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.

Menopausal Women Should Visit Dentist More Often

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By Dr. Piero

womanarmupMore is not always better, but in the case of professional dental cleanings and menopausal women, visiting the dentist four times a year may assist in keeping bones healthy.

Women who are going through or have completed menopause are more at risk for osteoporosis. A recent study reported in Menopause – The Journal of the North American Menopause Society found that those at risk of osteoporosis are also at risk of periodontal disease. The word osteoporosis means porous bones. As aging occurs, the body loses minerals, especially calcium. The bones become weaker and are more susceptible to breaking. Although osteoporosis is usually associated with backs, hips and wrists, the jaw is also a bone affected by osteoporosis.

Bone anchors the teeth and there is a loss of bone density with aging. With osteoporosis, loss of bone density may affect the bone surrounding teeth causing them to become loose. Osteoporosis is only one factor in healthy jaws. Menopausal women, according to the study, showed abnormal dental plaque (a precursor to periodontal disease).

Periodontal disease is another factor in healthy jaws. The cause of periodontal disease stems from the plaque-producing bacteria, found among the almost 500 species of bacteria in the mouth. The body recognizes the bacteria in the mouth as a chronic infection. The body sends blood cells via capillaries to the infected area and cytokines are released which in turn causes the body to produce more blood cells to physically fight the infection. Chronic infection results in messages or cytokines being continuously sent out and blood cells being continuously produced. This is stress on your entire body, taxing your immune system and now an association has been found with cytokines and osteoporosis.

dentistThe premise of the study in Menopause magazine was that the cytokines stimulate osteoclasts which degrade bone. The cytokines in periodontal disease are degrading the bone. So if you can treat the periodontal disease, this will lower the cytokines and slow down osteoporosis.

In the presence of cytokines in the blood stream a red flag should go up for physicians that there is an infection somewhere in the body. It has been now known for some time that this marker is as important for heart disease as cholesterol. This new study highlights the importance of cytokines and how it affects bone density.

Treating osteoporosis with long-term bisphosphonate seems to protect against some of the bone loss in the body including the jaw. And getting professional dental cleaning four times a year may be a good combination for keeping jaws and teeth healthy, especially for postmenopausal women.

– Dr. Piero, a Holland, MI dentist for over thirty years, is the inventor of Dental Air Force®. Articles published are on periodontal health related to heart disease, respiratory health, diabetes, strokes, and other systemic diseases. He is the Executive Editor for Journal of Experimental Dental Science, a contributing author to Hospital Infection Control: Clinical Guidelines