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May 20, 2017 News
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Your back helps to power almost everything you do, providing support and strength for most of your movements. Given these heavy demands, it's no wonder the back is prone to injury and strain. In fact, four out of five adults will experience at least one episode of back pain in their lifetimes.
"Back pain can affect anyone regardless of age, but it is true that the older you get, the higher your risk of injury or strain," said Eric Santos, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Houston Methodist St. John Hospital Spine Program. "Back ailments can stem from a variety of sources, including heavy lifting, improper sports or exercise techniques, sitting hunched over a desk or being overweight."
Minor back ailments, primarily those associated with strains and/or spasms, can often be successfully treated at home with a combination of hot and cold compresses, anti-inflammatory medications and brief rest. "Although it may seem like spending a few days in bed is the best remedy, this isn't necessarily the case," said Javier Rios, M.D., a board-certified primary care sports medicine physician with Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at St. John. "Multiple studies have shown that staying active is a better road to recovery."
If your pain is severe or disabling, a spine specialist can perform an exam to determine the source of the discomfort and prescribe a treatment plan that may include physical therapy, injections or surgery to relieve pain. The main goal of treatment is to help you manage back pain so that it does not interfere with daily activities.
Four Steps to Prevent Back Pain:
· Watch your weight. A few extra pounds on your frame can cause added stress on your back and muscles. Losing the weight in a healthy manner can help keep back pain at bay.
· Stay active. Exercising regularly is the best way to keep your back in working shape. Strong, toned muscles support everyday movements.
· Put out the cigarettes. Smokers may have more difficulty recovering from a back ailment because their oxygen levels are reduced.
· Be aware of how you move. Your mother may have told you to "stand up straight." That is good advice. Good posture, whether sitting, standing or lifting, keeps your back in alignment.
The board-certified physicians at the Spine Program at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital work together to provide comprehensive, personalized care, designed to help patients return to a productive lifestyle. We offer expedited appointments, including second opinions, with our highly regarded specialists. To schedule an appointment with a Spine Program physician, call 281.523.3355
FREE BACK & NECK PAIN SEMINAR
Join us on Wednesday, March 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital Main Lobby. Whether you’ve had back and/or neck pain for a few days or several long years, we are here to help. Eric Santos, M.D., board-certified orthopedic surgeon, and Javier Rios, M.D., board-certified primary care sports medicine physician, will present the latest information on non-surgical and surgical treatment options and address any questions you may have. Registration is required. Register online at houstonmethodist.org/events or call 281.333.8899.
Houston Methodist St. John Hospital
Houston Methodist St. John Hospital is located in Nassau Bay, across from the NASA/Johnson Space Center and brings the expertise and compassionate care of Houston Methodist Hospital in The Texas Medical Center – a national Honor Roll hospital – to Bay Area communities. The hospital provides a broad spectrum of adult, pediatric, medical, and surgical care, is an accredited chest pain center, and is also acute stroke-ready designated through DNV. St. John offers many inpatient and outpatient services, including state-of-the-art imaging, labor and delivery with a level II neonatal ICU, minimally invasive surgery, and comprehensive orthopedics and sports medicine.
Visit houstonmethodist.org/stjohn for more information. To find a Houston Methodist St. John physician visit houstonmethodist.org/appointments or call 281.333.8899.
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