Healing the spine and improving quality of life
Understanding the Basics of Wellness
It might seem strange for a spine surgeon to talk about wellness but improving overall wellness is the ultimate goal of treatment. This is not just about one specific part of your spine that may be bothering you or causing a problem. This is about how pain affects your life, your interactions with others, your career, your ability to do daily activities and to function in a productive way.
Wellness encompasses the entire patient and includes their mental, social, spiritual and physical health. When addressing a patient’s spine problem without consideration to how that problem affects their overall wellness, it increases the chance of a poor outcome even if the specific treatment is technically done correctly. For this reason, at Huffman Clinic, we want to know not just the details about your specific spine problem, but how those details are affecting your life and the lives of those you care about.
The Doctor’s #1 Recommendation
Dr. Huffman stresses the importance of exercise:
Before I get into a conversation about surgery or other invasive treatments I want so share my number one recommendation: exercise. The first thing I recommend for the treatment and prevention of spine related pain is exercise. This is also the thing I recommend for general health and wellness. Out of all the preventive medicine available exercise has been shown to be the thing most associated with prolonged life span and lower levels of disease. Exercise improves mental function and memory, it helps treat depression as much or more than medication, it helps prevent diabetes, it helps manage weight, it reduces risks of heart attack, stroke and even cancer, it helps promote healing, it helps with sleep and it helps decrease neck and back related pain.
Specifically, I recommend a minimum of 3 hours a week of aerobic exercise with five to ten minutes of daily core strengthening exercises. Aerobic exercise is exercise that increases your heart rate to an appropriate aerobic level for your age and fitness.
If you have chronic back or neck pain and you do not exercise, unless you have been specifically told not to exercise for some other medical reason, then start exercising. If you are not sure where to start, ask your doctor for a referral to a physical therapist for a home exercise program.
Recent Blogs on Wellness
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Recovery from surgery takes time and each person recovers at a different pace. After spine surgery, you can expect your back to feel stiff and sore. You will also likely feel tired and fatigued for several weeks. You may have trouble sitting or standing in one...
Once you have decided to have spine surgery, there are a number of preparations that follow. Pre-Operative Evaluation During the physical exam before surgery you might expect a blood test, electrocardiogram (EKG), and chest X-ray. Your doctor will also discuss...
After a cervical disc replacement procedure, do everything you can to allow your body to heal in the best way possible. Keep the following checklist in mind. Pain Medication Tylenol may be recommended for pain. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen...
For most patients, the evaluation of spinal stenosis begins with a comprehensive physical and neurological examination followed by confirmatory imaging tests (An X-ray or MRI scan). The tests provide valuable information about the cause of your spinal stenosis and...
The exact cause of spondylolisthesis is unknown, although certain risk factors have been identified. Fractures When you fracture your spine, vertebrae are more likely to become unstable and slip onto the vertebrae below. Overuse The injury most often occurs in...
If surgery is the recommended route to treat your condition and back pain, be sure to follow your doctor’s guidelines pre and post-op. Before your spine surgery, your doctor may ask you to do a number of things to help make the procedure go smoothly and help your body...
Spine surgery is traditionally an open surgery. This means the area being operated on is opened with a long incision to allow the surgeon to view and access the surgical site. In recent years, technological advances have allowed more back and neck conditions to be...
Osteoporosis is different from most other diseases or illnesses because there is not a single cause. Different testing methods may help determine if you have or are at risk for osteoporosis. If osteoporosis is suspected, a diagnosis must be made before an appropriate...
Osteoporosis is often referred to as a silent disease. This means it can develop without any signs. In the case of osteoporosis, bone loss occurs without symptoms. That said, subtle signs of osteoporosis may be joint and bone pain or a loss of height. Most patients...
"My husband, Mom and I have been patients of Dr. Huffman’s for quite a number of years. The BEST spine surgeon in the county! He has operated on me twice in the past year with amazing results. Would highly recommend this gifted man."
- Vivian B., Facebook Review
"I have been a patient of Dr Huffman's for many years, with some major back issues. The care I received (and still receive) is exemplary. Staff members Sarah and Dawn are amazing. I wouldn't go anywhere else."
- Deborah N., Facebook Review
"Dr. Huffman is by far the best spine surgeon for so many reasons. I have worked for him, with him and been apart of his surgeries with assisted fluoroscopy. He is brilliant, dedicated and really cares about his patients. That said why would anyone go anywhere else. Did I mention he loves gummy bears, who doesn't love that."
- Sheila B., Facebook Review
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