingling, numbness, pain, and/or weakness along the path of the sciatic nerve. 

    • Degenerative disc disease

    Degenerative disc disease refers to back pain and other symptoms caused by a degenerated intervertebral disc. This degeneration typically occurs from age-related wear-and-tear. 

    • A pinched spinal nerve

    A pinched or compressed spinal nerve causes symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness. 

    • Spinal stenosis 

    Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal gradually becomes narrower. This condition limits the amount of open space in the spinal canal, which can trigger spinal nerve compression. 

    • Spondylolisthesis

    Spondylolisthesis develops when one of the vertebrae in the spine shifts out of its regular position and settles on the bone directly beneath it. In some cases, the displaced vertebra compresses nearby nerves. 

    What Happens During Spinal Decompression?

    Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression

    During non-surgical spinal decompression, the patient is positioned on a motorized device like a traction table. This device uses motorized traction to gently stretch the spine. This process alters the alignment of the spine, as well as the forces placing stress on the spine. 

    When non-surgical spinal decompression is successful, it removes pressure from the nerves and other spinal structures. It also increases the flow of oxygen, nutrients, and water to the spine, which promotes healing.

    Surgical Spinal Decompression

    Although the goal of surgical spinal decompression is the same as its non-surgical counterpart, the process is completely different. For one, numerous techniques of surgical spinal decompression exist, namely laminectomy/laminotomy, foraminotomy/foraminectomy, and discectomy. 

    • Laminectomy and laminotomy involve removing some or all of the lamina. The lamina is a piece of bone positioned at the back of the spinal canal that acts like a roof. By eliminating some or all of the lamina, surgeons can create more space in the spinal canal and resolve nerve compression.
    • Foraminotomy and foraminectomy decompress spinal nerves by surgically enlarging the openings (foramen) around the nerve roots. 
    • Discectomy simply involves removing a portion of an intervertebral disc. This process can resolve nerve compression caused by a damaged spinal disc. 

    Do Chiropractors Do Spinal Decompression?

    Chiropractors perform non-surgical spinal decompression therapy. Only a qualified, licensed spinal surgeon can perform spinal decompression surgery. 

    A spinal decompression chiropractor stretches and manipulates the spine to alleviate back and leg pain. This process is entirely non-invasive, making it a safe, low-risk choice for patients to consider. 

    Your chiropractor may also be able to recommend spinal decompression stretches. You can perform these stretches anywhere, at any time, making it possible to undergo spinal decompression at home. For example, reaching your arms above your head, interlacing your fingers, and trying to touch your palms to the ceiling is one stretch that can help decompress the spine.   

    How Quickly Does Spinal Decompression Work?

    Most patients who undergo non-surgical spinal decompression therapy from a professional chiropractor will experience symptom relief after four to six weeks. In this period, patients may undergo weekly spinal decompression sessions. Some patients may notice pain relief after just one session, while others will need more sessions to experience significant symptom improvement. 

    Surgical spinal decompression works differently. Patients will likely experience soreness and inflammation for a few days after the procedure. Post-operative pain will gradually improve, with most patients needing approximately four to six weeks to regain their mobility. 

    Spinal decompression surgery is commonly paired with spinal fusion. As aforementioned, the goal of fusion is to prevent spinal instability by permanently connecting the affected vertebrae. Spinal fusion significantly lengthens the recovery time for spinal decompression surgery, requiring up to a year for patients to make a full recovery. 

    When Does Spinal Decompression Surgery Become a Necessity?

    Spinal decompression is typically considered necessary if:

    • The patient has already undergone six to 12 months of non-surgical therapies and their symptoms haven’t improved (or have gotten worse). 
    • The patient is experiencing debilitating back pain and/or neurological symptoms that are diminishing their ability to get through the day. 
    • The patient is disabled due to back pain and/or neurological symptoms. 
    • The patient is at risk of permanent nerve damage.

    If you’re a patient whose pinched spinal nerve is not responding to non-invasive decompression methods, make sure to discuss all of your surgical options with your physician.

    Common Questions About Back Pain: Do You Need Back Surgery?

    by admin

    Back pain affects an estimated eight out of 10 people over the course of their lives. So, it’s no surprise that this widespread medical condition sparks many questions among patients. 

    One of the most prevalent questions that spine specialists receive from back pain patients is whether or not they’ll need surgery. Understandably, most patients want to avoid back surgery and the risks that it involves. 

    In this article, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about back pain and back surgery. With this information, we aim to give you peace of mind in the range of treatments available for back pain today. 

    Do I need surgery for persistent back pain?

    If you’re experiencing ongoing or severe back pain, you may be wondering if you’ll need back surgery to finally eliminate that constant backache. To answer this question and get on the path to relief from debilitating back pain, you’ll likely need to consult a spinal surgeon.

    Your spinal surgeon will need to assess your back symptoms, take a full medical history, and review your general health. But, don’t start worrying about the prospect of surgery. Back surgery is generally only needed in a small percentage of back pain cases. 

    How many people require back surgery for back pain?

    According to the UT Southwestern Medical Center, only 10% of back pain cases require surgery. Additionally, among back pain patients who require surgery, minimally-invasive procedures are widely successful. 

    So, for most patients, back pain can be resolved with a range of non-surgical options. These trusted treatments can keep you off of the operating table and quickly restore your quality of life. 

    When conservative treatments don’t help, your physician may recommend back surgery. This is often the case when the doctor is looking to provide relief from severe, disabling back pain that’s limiting your lifestyle, interrupting your sleep, and preventing you from being active.

    What non-surgical treatment options are available for back pain?

    The most common non-surgical treatment options available for back pain include:

    • ice or heat therapy,
    • anti-inflammatory medications,
    • physical therapy,
    • chiropractic care,
    • massage therapy.

    In some cases, patients may benefit from epidural steroid injections, which can alleviate pain and inflammation in the spine. Unfortunately, steroid injections can also trigger tissue damage if they’re used in excess. Most physicians recommend that patients undergo no more than three to four injections per year. 

    Additionally, lifestyle changes are often very helpful in treating back pain without surgery. Specifically, changing your diet to lose weight can help remove pressure from the spinal nerves. This can help the irritated tissue heal and recover, as well as lessen neurological symptoms. 

    Your physician may recommend rest for back pain after your initial diagnosis. However, it’s important to stay active with low-impact activities to prevent stiffness and maintain strength. Once back pain and inflammation have decreased, you’ll likely be able to increase your activity level.  

    What are the best exercises for back pain?

    Exercise is beneficial for back pain because it prevents stiffness in the ligaments and tendons. It can help you maintain mobility in the back while increasing circulation to the injured tissue. 

    However, high-impact, strenuous exercise can do more harm than good for back pain patients. So, it’s crucial to choose your activities wisely. 

    Some of the best types of exercise for back pain include:

    • Walking
    • Swimming and water aerobics
    • Biking
    • Resistance exercises
    • Yoga

    While exercising with back pain, remember to start slowly with short periods of activity. Make sure to rest in between your workouts. If you feel any pain or other concerning symptoms, such as numbness or tingling in the extremities, stop exercising and consider other activities. 

    What causes lower back pain?

    The most common lower back pain causes include:

    Strains and Sprains

    Strains and sprains are the most common causes of lower back pain. Strains involve stretching or tearing of the muscles or tendons, while sprains involve stretching or tearing of the ligaments. 

    The causes and treatments of strains and sprains are similar. Overexerting the back while lifting a heavy object, suddenly twisting the back, or falling are possible causes. To treat lower back sprains and strains, physicians typically recommend rest and at-home care, such as heat/cold therapy. 

    Patients may benefit from physical therapy for sprains and strains. A physical therapist can recommend stretching and strengthening exercises to alleviate tension while improving support for the back. 

    Age-related Spinal Degeneration

    The spinal structures, including the vertebrae, facet joints, and intervertebral discs, naturally degenerate with age. This degeneration can contribute to spinal conditions like a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, and osteoarthritis. All of these spinal conditions can lead to chronic lower back pain. 

    What does one-sided back pain mean?

    Lower left back pain and lower right back pain can be caused by any of the common back pain causes listed above. However, if you have one-sided back pain along with other symptoms, such as fever and/or pain while urinating, the pain could be stemming from an internal organ. So, in this case, make sure to receive a medical evaluation promptly. 

    Can sports injuries cause lower back pain?

    Especially in young adults, participating in sports is a key risk factor for lower back pain. According to Medscape, 7% to 13% of all sports injuries in college athletes are lower back injuries. Additionally, certain sports are more likely to trigger back pain than others. 

    The sports that present the highest risk of lower back pain include gymnastics, soccer, and dance, according to a 2009 study published in Sports Health. 

    Which medical conditions require back surgery?

    Here are the symptoms and conditions that might make back surgery an optimal solution for you:

    • Spinal nerve compression

    Back injuries and conditions that compress your spinal nerves can cause debilitating back pain and/or numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs.

    • Intervertebral disc damage

    With a bulging, ruptured, or herniated disc, the rubbery discs that cushion and separate the bones in your spine are injured. So, the spinal structures are subject to more impact with day-to-day movements. 

    • Vertebral fracture

    A fractured vertebra typically causes back pain and spinal instability. Many vertebral fractures heal on their own, while others require surgery. or other damage to your spinal column from a back injury. A fractured disc will cause pain, and also leaves your spine unstable, often causing additional back pain.

    You may also be diagnosed with a condition that causes back pain and additional progressive nerve compression:

    • Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that can compress nerves in the back
    • Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal typically caused by arthritis
    • Spondylolisthesis, the forward slippage of a spinal segment
    • Degenerative disc disease, the development of pain in a disc as a result of its normal wear and tear over time
    • Radiculopathy, the irritation, and inflammation of a nerve caused by a herniated disc
    • Kyphosis, a humpback deformity

    What are the main lower back surgery types?

    For lower back pain relief in severe cases, spinal surgeons may recommend one of the following types of lower back surgery:

    • Spinal decompression

    Spinal decompression is the most common lower back pain surgery. It involves alleviating pressure on the spinal nerves by removing certain spinal tissues. 

    Several procedures fall under the umbrella of spinal decompression, including:

    • Laminectomy: Widely used for spinal stenosis, this procedure involves removing some or all of the lamina, which covers the back of the spinal cord. 
    • Discectomy: Commonly used for lower back herniated disc surgery, discectomy involves removing damaged disc tissue. 
    • Foraminotomy: This procedure involves creating more space in the intervertebral foramen, where the nerve roots leave the spinal canal. 
    • Lower back fusion surgery

    During fusion surgery in the lower back, your surgeon will secure bone graft material in between one or more vertebrae. This process permanently fuses the targeted vertebrae to prevent spinal instability. 

    Unfortunately, lower back fusion eliminates all independent motion of the vertebrae. This significantly diminishes patients’ back flexibility and may keep them from performing certain activities. Fusion also largely prolongs the recovery time for lower back surgery

    Recent innovations in spinal surgery, such as the TOPS™ System from Premia Spine, can prevent spinal instability after decompression surgery without compromising the patient’s mobility. The TOPS™ System is a non-fusion spinal implant that moves with the spine, protects neighboring segments from degeneration, and preserves spinal mobility. 

    Your spinal surgeon’s primary goal is to eliminate your back pain and restore your quality of life.  When a progressive condition is diagnosed through testing and examination, back surgery may certainly move to the forefront of your surgeon’s mind. It’s their job to consider the best, most individualized treatment options to eradicate back pain before it becomes worse.

    Preparing for Spinal Surgery

    by admin

    Whether to treat a slipped disc from age-related spinal degeneration or a traumatic spinal cord injury, spinal surgery is never taken lightly. When lower back surgery is selected as the preferred treatment option, it indicates that the condition being treated is severe.

    Spine surgery comes along with the expectation that it will provide a meaningful improvement in the targeted medical condition. This improvement generally includes a reduction in the patient’s pain, as well as restored movement.

    With these improvements in mind, there’s actually much to look forward to while you prepare for spine surgery! To ensure that the procedure and recovery go as smoothly as possible, consider these tips:

    Get in Shape

    So, what’s our top tip for how to prepare for spinal surgery? Get in the best shape you can – mentally and physically.

    To improve your physical fitness, exercise thoughtfully and eat a healthy diet. Exercising can be difficult when you’re dealing with a spinal condition. However, maintaining muscle strength and flexibility, as well as reaching a healthy weight, will aid in your spinal surgery recovery

    Additionally, exercising boosts endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. Endorphins can help you manage stress, pain, and your general mental well-being leading up to spinal surgery.  

    Which Exercises Are The Best For Lower Back Pain Surgery?

    Certain physical activities are safer and more beneficial for patients with spinal conditions than others. These activities include:

    • Walking
    • Bicycling and stationary cycling
    • Low-impact and water aerobics
    • Swimming
    • Yoga and tai chi
    • Resistance and stretching exercises

    We recommend speaking to your physician before starting any new exercise regimen. Your physician can inform you of any exercises to avoid as you prepare for spinal surgery. 

    Additionally, as a general rule of thumb, avoid high-impact activities, like running and jogging, while you’re recovering from a spinal condition. High-impact activities can place added stress on the spine and may impede its recovery process. 

    How Does Weight Loss Benefit Spinal Surgery Preparation?

    Extra weight places stress on the back. In fact, excess weight leads to increased impact on the spine with each step that you take, potentially complicating back surgery recovery.

    A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that intervertebral disc disorder and chronic lower back pain are connected to obese and overweight body status. With this in mind, losing weight can support the outcome of your spinal procedure and recovery.

    However, lose weight sensibly! Extreme and unhealthy weight loss can compromise your condition leading up to the surgery. 

    Here are our top tips for losing weight healthily:

    • Eat regular meals, and don’t skip breakfast. 
    • Listen to hunger cues. 
    • Use smaller plates and bowls for healthier portion sizes. 
    • Rather than cutting out foods altogether, treat yourself in moderation. 
    • Stay hydrated by sipping on water throughout the day, especially around mealtimes.
    • Add high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, legumes, berries, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, to your diet. 

    Quit Smoking

    If you smoke, it’s in your best interest to quit before spinal surgery. Smoking is detrimental to the success of spinal surgery, as well as the body’s healing process, even for minimally-invasive spine surgery.

    Nicotine constricts the blood vessels. This means that when you smoke, the circulation throughout your body decreases. As a result, all of your cells, including those in your spine, will receive less of the oxygen and nutrients that they need to heal.

    Decreased blood flow from smoking can also prevent surgical wounds from closing and increase the risk of infection. The infection risk after spinal surgery is further increased in smokers because smoking hampers the immune system. 

    Smokers are also at a higher risk of complications from surgery, including stroke, heart attack, shock, and even death.

    Several clinical studies illustrate the risk of smoking for patients with spinal conditions:

    • A 2015 study found that smoking was linked to increased complications and worse outcomes in three out of four of the largest diagnostic groups. These groups included 136,511 patients admitted for spinal disease treatment.
    • A 2017 study found that smoking significantly raises the risk of pseudoarthrosis (spinal fusion failure) in patients undergoing cervical and lumbar fusions. This study also found that smoking increases the risk of other complications including infection, dysphagia, and adjacent-segment pathology. 
    • A 2016 study found that smoking significantly influenced the overall perioperative complication rate. 

    What If I Can’t Quit Smoking?

    If you don’t quit smoking, you’ll be required to stop approximately four to six weeks before the lower back herniated disc surgery and other spinal procedures. You’ll also need to abstain from smoking for two weeks after the procedure. 

    Quitting smoking can be difficult, to say the least. Here are a few tips that may help you quit before spine surgery:

    • Ask for loved ones to support you in the coming weeks. 
    • Consider joining a stop-smoking support group. 
    • Avoid scenarios that put you at a high risk of smoking, such as drinking with friends or being around people who smoke.  

    Review Medications

    Talk to your doctor about all of the medications that you’re taking long before undergoing spinal surgery. Be very thorough, as even herbal supplements can impact your recovery or interact with other medications prescribed for surgery.

    There are a few different types of drugs that you generally must stop taking before surgery. These include:

    • Anticoagulants

    Anticoagulants are also known as blood thinners. This type of medication prevents the formation of blood clots. But, before surgery, blood thinners also raise your risk of bleeding. So, it’s crucial to talk to your prescribing physician and surgeon about the right time to stop taking anticoagulants before surgery. 

    Common prescription anticoagulants include warfarin, NSAIDs, enoxaparin, ticlopidine, clopidogrel, and dipyridamole. Additionally, there are several over-the-counter and herbal anticoagulants, including aspirin, NSAIDs (like ibuprofen), vitamin E, ginger, garlic, and ginkgo biloba. 

    • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

    MAOIs remove specific neurotransmitters from the brain. This category of drugs includes certain antidepressants and anti-Parkinson drugs. Unfortunately, MAOIs also interfere with the medications utilized during anesthesia and should be stopped about a week or two before spinal surgery. 

    All MAOIs are prescription medications. Examples include tranylcypromine, phenelzine, rasagiline, and isocarboxazid. 

    Get Well Informed

    Prepare for lower back surgery by learning as much as you can about the facets of your spinal condition, as well as the available treatments. There are numerous lower back surgery types, especially with recent advances in the medical field. Different types of lower back surgery may offer unique benefits and drawbacks.

    One essential aspect of education before lumbar spine surgery is to understand the expected recovery period. Spine surgery recovery can last anywhere from a few months to a year if you undergo lower back fusion surgery. 

    Learning about the recovery time for lower back surgery well in advance of your procedure will streamline your healing process. With this knowledge, you can better plan how much help you’ll need around the house, how much time to take off of work, and when you can expect to return to your favorite activities

    Learn About Recent Innovations in Spinal Surgery

    The last few years have seen dramatic advances in spinal procedures that can provide significantly improved clinical outcomes and shorter recovery periods. The TOPS™ (Total Posterior Solution) System, often used in the treatment of spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and other back problems involving a pinched nerve, is one such advanced procedure.

    TOPS™ is an implant system approved for use as an alternative to lumbar spine fusion surgery after spinal decompression. The TOPS™ System preserves the independent flexion and bending of the individual vertebrae. This is in contrast to fusion surgery of the lower back, which eliminates this independent motion and can contribute to the deterioration of adjacent vertebrae. 

    The TOPS™ System has also been shown in clinical studies to provide better short- and long-term outcomes than spinal fusion.

    Before undergoing spinal surgery, make sure to learn everything that you can about your condition and surgical options. By thoroughly discussing your treatment plan with your physician and asking any questions that come to mind, you’ll be far better prepared for your back surgery.

    Types of Back Pain

    by admin

    Back pain is one of the most complex and confounding conditions in medicine. There are several types of back pain, typically classified by their cause. These forms of back pain may originate in the back muscles, ligaments, and spinal structures, or even as a result of problems in other parts of the body.

    Below, we’ll discuss some of the most prominent types of back pain, along with the causes of each.  

    Strains and Sprains

    Back Strains

    Muscle strains are one of the most common lower back pain causes. A strain is a type of injury that affects muscle or tendon tissue. Tendons attach muscle to bone. 

    With a strain, the affected muscle or tendon has either been pulled, torn, or twisted. This injury is usually caused by overuse, such as engaging in strenuous physical activity that your body isn’t accustomed to. For example, you may sustain a back strain if you lift more weight than your body can safely handle. 

    Symptoms of muscle strains include muscle weakness, inflammation, cramping, and spasms. You may also experience a reduced range of motion in the back. 

    A back strain can result in severe lower back pain. However, the pain will remain localized and won’t radiate down to the legs. This is in contrast to back pain caused by certain spinal conditions, which can cause pain that spreads to the extremities.

    Back Sprains

    Sprains and strains are commonly mixed up as back pain types. However, while strains involve muscle or tendon tissue, sprains involve injury to a ligament. Ligaments attach bones within a joint and provide stability to that joint. 

    With a back sprain, the ligaments in the spine are forced out of their usual position. This is typically caused by a fall, sudden trauma, or forceful twist. 

    Symptoms of ligament sprains are similar to muscle strains but take longer to heal. While a mild strain typically heals within three to six weeks, a sprain may take between six to eight weeks (or even several months) to heal. If you don’t allow a back sprain to heal properly, it can give rise to chronic back pain.

    Risk Factors For Back Strains and Sprains

    Although anyone, at any age, can sustain a back strain or sprain, you may be at a higher risk of developing one of these injuries if you:

    • Are engaging in activities that excessively curve the lower back
    • Regularly engage in sports involving pulling or pushing, like football or weightlifting
    • Have weak abdominal or back muscles
    • Have tight hamstrings
    • Are overweight or obese

    Preventing Back Strains and Sprains

    Back strains and sprains can hamper your day-to-day activities and cause significant pain. To reduce your risk of developing these common back injuries, follow these tips:

    • Reach and maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. 
    • Add exercises for lower back pain to your usual exercise regimen. These exercises focus on strengthening the abdominal muscles so that your spine is effectively supported and stabilized. 
    • Add stretches for lower back pain to your daily routine to prevent muscle tension and lost mobility. 
    • If you lift weights as part of your exercise regimen, always use proper lifting techniques. Never lift more weight than you can safely handle. 
    • Practice proper posture to keep your spine aligned. 
    • Quit smoking, which can increase your risk of the degenerative disc disease and chronic back pain. 
    • Consider how to sleep for lower back pain. Sleeping on your back is ideal to prevent strain on the spine while sleeping on your stomach can exacerbate back pain. However, placing a pillow under your stomach and pelvis can help align your spine if you’re a stubborn stomach-sleeper.
      • In a similar vein, talk to your doctor about the best mattress for back pain, as they might have suggestions. Generally, memory foam mattresses are considered the best for aligning and supporting the spine. 

    Back Pain On The Right vs. Left Sides 

    Patients who are only experiencing pain on one side of the back often wonder about the cause of their pain. Both lower left back pain and lower right back pain can be caused by injuries to the muscles or ligaments that uphold the spine. One-sided back pain may also be triggered by spinal injuries and conditions.

    However, one-sided back pain can also indicate an issue with the kidney, intestines, or reproductive organs. If this is the case, you’ll likely experience additional symptoms, such as nausea, pain while urinating, and/or fever. 

    Stress-Related Back Pain

    Stress-related back pain isn’t an official diagnosis. But, there’s no denying that stress can play a significant role in the development of back pain. 

    Your body’s natural reaction to concerning, unpleasant, or scary situations is stress. When you feel stressed out, your body releases various chemicals and triggers physical reactions to protect you. These chemicals include cortisol and adrenaline, which tends to cause an involuntary tensing of your muscles. 

    This is a primal response that’s largely unhelpful against the stressors that people experience today, such as a deadline at work or a complicated social situation. 

    Frequent stress can lead to significant tension in the back. This may lead to chronic lower back pain when left unaddressed. 

    A 2021 study published in Scientific Reports confirmed that the severity of stress is directly correlated to chronic lower back pain. Specifically, severe stress was associated with a 2.8-fold increase in the risk of chronic lower back pain. 

    Spinal Conditions

    Spinal conditions are common types of lower back pain. Many of the most common spinal conditions trigger back pain by exerting pressure on the spinal nerves. This typically leads to what’s known as a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve can cause localized pain, much like a muscle strain, but may also involve other parts of the body. 

    Pinched nerves in the lower, or lumbar region of the spine, can cause burning lower back and leg pain. Surprisingly, a pinched nerve in this region can also have far-reaching effects on the bladder, appendix, large intestine, sex organs, knees, and prostate. 

    What Are The Most Common Spinal Conditions That Cause Back Pain?

    While several different spinal conditions can trigger back pain, the most common include:

    • Herniated disc

    A herniated disc occurs when the soft interior of an intervertebral disc protrudes through a damaged portion of the disc interior. The injured disc may push on spinal nerves, causing back pain and other symptoms. 

    • Spinal stenosis

    Spinal stenosis develops if the space in the spinal canal becomes more limited. This may result from thickening spinal ligaments, a bulging or herniated disc, and osteoarthritis, among other factors. 

    • Degenerative disc disease

    Degenerative disc disease refers to symptoms of gradual, age-related spinal disc deterioration. As people grow older, the spinal discs become drier, thinner, and weaker, making them more prone to damage.  

    • Spondylolisthesis

    Spondylolisthesis occurs when spinal instability causes a vertebra to slip out of its normal position onto the vertebra beneath it. This can cause back pain and neurological symptoms. Although there are many possible causes of spondylolisthesis, the most common are degenerative spinal changes and spinal defects. 

    • Osteoarthritis

    Osteoarthritis is also known as wear and tear arthritis. This condition occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joints starts to deteriorate. If osteoarthritis impacts the facet joints in the spine, it can lead to back pain. 

    • Scoliosis

    When someone has scoliosis, it means that their spine is abnormally curved. This curve may cause back pain in a few different ways. It may cause spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, and facet joint damage. The curved spine can also press on nerves, leading to neurological symptoms. 

    What Causes Lower Back Pain From Spinal Conditions?

    Several factors can lead to the development of spinal conditions that cause lower back pain. The most prevalent of these factors include age-related spinal degeneration, spinal injuries and disorders, and congenital spinal defects. To understand exactly what’s causing your lower back pain, you’ll need a diagnosis from a qualified physician. 

    How Are Spinal Conditions Treated?

    Numerous approaches exist for lower back pain relief in patients with spinal disorders. Almost always, physicians will start with a non-surgical treatment plan for six to 12 months before considering surgery. Most patients don’t need surgery to recover from the symptoms of various spinal conditions. 

    Non-Surgical Treatments For Spinal Conditions 

    Simple rest, lifestyle modifications, medications, and physical therapy are among the beneficial non-invasive approaches to alleviate different types of lower back pain.

    Surgical Treatments For Spinal Conditions

    When patients continue to experience debilitating back pain after months of non-surgical treatment, surgery may be required. Additionally, spinal specialists may recommend surgery if the patient is experiencing significant disability as a result of their condition. 

    Thankfully, even serious spinal conditions can today be effectively treated with advanced microsurgical procedures. Innovative approaches to spinal decompression surgery use endoscopic techniques for smaller incisions, less blood loss, and less tissue damage. 

    Advanced, minimally-invasive spinal procedures offer relief from conditions that have condemned previous generations to crippling pain and restricted mobility. 

    Spinal Fusion

    After spinal decompression, spinal fusion is often performed to stabilize the affected portion of the spine. The fusion process involves positioning bone graft material in between the affected vertebrae. The graft will, in the months following the procedure, permanently join the adjacent vertebrae.  

    Though decompression spinal surgery can dramatically alleviate pain and other symptoms of compressed or pinched nerves, spinal fusion eliminates the independent motion of the fused vertebrae. This limits patients’ activities and increases the risk of degeneration in the surrounding vertebrae. 

    Today, the limitations of spinal fusion have been surmounted. The TOPS™ System from Premia Spine provides a clinically proven superior alternative to spinal fusion. This non-fusion spinal implant replaces the tissues removed during decompression surgery while preserving the full, independent motion of each vertebra.

    If you’re experiencing back pain, don’t hesitate to see a qualified physician. You can achieve relief with the variety of treatment options available today. 

    Advantages of Medical Tourism

    by admin

    Can you really travel to a foreign destination for a vacation and receive high-quality medical care at the same time? That’s the question many people raise when the subject of medical tourism comes up.

    Many people are skeptical of medical tourism, and understandably so. When you receive medical care in your home country, you’ll naturally feel more comfortable with the treatment process. However, there are many advantages that medical tourism can offer. 

    For some patients, traveling to a different country for medical care is a worthwhile task. Keep reading to learn more. 

    What is Medical Tourism?

    Medical tourism is a term used to describe the action of traveling internationally for medical care. 

    What Are The Benefits of Medical Tourism?

    The following benefits are attributed to the popularity of medical tourism for USA patients:

    • Affordable care

    This is the key benefit of medical tourism. Many people can attain high-quality medical care at a fraction of the cost by traveling overseas. This particularly applies to patients in the U.S., which lacks a public healthcare system. 

    • High-quality care

    The quality of care should always be the primary consideration in medical tourism. There are first-rate medical facilities and health care professionals in many areas across the globe. Some of these areas, which are widely considered to be the best countries for medical tourism, include Germany, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Israel, India, Thailand, Singapore, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Cyprus.

    • Advanced treatments

    Different areas of the world have different medical regulatory bodies. Here in the United States, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) protects Americans’ health by regulating drugs, biological products, medical devices, food, cosmetics, and even certain electric products. 

    In many instances, medical innovations have been developed, proven to be successful, and used for many years in other areas of the world. But, with the FDA’s regulatory processes, it can take a long time for those proven medical solutions to become available in the United States. This can also apply to residents of other countries who don’t have access to many of the advanced medical treatments in the United States. 

    Medical tourism can give patients access to the latest medical technology and, as a result, a higher quality of care. 

    Why is Medical Tourism Popular?

    The United States has the most expensive healthcare in the world. So, while few people would consider medical tourism to the U.S., many Americans contemplate international travel to lower their medical expenses.

    Medical Tourism Statistics

    When considering traveling internationally for a procedure, it’s wise to consider medical tourism examples and statistics. 

    • In 2017, over 1.4 million Americans sought out medical care from various medical tourism countries around the globe. 
    • According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 12 to 14 million people travel abroad annually for medical care. 
    • Many countries offer certain medical procedures at 30% to 65% of the cost of care in the U.S. 
    • The worldwide medical tourism market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 32.51% between 2022 and 2030. 

    Which Choice Factors Are The Most Important To Medical Tourism Consumers?

    Consumers who are interested in medical tourism value a variety of factors. The most prominent of these factors include:

    • Finances

    Finances are arguably the most important factor to medical tourism consumers. In fact, in a study from the Medical Tourism Association, 85% of surveyed patients who traveled overseas to a hospital reported that the cost of medical care was a very important deciding factor.

    The healthcare system in the United States leaves an estimated 9.6% of residents without health insurance, as of 2021. Even among individuals who do have health insurance coverage, high co-pays and deductibles can make it difficult to afford medical care. 

    With these facts in mind, it’s unsurprising that cost is a crucial factor for medical tourism consumers. Above all, these consumers want to secure an affordable price for medical care by traveling overseas.

    • Quality of care

    Quality of care is paramount for many medical tourism consumers. By traveling to other countries, patients can attain a higher quality of care (at a lower cost) when compared to the medical treatment available in their home countries.

    However, without the assurances that Americans are accustomed to under the FDA, consumers must consider the laws and regulations surrounding medical care in the country that they’re traveling to, as well as the foreign practice’s certifications. 

    • Treatment availability

    While discussing the benefits of medical tourism, we mentioned that it can grant patients access to advanced treatments that aren’t available in their home country. With this in mind, the treatments available in other countries are a key consideration for medical tourism consumers. 

    • Waiting lists

    Waiting lists for health care services are another consideration among medical tourism consumers. As of 2022, in the United States, 28% of patients sometimes, rarely, or never receive a response from their primary physician on the same day. This is a high percentage when compared to many other areas of the globe. However, 27% of patients in the U.S. wait one month or more for a specialist appointment, which is a lower percentage than in many other countries, including Norway and Canada.

    With that said, long wait lists are primarily a concern for medical tourism consumers in nations with public healthcare systems.

    What Are The Risks of Medical Tourism?

    Although medical tourism can provide several benefits, it also presents certain risks and safety concerns, including:

    • Infectious disease

    Some countries have a risk of complications including HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, blood infections, wound infections, and infections from donor tissue or blood. 

    • Communication difficulties

    If patients travel to a facility using a language that they don’t speak fluently, doctor-patient communication can be difficult. Given that doctors provide crucial pre-op and post-op information, as well as procedure specifics, this may lead to confusion and errors. 

    • Quality of care

    Certain areas may not have comparable requirements for medical licensing and accreditation. This creates the risk of low quality of care. 

    • Flying after a procedure

    Doctors typically advise against air travel immediately after surgery. This is because flying raises the risk of developing a blood clot. Depending on the type of surgical procedure, patients should wait between seven and 10 days before flying. 

    To avoid these risks, medical tourism consumers should ensure that:

    • The medical facility has been accredited by the Joint Commission International
    • The medical facility utilizes the World Health Organization Checklist
    • The staff at the facility follows stringent sanitation, disinfection, and hygiene measures
    • The provider is board-certified and internationally-recognized

    What Is The Best Country For Medical Tourism If You Need a Spine Surgery?

    As we’ve already mentioned, a significant benefit of medical tourism is that you can gain access to treatments that have not yet or have only recently been, approved for use in your country. Procedures that have been proven effective and are widely used in certain areas of the world can often benefit international patients.

    The TOPS™ (Total Posterior Solution) procedure, performed in association with spinal decompression surgery, is an example of a procedure that has been used extensively in Europe but not yet in the United States. TOPS is an alternative to spinal fusion back surgery.

    Spinal fusion is widely used with spinal decompression procedures for conditions like spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, bone spurs, and more. Unfortunately, fusion can severely limit patients’ range of motion in the back. Additionally, the complete recovery process for spinal fusion may last for six months to a year. 

    The TOPS System preserves the full range of motion between the individual vertebral segments, unlike spinal fusion. It involves a minimally-invasive surgical procedure, which greatly shortens the spinal surgery recovery period. In fact, patients may start moving around the day after TOPS surgery with few, if any, restrictions. 

    For certain patients with specific medical conditions, medical tourism could be the ticket to high-quality, low-cost healthcare. If you think you may benefit from medical tourism, make sure to conduct thorough research, find an accredited facility, and evaluate all of the risks before scheduling your appointment abroad. 

    Does Medication Reduce Back Pain?

    by admin

    Back pain is a prevalent health concern in the United States and around the world. In fact, almost 65 million Americans have had a recent episode of back pain. 

    Thankfully, most back pain episodes can be successfully resolved with at-home care. But, if this approach doesn’t relieve your back pain after a few weeks, you should consult with a back pain specialist.

    A specialist may recommend medication for back pain to improve your symptoms. There are several different types of medications that can alleviate back pain, all of which we’ll discuss below. 

    Understanding Back Pain

    Before we dive into the topic of medication for back pain relief, let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about back pain. 

    How long does back pain last?

    Back pain can be either acute or chronic. Acute back pain typically develops suddenly and resolves within four weeks. However, many cases of acute back pain go away within just a couple of days. 

    Chronic back pain lasts for 12 weeks or longer. Patients with chronic back pain may experience temporary pain relief, followed by a flare-up. 

    Back pain cases lasting between four and 12 weeks are considered subacute. This means that while the pain lasts longer than acute pain, it’s not defined as chronic. 

    How do I know if my back pain is serious?

    Back pain may be a sign of a more serious condition if:

    • The pain becomes gradually worse over an extended period
    • You’re experiencing neurological symptoms, such as tingling, numbness, and weakness in the extremities
    • The pain began after an accident, such as a car accident or fall, and has continued to get worse
    • The pain interferes with your quality of sleep
    • You’re experiencing changes in bladder and/or bowel function (this rare symptom can indicate a severe condition that may cause permanent nerve damage and requires emergency medical attention)

    Generally, if you’re experiencing back pain that hasn’t improved at all after two weeks of at-home care, we’d recommend scheduling a medical evaluation. 

    How do I know if my back pain is muscle or spine?

    Back pain can stem from a wide range of factors. Muscle strains and spasms are common causes of acute back pain and often resolve without medical intervention. Muscular back pain may feel like:

    • Soreness after physical activity
    • Spasms or cramps
    • Sharp or achy pain that’s limited to one area of the back

    Spinal problems, on the other hand, tend to require expert medical treatment. Conditions such as a slipped disc, spinal stenosis, spondylosis, and spondylolisthesis can trigger persistent back pain.

    Unlike muscular pain, spinal problems can cause neurological symptoms, including numbness, tingling, and weakness in the extremities. Additionally, back pain stemming from the spine generally won’t improve with rest, although changing positions may provide some relief. 

    Cases of back pain caused by a spinal condition may require surgical spinal solutions if conservation treatment methods fail after several months. 

    Why is my back pain getting worse?

    If your back pain is continuing to get worse despite self-care and at-home treatment, you may have a more serious condition, rather than an acute injury. Spinal arthritis, herniated disc, and spinal stenosis are among the most common causes of chronic back pain. 

    What does a slipped disc in the back feel like?

    A slipped disc occurs when one of the intervertebral discs that cushion the vertebrae is injured. Specifically, the jelly-like disc interior presses out through a crack in the disc’s tough outer shell. If the damaged disc presses on nearby nerves, you may experience a range of symptoms, including:

    • Sharp back pain that worsens with activity and may improve when you’re lying down
    • Pain that radiates into the arm or leg, depending on the location of the slipped disc
    • Numbness, tingling, and/or weakness in the extremities

    What Decreases Back Pain?

    Most back pain improves with a few weeks of self-care and at-home remedies. This may include over-the-counter pain relievers, ice, heat, and rest. While you should avoid lifting heavy objects and vigorous exercise, gentle, low-impact exercise and moving throughout the day can also help relieve back pain.

    While it may seem like sitting and lying down will help relieve your pain, it can actually make it worse by increasing tension in the back muscles. Additionally, movement improves circulation, which helps deliver healing nutrients and oxygen to the back.

    Along with these at-home remedies, the following non-invasive and alternative treatments can help decrease back pain:

    • Physical therapy
    • Chiropractic care
    • Acupuncture
    • Massage therapy 

    What Medicine Can Cure Low Back Pain?

    Over-The-Counter Pain Medication For Back Pain

    The most common first step in using medication to alleviate back pain is taking over-the-counter medicine. Typically, this involves acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil and Motrin), and naproxen (such as Aleve) are widely used for back pain management. 

    These medications are often effective at relieving back pain and can work within a very short period. However, make sure to always consult the medication label and/or ask your doctor about the best dose of these lower back pain medications for your needs. 

    Taking too high a dose of over-the-counter pain medications, or taking them for an extended period, can trigger side effects including:

    • Liver damage
    • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
    • Increased risk of bruising and bleeding
    • Gastrointestinal issues including upset stomach and peptic ulcers
    • Skin reactions

    Additionally, you may not be a candidate for over-the-counter pain relievers if you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, peptic ulcer disease, gastrointestinal problems, kidney disease, or liver cirrhosis. 

    Muscle Relaxant Medication For Lower Back Pain

    If over-the-counter medications don’t relieve your back pain issues, your doctor may also prescribe a muscle relaxant. This type of prescription medication for back pain has proven to be effective for many patients and can help manage secondary pain, such as sore hips. 

    While muscle relaxants will often lessen back pain, they can cause side effects like sleepiness and dizziness. So, you should take them only when you’re done driving for the day. Ideally, you should only take muscle relaxants when you’re at home and can fully relax.

    Don’t take muscle relaxants when you’re at work, have to make important decisions, cook, or complete any other tasks that require focus. Additionally, only take them when you can be sure that someone is available to care for your kids and pets.

    Some patients are more sensitive than others to the effects of muscle relaxants and can’t function safely while on this particular type of back pain medication. Your physician will help determine if muscle relaxants are the right choice for you. 

    Medication For Severe Back Pain


    Your doctor may also prescribe you a narcotic, such as codeine or hydrocodone, as a chronic back pain medication. These medications aren’t prescribed to everyone because they present several risks, including the risk of addiction. Your physician will likely try several other courses of treatment before resorting to narcotics for back pain. 

    With this in mind, narcotics should be used only for a short period and with close doctor supervision. Take these lower back pain relief medications only as prescribed and be mindful of side effects including:

    • Drowsiness
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Impaired judgment
    • Slowed breathing
    • Constipation
    • Addiction, as mentioned above


    Interestingly, some back pain patients experience chronic back pain relief from low doses of certain types of antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, in particular, have been beneficial for some back pain patients.

    While you may not feel depressed or show other signs of depression, antidepressants are among the arsenal of low back pain medication that your physician may recommend.

    Side effects of antidepressants can include:

    • Dry mouth
    • Constipation
    • Unexplained weight gain
    • Drowsiness
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Difficulty urinating
    • Blurred vision

    Cortisone Injections

    Cortisone injections are another treatment option for severe back pain. These anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving injections are delivered directly to the space around your spinal cord.

    Your doctor might inject cortisone into the facet joints of your vertebrae. This can decrease inflammation in the areas causing your back pain, allowing for a fuller range of motion and greater stability. Additionally, a cortisone injection can decrease inflammation around the nerve roots, potentially providing back pain relief for up to a few months after the injection.

    Unfortunately, cortisone injections don’t support the body’s healing process or accelerate recovery. In fact, if a patient receives too many of these injections, they can cause tissue damage. For this reason, physicians recommend no more than three to four cortisone injections per year.   

    What Is The Best Medication For Back Pain?

    Ultimately, the best medication for back pain relief will vary from patient to patient. So, talk to your doctor about which medications may be ideal to relieve your back pain.

    Additionally, don’t hesitate to request information on possible side effects and how long you should take each type of suggested medication. It’s crucial to closely follow your physician’s instructions to relieve your back pain with over-the-counter or prescription medications. 

    Caring for Your Spinal Surgery Incision

    by admin

    All patients undergoing back surgery should actively ensure that the healing process goes as smoothly as possible. In doing so, you can attain the best possible results from the procedure while avoiding complications that could compromise your health. 

    Proper incision care is a key step in the process of adopting healthy habits and positive lifestyle choices to promote healing. As an aspect of your spinal surgery recovery, incision care will benefit your overall health. 

    Here, we’ll discuss how to care for a spinal incision to ensure a successful surgical recovery and back pain relief. Additionally, we’ll explore innovations in the field of spine surgery that allow for smaller incisions and, as a result, a lower risk of complications. 

    How Are Incisions Closed After Spinal Surgery?

    After spinal surgery, the incision may be closed with Steri-Strips, staples, or sutures, including dissolvable sutures. Most often, spinal surgeons use a combination of these closure methods.

    Since spinal surgery is performed beneath the layers of skin and muscle in the back, the incision must be closed at various layers. Your surgeon will suture the muscle layer together before closing the skin. 

    • Sutures are also commonly referred to as stitches. This wound closure method involves using sterile surgical threads, which are stronger than the threads most people are familiar with. The surgeon uses these threads with a needle to suture the incision closed, and certain types of sutures will dissolve within a few weeks of the procedure. 
    • Staples are metal clips. They allow for fast wound closure but don’t dissolve. So, you’ll need to return to your surgeon to have them removed after the procedure (typically seven to 14 days post-op). 
    • Steri-Strips are adhesive bandages that may be used to help close an incision after spinal surgery. They may be applied over dissolvable stitches to help keep the skin closed or to help the wound heal after the sutures are removed. 

    Preparing and Recovering From Back Surgery

    In preparing for back surgery, patients should begin on a path of improving their diet and physical activity. These practices will improve your overall health to ensure that the spinal surgery goes off without a hitch. 

    With that said, implementing healthy habits is not only essential for the surgery itself but also for the recovery process following the operation. While continuing the positive lifestyle changes that you applied before the procedure, make sure to rigorously follow your doctor’s orders, including those about what medications to avoid. Certain medications can interfere with the healing process, namely including NSAIDs. NSAIDs, like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, are blood thinners and can impair the body’s repair processes.

    How Do You Treat an Incision After Back Surgery?

    Proper care for the surgical incision is one of the most important aspects of post-operative home recuperation following back surgery. 

    Immediately After The Procedure

    You won’t be permitted to apply any ointments or lotions to the incision while it’s healing. You also shouldn’t bathe in a tub, swim, or use a hot tub until your incision is healed. Immersing the incision in water before your surgeon clears you to do so may increase your risk of infection and inhibit the healing process. 

    Additionally, you’ll need to keep the incision clean after spinal surgery. You can clean the incision site with soap and water, then gently dry it with a clean cloth. This helps prevent infection as the incision heals. 

    Two Weeks After The Procedure

    In most cases, non-dissolvable sutures and staples are removed 14 days following the spinal surgery. At this point, the incision is usually fully healed. 

    Six Weeks After The Procedure

    Many spinal surgery patients are eager to reduce scarring by applying scar treatments and vitamin creams to the incision. However, you must wait to get the go-ahead from your surgeon before doing so. Typically, surgeons allow patients to start applying scar creams six weeks after the procedure. 

    How Long Does It Take For a Spinal Incision To Heal?

    It generally takes about two weeks for a spinal incision, including a spinal stenosis incision, to completely heal. At this point, your surgeon will remove sutures and staples, as well as clear you to take baths and swim. However, this timeline can vary from patient to patient. 

    Spinal incision infections typically appear two to four weeks after the procedure. Your surgeon will advise you to be aware of infection symptoms, which include fever, worsening redness at the incision, and changes in the infection drainage. If any of these symptoms occur, make sure to reach out to your surgeon immediately.

    Additionally, if the surgeon places any hardware or devices during the procedure and an infection develops, they may need to be removed. This also applies to patients with an implantation spinal cord stimulator incision or spinal fusion incision. 

    How Long Does It Take For Spinal Nerves to Heal After Surgery?

    Immediately after the spinal nerves are decompressed in surgery, the healing process can begin. But, nerve tissue heals far slower than other types of tissue in the body, namely muscle tissue. So, while some patients will experience an immediate improvement in nerve pain after spinal surgery, other patients may need more time to notice a difference. 

    In the weeks and months after spinal surgery, patients should notice a gradual improvement in neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness. By adopting healthy lifestyle habits, such as engaging in low-impact exercise, eating healthily, and refraining from smoking, you can ensure that the spinal nerves heal as quickly as possible. 

    Spinal Surgery Advances For Smaller Incisions

    Surgeons always aim to create as small an incision as possible while successfully carrying out the procedure. This is because a smaller incision leads to less blood loss, less scarring, and a lower risk of infection. 

    Fortunately, the last several years have seen a revolution in back surgery procedures and outcomes. Now, more minimally-invasive procedures are available to patients that require spinal surgery. These procedures allow for much smaller incisions, among other advantages over traditional open back surgery.

    Spinal Fusion Alternatives

    One procedure that can now be replaced with minimally-invasive alternatives is spinal fusion back surgery. This procedure was traditionally performed in conjunction with spinal decompression surgery for spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and related conditions. 

    Regain your mobility with Premia Spine! Contact us now

    Spinal fusion involves positioning an implant containing bone graft material in between the affected vertebrae. Over the course of several weeks after the procedure, the bone graft will trigger the fusing of the vertebrae, turning them into a single bone. As a result, the patient can avoid spinal instability after decompression surgery. 

    Unfortunately, spinal fusion requires a long recovery period and eliminates the natural movement of the individual vertebrae. It also creates the risk of adjacent segment disorder, or ASD, which occurs when the vertebrae surrounding the fused segment degenerate more rapidly than they otherwise would. 

    The TOPS System From Premia Spine

    Thankfully, a spinal fusion alternative has emerged to improve outcomes and preserve patients’ range of motion: the TOPS (Total Posterior Solution) System. The TOPS System is an implant that facilitates a minimally-invasive spinal surgery. It’s been shown in clinical trials around the globe to provide superior outcomes for patients who undergo treatments such as lumbar laminectomy or other spinal decompression procedures for various causes of lower back pain. 

    As the example of the TOPS System indicates, these advances in minimally-invasive back surgery allow for not only fewer complications in surgical incision healing, but also improved outcomes overall.

    Don’t hesitate to discuss concerns surrounding post-op incision care with your surgeon, and make sure to explore all of your spine surgery options.

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