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
Depending on the type of surgery, some patients go home the same day while others may go home in two to four days. The days between surgery and discharge may be filled with instructions, exercises and rest. Here is an example of a typical day after surgery in the...
While lost bone cannot be replaced and osteoporosis cannot be cured completely, there are ways to slow down its progression, maintain healthy bone density and prevent symptoms. Creating Your Plan Creating a treatment plan for osteoporosis often involves a team of...
Fractures can occur anywhere along the spine. Five to ten percent occur in the cervical (neck) region. 64% occur in the thoracolumbar (thorax/lower back) region, often at T12-L1. Spinal fractures and dislocations can pinch, compress, and even tear the spinal cord....
Spinal fractures are caused by trauma or conditions that weaken the bones. Fractures can result from low or high energy trauma: • A low energy fracture means it is the result of weakened bones, often due to osteoporosis, spine tumors or certain types of cancers....
The best sleeping position to reduce your back pain after surgery is either on your back with your knees bent and a pillow under your knees or on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between your legs. If side sleeping provides the most benefit, then make sure...
If other non-surgical treatments haven’t reduced your symptoms, your doctor could recommend surgical treatment. Surgery can relieve pressure on your spinal cord and stabilize parts of your spinal segment that may be causing pain. Depending on the condition, location,...
Stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of a passage in your body, therefore spinal stenosis is the narrowing of your spinal canal (central stenosis) or nerve root canal (lateral stenosis). Because your spinal canal houses the spinal cord, this narrowing affects your...
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...
"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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