Strengthen Your Back With Weights

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By Laura Billings

weightsPart of strengthening your core is to strengthen your back as well. Strengthening your back is essential if you don’t want to suffer from nagging back pains. It also helps in improving your balance, stability, and posture. So if you don’t want to be slouching all the time, we suggest that you strengthen your back while you are lifting weights by following the tips below.

1. Do weight training exercises that put emphasis on strengthening your back.

If you prefer to lift weights while at the gym, there are a couple of weight training exercises that work efficiently in strengthening your back muscles. Try one of these exercises to strengthen your back muscles:

● Barbell Deadlifts: This particular exercise can help in building up your total-body strength by focusing on the lower and upper back, glutes, traps, hamstrings, and quads. The exercise can also increase your core strength and stability while also helping to build good-looking back muscles.

Step-by-step Instructions:

➔ The goal here is to lower the barbell while keeping your chest up and your back flat.

➔ Bend your hips and knees and then grab the bar with an overhand grip.

➔ Stand up without rounding your lower back. Pause for a second, and then lower the bar back to the starting position while keeping it as close to your body as much as you can.

➔ Repeat the exercise for three sets while doing 4-6 reps for each set. Also, don’t forget to rest for 2-3 minutes between each set.

● T-Bar Row: The T-bar row is an excellent exercise that involves multiple joints in your upper body. It emphasizes on strengthening your back and shoulders. The T-bar row exercise focuses on the middle of your back by putting the resistance through the center of your body.

Step-by-step Instructions:

➔ The goal here is to do the exercise by pulling the barbell to your chest while maintaining proper posture.

➔ Stand and position the one end of a barbell between your legs. Push your hips back until your back is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Grab a V-handle and hook it to the bar and then grab it with your two hands.

➔ Pull the bar towards your chest by squeezing your shoulder blades together and driving your elbows back. Pause, and then return to the starting position.

➔ Do this exercise for three sets while doing 4-6 reps for each set, just don’t forget to take a quick 2-3 minutes break between each set.

womanweights● Dumbbell Row: Dumbbell row is an easy exercise that does an excellent job of strengthening your shoulders, biceps, and your back while keeping your core active throughout the routine. Dumbbells also allow you to achieve stability and balance on both sides of your body.

Step-by-step Instructions:

➔ Stand with both of your feet shoulder-width apart from each other and hold a dumbbell in each of your hands.

➔ Bend your knees slightly and then bend your waist while keeping your back straight. Avoid rounding your upper back and be sure to keep your head steady.

➔ Extend your hands fully, so each dumbbell is just above the floor. Contract your back and pull the dumbbells up to your ribcage.

➔ Be sure to pull through the elbow and then hold for one second at the top position before you lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

➔ Do this exercise for three sets while doing 8-15 reps for each set.

2. Observe correct posture while lifting weights.

Remember to maintain proper posture as you are lifting weights. This could be a bit hard to do, but you should be able to do it eventually. Remember that poor posture is one of the major causes of back pain. So if you don’t observe proper posture as you lift weights, it will put more stress and pressure on to your back muscles which results in nagging back pain.

3. Learn how to lift weights correctly.

Although there are weight training exercises that focus on strengthening your back muscles, chances are that they can still injure your back while doing these, especially if you misuse the weights. You need to know how to lift weights correctly and follow the step-by-step instructions of the weight training exercises you are trying to do.

4. Remember to give your back muscles some time off.

Strength training can cause tiny tears in your muscle tissues. These tears might not be harmful, but they are crucial to making your muscles to become stronger as the tears recover. Always give your back muscles a time off and let them recover for at least 48 hours before you start doing weight training exercises again.

We hope that these tips can help you strengthen your back muscles while lifting weights. Once you follow these tips, you should be able to create strong and sexy back muscles, and you will no longer be vulnerable to back pains.

– Laura Billings is a law enthusiast and budding writer. She makes it a habit of making sure her pieces are informative enough to help even the common person understand important aspects of the rules of law. Laura likes to read books and write creative pieces during her free time.

Weekend Warriors: Watch Your Back

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Dr. Brian Bannister with Atlantic Spine Center. Please share your thoughts below…..

newsPain Management Specialist Dr. Brian Bannister with Atlantic Spine Center explains common injuries weekend warriors experience and offers tips for prevention.

Spring’s imminent arrival – despite frigid temperatures over much of the United States – undoubtedly has many “weekend warriors” itching to return to outdoor exercise and activities. But weekend warriors – who take part in strenuous bursts of activity only on weekends or certain times of the year – need to be especially cautious of how an abrupt return to vigorous movement can injure their spine, according to Pain Management Specialist Brian Bannister, MD, with Atlantic Spine Center.

Despite minimal activity during the week, weekend warriors often plunge into recreational sports at week’s end, sometimes with perilous results. A 2014 study in the Canadian Journal of Surgery (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4035407/) found that significantly more weekend warriors sustained injuries than everyday athletes during mishaps while hiking or rock-climbing (15.4% of accidents), skateboarding or rollerblading (12.3%), hockey/ice skating (10.3%) and water-related (7.7%) activities. About 35% of the 351 patients analyzed in the research sustained a spinal injury, and more than 8% required spinal surgery.

“Overall, a weekend warrior’s commitment to demanding exercise is a good thing, health-wise,” says Dr. Bannister. “But it can also place their backs, in particular, at risk since their bodies are no longer as flexible or quick to recover as when they were younger.”

Common spine injuries for weekend warriors

What types of back injuries are prevalent among weekend warriors? Depending on how they get hurt, these injuries can run the gamut from mild to severe, Dr. Bannister says, including:

* Muscle strain or sprain: This type of soft tissue damage – whether to muscles, tendons or ligaments – often occurs in the lower spine, known as the lumbar region. Muscle spasms may accompany pain and can be severe, but most strains and sprains just need time and rest to heal.

* Disc herniation: Athletes engaging in activities requiring a lot of spine flexing and rotating – such as weight lifting, collision sports and bowling – have a higher chance of disc herniation, in which the soft center of a vertebral disc pushes through the disc’s outer shell. Pain can be intense and the condition may require surgery.

* Spondylolistheses: When one bone in the back slides forward over the bone beneath it, that’s called spondylolistheses. Some sports, such as weight lifting and gymnastics, confer a higher risk of this problem by causing stress fractures in vertebrae. Pain relievers, physical therapy or surgery may be used to treat spondylolistheses.

* Minor or major fracture: Major spinal fractures are uncommon except in high-speed collision sports such as skiing or motocross and typically require surgery. But small fractures, which can happen during a variety of activities, are usually managed with “conservative” measures such as rest, physical therapy and pain medication.

Tips for back injury prevention

What’s the best way for weekend warriors to prevent back injuries? “That’s easy,” Dr. Bannister says. “Stop exercising only on the weekend! Moderate-to-vigorous physical exercise should be something we take part in at least several times per week, spread throughout the week.”

But for those committed to their weekend warrior ways, Dr. Bannister offers these tips to help prevent spine injury:

* Start slowly: Stretch and walk for 7 to 10 minutes to allow muscles and joints to warm up. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds, and be sure to stretch the opposing muscle group on the other side of your body.

* Ramp up gradually: Increase the time or intensity of workouts, but not both at the same time.

* Mix it up: Try cross-training, which involves participating in more than one type of sport or activity. Research suggests this approach results in fewer injuries than doing only one specific activity.

* Listen to your body: If you feel pain or soreness, stop what you’re doing and take a rest. If the discomfort doesn’t gradually improve – or gets worse – see your doctor.

* Remember the right gear: Depending on the sport, you may need a helmet, wrist pads or knee pads. Well-fitting athletic shoes that provide sufficient shock absorption are a must.

“Here’s what I propose to weekend warriors: Make physical activity an every-other-day habit instead,” says Dr. Bannister. “Not only will short workouts during the week help you enjoy your weekend workouts even more, but your back will thank you.”

Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader for endoscopic spine surgery with three locations in New Jersey in West Orange, Edison and Union. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com

Brian Bannister, M.D., is an anesthesiologist and pain management specialist. He works with both surgical and chronic care patients, performing evaluations of new patients and implementing follow-up care and continued therapy for patients with acute or chronic pain using effective interventional pain therapy and procedures.

4 Lifestyle Habits That Worsen Back Pain

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS.

newsThe millions of people who experience some level of back pain – from occasional aches, to chronic discomfort – are encouraged to read the latest article by minimally invasive spine surgeon Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS, in which he reveals the four most common lifestyle habits that trigger back pain and destroy spine health.

“Back pain isn’t always the result of an injury,” commented Dr. Gleiber, who is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and a Spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Often, it’s the things people do – or neglect to do – in their daily lives that is the root cause of their pain and deteriorating spine health. Tragically, many of these people don’t even know the damage that they’re doing until the pain becomes unbearable, and they can no longer carry out their day-to-day tasks at home or at work.”

According to Dr. Gleiber, the four lifestyle habits that are causing the most back pain and spine injury are:

1. A sedentary lifestyle that is virtually devoid of exercise. This causes the muscles that support the spine to become weak, and in turn forces the vertebrae and discs to absorb extra stress.

jumpingrope2. Exercising strenuously only on the weekends, and doing little or no exercise the rest of the week (“Weekend Warriors”). This imposes excessive strain on the back and spine, which is not prepared or strong enough to absorb the shock – ultimately causing back pain and, ironically, greatly increasing the risk of injury.

3. Sitting down for several hours a day at work. Staying for prolonged periods of time in any single position is damaging to spine health. However, to make matters worse, most people who sit for many hours each day have incorrect posture; often because they are hunching forward to see their computer screen.

4. Regularly eating junk food, which often leads to weight gain and therefore puts extra stress on the spine. In addition, people who eat too much junk food are typically not getting the nutrients they need to keep their spine strong and healthy, such as Calcium and Vitamin D.

Added Dr. Gleiber: “The good news is that with commitment and the right guidance, people can create new, better lifestyle habits that not only alleviates and ideally eliminates their back pain, but vastly improves their overall health and wellness. For instance, people can start exercising at least three times a week to strengthen their core muscles, get up from their desk once an hour to stretch and walk around a bit, and muster up all of their willpower to make eating junk food an occasional indulgence rather than a regular occurrence.”

The full version of Dr. Gleiber’s latest article entitled “How Your Lifestyle Can Contribute to Back Pain” is available on his website at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news/lifestyle-can-contribute-back-pain.

Additional articles by Dr. Gleiber on spine health, back pain relief, effective exercising and more are available at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news.

About Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD

– Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD is a trusted expert in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery. He currently serves as Spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, is a writer for The Huffington Post, and is frequently invited to provide his medical expertise in the media. Dr. Gleiber has been honored with multiple recognitions, including Castle Connolly Top Doctors for Spine Surgery, SuperDoctors of South Florida, Top 10 Spine Surgical Specialists Florida by Vitals.com, and is listed amongst Top 50 Spine Surgeon Leaders.

Learn more at http://michaelgleibermd.com

When Back Or Neck Surgery Doesn’t Work

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

didyouknow?Dr. Praveen Kadimcherla with Atlantic Spine Center explains ‘failed spine surgery syndrome’ and offers tips and hope to patients.

Most of the time spine surgery achieves its goal, with pain relief being among the top benefits for beleaguered back or neck pain sufferers. But occasionally, a patient’s pain and other symptoms return – a situation known as failed back surgery syndrome – which isn’t necessarily as doom-and-gloom as it sounds, according to Praveen Kadimcherla, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Atlantic Spine Center.

The vast majority of the 600,000 spine surgeries that take place in the United States each year are highly successful, decompressing nerve roots that are pinched or stabilizing painful spinal joints that have led to chronic pain, numbness or loss of function. But when back or neck surgery goes wrong, it can be devastating to both patient and surgeon, even if it’s statistically impossible for all surgeries to be effective.

“The amount of trauma, scarring, and hardware such as bone grafts and screws that are used in spinal surgery all factor into the chances someone may develop this condition,” explains Dr. Kadimcherla, who is fellowship-trained in orthopedic and spine neurosurgery. “Joints at the surgical site can also become inflamed, and scar tissue might form where a section of bone has been removed from the spine. In short, there are many reasons back or neck surgery can go wrong, so failed spine surgery syndrome is very difficult to totally prevent.”

Why might spine surgeries fail?
As a rule, spine surgeries are performed as a last resort when neck or lower back pain cannot be relieved by more conservative measures, such as medications or physical therapy. But at least 5% are left with lingering pain after an operation, Dr. Kadimcherla says. Symptoms may include back, leg or arm pain that is dull and aching; sharp, stabbing pain; and tingling, numbness or muscle weakness.

But why might spine surgeries fail? Dr. Kadimcherla offers these possible reasons:

* Residual disc herniation

* Recovery has created undue stress on another weakened portion of the spine

* Improper fusion after spinal fusion

* Misaligned spine hardware

* Incomplete bone removal

* Infection in a disc space

* Nerve damage

* Improper diagnosis of original problem

humanbody“Undergoing back surgery is rarely a decision patients take lightly or rush into, so when pain persists afterward it can be very distressing,” he says. “Yet, there are many viable options for improvement in these patients going forward. All is not lost if their back or neck surgery has been deemed a failure.”

Tips and hope for failed spine surgery patients
The first step toward relieving back or neck pain after a failed surgery is making sure a patient has the correct diagnosis, Dr. Kadimcherla says. This is done by using imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI or CT scans, and certain diagnoses can be confirmed with the help of procedures such as nerve blocks or other injections.

Once the reason for ongoing pain has been established, a multi-pronged approach for pain relief usually works best, Dr. Kadimcherla explains. Treatments can include:

* Physical therapy or exercise

* Psychological counseling

* Medication

* Procedures such as epidural steroid injections or nerve blocks

* Spinal cord stimulation, a device emitting electrical pulses into the spinal region

Tellingly, however, one of the best options for treating failed back surgery is undergoing another surgery, but not an “open” procedure involving a long incision and recovery. Dr. Kadimcherla often recommends endoscopic spine surgery – a minimally invasive approach with boasting a rapid recovery – to those experiencing lingering problems after an initial procedure.

“Endoscopic spine surgery can represent a safer, less risky and less complicated solution,” he says. “I’ve treated many patients after spine surgery with residual symptoms with endoscopic nerve decompression, and I strongly feel a patient with failed back surgery syndrome can benefit from consulting with a doctor who’s an experienced endoscopic surgeon.”

“Obviously, someone who’s experienced failed spine surgery already has dealt with a less-than-optimal scenario,” Dr. Kadimcherla adds. “But with a correct diagnosis and proper treatment, pain can often be eliminated or very well managed. “When all else fails, make sure you don’t let a failed spine surgery have the last word.”

Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader for endoscopic spine surgery with several locations in NJ and NYC. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com, http://www.atlanticspinecenter.nyc

– Praveen Kadimcherla, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon at Atlantic Spine Center.

Best & Worst Exercise Equipment For People With Back Pain

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Thank you to PRWeb and Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS for supplying this article, please share your thoughts below…..

humanbodyMinimally invasive spine surgeon Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS has published a new article in which he lists the four kinds of exercise equipment that can help alleviate back pain and support recovery from a spine injury, and the three kinds of exercise equipment that people with back pain should definitely avoid.

Minimally invasive spine surgeon Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD, FAAOS has published a new article in which he lists the best and worst exercise equipment for people with back pain.

“Many people who suffer from back pain or have a spine injury believe that they must give up their gym membership,” commented Dr. Gleiber, who specializes in treating all spinal disorders including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, myelopathy, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal trauma, and tumors and infections of the spine. “However, exercise can actually help alleviate their back pain and support their recovery — provided that they are using the right equipment in the right way, and steering well clear of the wrong equipment.”

According to Dr. Gleiber, the four kinds of exercise equipment he recommends for people suffering from back pain are:

1. Elliptical machines, which place minimal stress on the back and other joints.

2. Stationary bikes (both upright and recumbent), which provide an aerobic workout and strengthen the lower body, with little to no impact.

3. Treadmills, which are ideal for people who are out of shape, or resuming an exercise program after a lengthy break.

4. Weight machines, which can be particularly helpful for upper body exercises, and unlike free weights, do not require bending of the knee in order to lift the weight.

And on the other end of the spectrum, the three kinds of exercise equipment that people with back pain should definitely avoid are:

1. Lying leg press machines, which place enormous stress on the lower back.

2. Hip abductor machines, which strain the spine with each squeeze or pull.

3. Loaded standing calf raise machines, which place excessive weight on the shoulders and stress on the spine.

Added Dr. Gleiber: “Even when using this recommended equipment, people should immediately stop exercising if they experience additional back pain. And if they have any doubt about an exercise machine, they should check with their medical doctor – and not gym staff!”

The full version of Dr. Gleiber’s latest article entitled “The Best (and Worst) Exercise Equipment for Back Pain” is available on his practice’s website at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news/best-worst-exercise-equipment-back-pain/

Additional articles by Dr. Gleiber on spine health, pain relief, effective exercising and more are available at http://michaelgleibermd.com/news.

About Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD

– Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, MD is a trusted expert in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery. He currently serves as Spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, is a writer for The Huffington Post, and is frequently invited to provide his medical expertise in the media. Dr. Gleiber has been honored with multiple recognitions, including Castle Connolly Top Doctors for Spine Surgery, SuperDoctors of South Florida, Top 10 Spine Surgical Specialists Florida by Vitals.com, and is listed amongst Top 50 Spine Surgeon Leaders. Learn more at http://michaelgleibermd.com

Self-Care Steps To Heal Back Pain Flare-Ups

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Courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publications….feel free to share your comments below…..

humanbodyHot and cold compresses, physical activity, exercise, and safe lifting techniques help men to heal and to prevent low back pain. For pain control, acetaminophen (Tylenol) may have limited benefit, but is still worth trying.

For many men, low back pain gets better over time, often within a few weeks. Pain control is important, especially early on. Although recent studies have questioned the effectiveness of acetaminophen (Tylenol) for back pain, this over-the-counter mainstay is still worth a try, reports the July 2015 Harvard Men’s Health Watch.

A review in the medical journal BMJ found little evidence that taking acetaminophen relieved pain or shortened the duration of back pain flare-ups. But not all back pain is the same, so acetaminophen could still be helpful for some men.

“Taking acetaminophen for three to five days is all you need to find out if it will work,” explains Dr. Jeffrey N. Katz, professor of medicine and surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and editor of Back Pain: Finding solutions for your aching back, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

In addition to pain relievers, these other steps should be part of any recovery plan for low back pain:

* Ease pain with cold or heat. Both can reduce reliance on pain relievers.

* Stay as active as possible. Extended bed rest is not helpful; continuing to do usual daily activities, to the greatest extent that you can, speeds healing.

* Develop back-safe techniques. For example, lift heavy weights with the leg muscles, not the lower back.

Read the full-length article: “Best bets for back pain”

Also in the July 2015 Harvard Men’s Health Watch:

* How effective is the new DNA stool test for colon cancer?

* Not all processed foods are unhealthy

* Some men can safely delay treatment of low-risk prostate cancer

* Glaucoma: A common cause of preventable vision loss

The Harvard Men’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free). Contact us for a complimentary copy of the news letter.

6 Practical Steps To Overcome Back To School Stress

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By Kellie Lupe-Smith

schoolbusSchool is about to start up again and for many kids a variety of emotions begin to surface ranging from excitement, nervous anticipation to all out dread and panic. Starting a new school year is about, making new friends, meeting new teachers, buying new clothes, book bags, facing bullies, learning a new curriculum and of course – homework. In the year 2015, going back to school brings a host of new stresses that many parents and teachers didn’t have when they were growing up. In the digital age kids are getting less and less sleep because their minds are over stimulated by electronics and lack of sleep can create a number of problems, mood swings, weight gain and brain fog. Kids are also suffering from overwhelming stress due to social anxiety, sports pressures and even weight gain due to stress eating.

The good news is, there are tools that can have an immediate impact on adolescents in stressful and uncomfortable situations. Here are the top six techniques that parents and teachers can use to help students (and themselves) stay relaxed this back-to-school season.

1. Breathe deeply and correctly. When the human body encounters stress of any kind, our chest constricts causing more shallow breathing to occur. In this way we only utilize a small portion of our lung capacity and typically we only use the upper part of our torso. This allows the sympathetic nervous system to be activated thereby creating a fight-or-flight response. Instead, if you breathe deeply involving the lower part of the lungs and diaphragm you can activate the parasympathetic nervous system creating a rest-and-digest response.

2. Elevate the feet. Another way to stimulate the rest-and-digest response is to elevate the feet. One of the best and most effective ways to do this is lying on your back with your legs resting on a chair or against the wall. In yoga this posture is called Viparita Karani.

3. Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy offers a solution that can have benefits that last into adulthood. Hypnosis is a method of getting one’s mind into a state of concentrated awareness so they can find resolutions within themselves and create change in a positive and lasting way.

4. Remember you’re not alone. Sometimes knowing that every other parent and student out there is experiencing something similar, can relieve you from feelings of isolation. Remember that we are a community of people with a common goal of being the best student, parent, or teacher we can be.

kids5. Think more about what you want. It astounds me how many people when asked what they want can only name me a list of what they don’t want. The fact is that the subconscious mind cannot process negatives directly so whenever you think “I don’t want to stay awake all night” or “I don’t want to eat too much candy” your brain only hears “stay awake all night” and “eat candy.” The subconscious mind if left to its own devices is like an unruly child, doing whatever it wants, whenever it wants. It needs direction. So when you can tell the mind exactly what you want, it knows what to do and can do it. The subconscious mind loves to follow orders. In essence what you think about you bring about.

6. Change your perspective. Lastly and most importantly, gain a broader perspective of your life. Imagine you can see into the future and know something good is coming. Imagine that you already knew everything works out in the end, you get through the school year and actually have a lot of fun along the way. Remember your life one year ago and recognize all that you have accomplished in that year. Do you even remember the things that worried you one year ago? Now imagine your life five years from now. How do you look back and see your life differently looking back toward today? The small detail of starting schools seems smaller and more manageable when you know the big picture.

Have a wonderful 2015-2016 school year! May this be your best school year yet.

Kellie Lupe-Smith is a certified Hypnotherapist and Yoga Teacher. She is the owner of Studio City Hypnosis and creator of Hypno Yoga LA. Her mission is to help those who suffer from stress, weight issues or breaking bad habits so they can live the life they deserve. Her background includes Neuro Linguistics, Mindfulness Meditation, Yoga Philosophy and Advanced Hypnosis.

Expectant Mothers Often Experience An Achy Back

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Dr. Fabien Bitan of Atlantic Spine Center. Please share your comments below…..

pregnantDr. Fabien Bitan with Atlantic Spine Center explains why back pain occurs during pregnancy and offers tip to alleviate the problem.

Day or night, a growing baby is always with its pregnant mother. So too, for a large percentage of expecting women, is back pain, a not-so-happy but highly common consequence of pregnancy, according to Orthopedic Spine Surgeon Fabien Bitan with Atlantic Spine Center.

Between 50% and 70% of all pregnant women experience back pain, and not just in the later months as their growing belly causes dramatic shifts in posture, according to the American Pregnancy Association. A combination of factors – both preventable and unavoidable – contribute to the prevalence of aching backs among expectant moms.

“For these women, back pain can disrupt their days and get in the way of a good night’s sleep, which is so important to counteract the physical demands of pregnancy,” says Dr. Bitan. “Fortunately there are many techniques and interventions that can alleviate the problem, if not eliminate it altogether.”

Causes of pregnancy-related back pain

Women who are overweight or have experienced back pain before their pregnancy are even more likely than the average pregnant mom to develop the condition. But certain factors related to gestating a baby for nine months up the odds that women might develop back pain, Dr. Bitan says.

They include:

* Increasing hormone levels: To soften ligaments in the pelvic region in preparation for childbirth, the body releases a flood of hormones. This ligament-loosening sacroiliac joint-shifting can reduce normal levels of back support from these structures.

* Center of gravity shift: As the uterus become heavier, pregnant women tend to lean backward to compensate for their growing bellies. This posture change can make the back muscles work harder, leading to pain, soreness and stiffness.

* Weight gain: It’s a simple fact that the back must support perhaps dozens of extra pounds as pregnancy progresses, creating back strain.

* Stress: Worries about the growing fetus or changing family dynamics due to the new addition can manifest in back pain.

How expectant moms can minimize back pain

Not all pregnancy-related back pain can be prevented, but wearing flat shoes with good arch support is a good first step, Dr. Bitan notes. “Also consider investing in a firm mattress, which can provide extra support for your back during pregnancy,” he says.

Other ways expectant moms can reduce the odds of experiencing back pain include:

* Wearing a support belt under your lower abdomen.

* Using doctor-approved exercises that support and strengthen the back and abdomen.

* Picking up items by squatting and bending at the knees, not bending at the waist.

* Sitting in chairs with good back support, or using a small pillow behind the lower back.

If a pregnant woman develops an achy back despite her best efforts, Dr. Bitan advises common interventions such as applying ice or heat; using braces or other support devices such as a sacroiliac belt; and sleeping on her left side with a support pillow between the knees.

It’s important to note that severe back pain, or a backache that persists for longer than two weeks, may signify a bigger problem and mean it’s time to contact your health care provider, Dr. Bitan explains. Back pain can be a symptom of preterm labor or a urinary tract infection, both of which can be serious.

But for most women, the joys of pregnancy simply don’t include how their back may feel on any given day. “Back pain may be common during the nine months leading up to childbirth,” Dr. Bitan says, “but it doesn’t have to overshadow the big event if women do their best to avoid it and tackle an aching back with common-sense measures.”

Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader for endoscopic spine surgery with several locations in NJ and NYC. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com, http://www.atlanticspinecenter.nyc

Fabien Bitan, MD. Orthopedic Spine Surgeon with Atlantic Spine Center is a world renowned spine surgeon and leading expert in spinal instrumentation and artificial discs replacements.

Skincare: Is It Possible To Turn Back The Clock?

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

femalewashingfaceOn March 31, 2015, Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, in an article titled “How to Age Backward,” offers several lifestyle changes that will reportedly reverse the effects of aging. Central to these discussions are telomeres, the caps at the ends of chromosomes that serve to protect one’s DNA from damage. Shorter telomeres are associated with chronic diseases and may also make one look older. As one ages telomere’s naturally shorten, and the article makes several recommendations that may prevent telomere shortening and even lengthen existing ones. Also cited in the article, fractional laser resurfacing and ultrasound/radio frequency procedures are two of the latest aesthetic treatments that can reverse the signs of aging by promoting collagen growth. (http://goo.gl/yjaaEg)

“The research cited in the article is very interesting,” says Dr. Simon Ourian, Medical Director of Epione Beverly Hills. “It’s important to note that there’s still a vast gap in our understanding of how telomeres function. Some scientists believe there’s a connection between higher cancer risks and telomerase activity.”

According to the Harper’s Bazaar Magazine report, the Mediterranean diet, one rich in vegetables, fruits, fish and olive oil, may contribute to telomere lengthening. Sugary sodas are specifically named as a source of telomere shortening, with daily consumption of 20 ounces associated with a biological aging comparable to that of smoking. TA-65, an over-the-counter supplement derived from astragalus root extract, is said to counteract telomere shortening. Finally, regular endurance training such as biking or running contributes to younger looking skin according to a Canadian university study.

“The treatments we offer work best when combined with the right lifestyle; a healthy diet, regular exercise, and, of course, no unprotected sun exposure,” says Dr. Ourian.

Dr. Ourian has been a pioneer in laser technology and non-invasive aesthetic procedures including UltraShape, VelaShape, Restylane, Juvéderm, Radiesse, Sculptra, and CoolSculpting. These treatments are used for the correction or reversal of a variety of conditions such as acne, acne scars, skin discoloration, wrinkles, unwanted fat, stretch marks, varicose veins, cellulite, and others. More information about skin care can be found on Epione’s website.

What’s Causing Your Back Pain?

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doctorAccording to Dr. Kaliq Chang with Atlantic Spine Center, back conditions can be complex, so patients would benefit from being aware of the details of their symptoms and be ready to communicate them to practitioners.

Getting relief for chronic back pain – estimated to affect 80% of American adults at some point in their lives – isn’t as easy as showing up at a doctor’s office and saying your back hurts. In fact, patients should be prepared to answer as many questions as they ask in order to receive an accurate diagnosis, according to Kaliq Chang, MD, of Atlantic Spine Center.

“Back conditions can be complex, so patients would benefit from being aware of the details of their symptoms and be ready to communicate them to practitioners,” says Dr. Chang, an interventional pain management specialist. “Low back pain isn’t a specific diagnosis in itself, and receiving an accurate diagnosis is absolutely crucial to addressing the problem correctly. Indeed, we’re hard-pressed to fix a patient’s back problem if we can’t pinpoint what’s causing it.”

Initially, a variety of non-invasive measures – including medication and physical therapy – are used to treat lingering back pain that stems from injuries, aging, genetics or any other cause. Interventions such as steroid injections, nerve ablation procedures, and spinal cord stimulators are employed when those modalities do not provide adequate relief. Finally, surgery is considered a last resort only after these less invasive treatments have failed.

Fruitful Q&A between doctors and patients

When patients come to Dr. Chang complaining of back pain, his first step is to obtain a complete history of symptoms. Here are some of the most important questions he says patients should be prepared to answer to receive a precise diagnosis:

* Where is your pain? Neck, mid-back or lower back?

* When did your pain begin? Was it related to an activity or injury?

* Have you had a prior episode of back pain?

* How would you describe your pain? Stabbing, sharp, burning, aching, cramping, throbbing or otherwise?

* Does your pain radiate into your legs? From your buttocks into the upper leg? Past the knee to the ankles or feet? Down one leg or both?

* Does your pain get worse after activity?

* What triggers your pain? Sitting, standing, walking, laying down, bending forward, bending backward?

* What improves your pain? Sitting, standing, walking, laying down, bending forward, bending backward?

* What pain treatments have you already undergone? Chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, acupuncture, spinal injections? Surgeries such as open spine decompression or spinal fusion?

* Do you have any other health problems?

* What medications do you take?

Testing can help pinpoint a diagnosis

After a detailed question-and-answer session between patients and doctors and a physical exam, certain diagnostic tests may be ordered to shed further light on the problem. These tests, which include electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies, x-rays or MRI images, are used to confirm any abnormality or disease in the spine that may cause pain, such as bulging or herniated discs, spinal stenosis or other back conditions.

“Tests can’t determine what’s actually causing a patient’s back pain,” he says. “That’s why it’s so important that patients provide detailed information about the history and course of their symptoms to their doctor. Tests can only enhance what the patient is able to convey about their situation.”

Dr. Chang encourages people to be patient when attempting to figure out exactly why their back hurts, as difficult as that may seem at the time.

“A lot of back pain can be short-lived,” Dr. Chang says. “Different diagnoses will require very different treatment approaches, so accurately diagnosing back pain is critical. The sooner a precise diagnosis is made, the sooner patients can access the right treatment to achieve pain relief and boost their enjoyment of everyday activities.”

Kaliq Chang, MD, is an interventional pain management specialist board-certified in anesthesiology at Atlantic Spine Center.

Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader for endoscopic spine surgery with three locations in New Jersey in West Orange, Edison and North Bergen. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com