We feel our age in a myriad of ways. Aside from not knowing what the kids are listening to, we get aches and pains and wrinkles and crinkles and, well, you get the idea. The great thing about the time we live in is that although we’ve grown older, medical science has improved our ability to diagnose conditions and treat them.
Take for instance the natural wear and tear that occurs to the spine. Back in the day, back pain was just another onus to bear in one’s old age. Now, degenerative issues can be easily addressed through a variety of non-operative treatments such as physical therapy and injections. Some spine conditions can develop as a result of aging that are more complex.
Many older patients develop problems with their balance and coordination or changes in their bowel and bladder habits. On first glance, this may seem to have little relation to the spine at all. There may be minimal associated neck pain, however on closer examination these symptoms may be caused by a degenerative condition called cervical spinal stenosis. Cervical stenosis is typically caused by the natural age-related degeneration of the spine. Bone spurs and collapsed discs can press on the spinal cord and therefore interfere with many neurological functions.
There is another condition that causes some concern in our older patients because it’s usually thought of as being a condition of children: scoliosis. As you can imagine, adults who develop scoliosis have problems with walking, standing in line, or even sitting in the same position over long periods of time. Scoliosis is often the result of degeneration of the spine leading to weakened spinal tissues that can no longer support the body. Scoliosis can be treated through a variety of methods, although for many older patients there’s little to no pain at all.
The point here is that the spine is a unique and complex structure, and degenerative problems that affect the spine can pop up in unexpected places. If you’ve experienced any confusing problems that don’t seem connected to the rest of your body, then it’s worth coming in for a quick check up. Catching spinal problems early are often the easiest to fix with non-operative procedures, and taking care of these issues now can go a long way in keeping you fit for a long time to come.
For many people, the shift from the cold months of winter to the alluring heat of summer often means getting back to physical activities before they’re fully in shape. So whether you’re an Ironman athlete or a Weekend Warrior with a weed whacker, injuring your back has the potential to sideline your season before it even starts. Read more…
There’s nothing worse than showing up stiff and sore to the office or passing on the weekend golf game on account of your back—nothing worse, that is, than knowing your injury was preventable.
The good news is that protecting your back doesn’t require an extensive knowledge of yoga or Pilates. Prevention takes strong core muscles and simple back stretches that incorporate more than just bending and twisting. Read more…
The New Era of Back Pain Relief
Our very own Spine Specialist, Dr. Vikas Varma and Aaron Huppert, PT, CertMDT will speak at the 92St Y on February 8th, 2011 at 6:30 pm.
New technology, improved therapies and surgical techniques, and unprecedented collaborations between orthopedics and neurosciences have created a new era for treating back pain that was previously prolonged and sometimes only marginally effective. Discover how these advances can help provide permanent pain relief and the questions to ask medical specialists when contemplating these new treatment options.
To purchase tickets, click here or call 212.415.5500.
Interbody fusion surgery has been performed by spine surgeons for several generations. Indications range from disc herniations, infections, tumors, scoliosis, instability, and back pain. Traditionally these operations have been performed through a large incision across the abdomen or chest, in order to access the spine. Historically, interbody fusion surgery is a very effective method of achieving spinal fusion. However, with advances in technology, this procedure can now be performed in certain patients utilizing a minimally invasive surgical approach. Read more…
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a common condition affecting millions of Americans each year. Nerve compression can cause pain, numbness, and weakness and can interfere with even simple daily activities. When non-operative care fails to control the symptoms, surgery may be indicated. This typically consists of spinal decompression, and possibly spinal fusion. Read more…