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
As we age, the spinal discs gradually lose fluid. This process starts at about age 30 and progresses over time. As the discs dry out, microscopic cracks or tears can form on the outer surface, causing it to become brittle, weak and more susceptible to injury. The most...
Your spine is made up of four main parts. From top to bottom the parts are: the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-body), lumbar (lower back) and sacral (tailbone) spine. The cervical and lumbar parts curve inward while the thoracic and sacral curve outward. From the...
Prior to starting any type of treatment, it's important to see a spine specialist to develop an appropriate treatment program for your specific condition and medical history. Based on information you give your doctor spine surgery is not always the answer. The main...
If your spine surgeon suspects that a specific condition may be causing your pain, they will order diagnostic tests. These could include imaging, scans or blood tests. At Huffman Clinic’s spine surgery center, we perform a complete set of tests to ensure that our...
Research shows that most chronic back pain is psychosomatic. This means that mental processes like depression, frustration, and attitude play a large role in the severity of your pain. This means that improving your mindset can help reduce your pain. You can try...
Chronic back pain and neck pain is defined as pain lasting longer than three to six months. It is the opposite of acute pain, which is temporary, specific, and treatable. While it can be difficult to accept you will never be fully cured of your pain, it's important to...
A Lumbar microdiscectomy is a surgery performed to remove a herniated disc or degenerative disc in the lower spine. The doctor makes an incision to remove the disc pressing on the nerves. There are five steps involved in a laminotomy discectomy. The operation will...
Since there are many potential causes of neck and back pain, it's important you seek medical attention. This is especially true if you have experienced any sort of injury or trauma to your neck that is causing your pain, your pain is severe and not improving after one...
The cause of your spinal stenosis influences your diagnosis and treatment options. In general, the cause of spinal stenosis can be categorized as either primary or acquired: Primary: Some people are simply born with a smaller spinal canal Acquired: You can also...
Doctors generally divide the causes of scoliosis into four categories: Idiopathic (unknown cause) is the most common type of scoliosis Congenital (at birth) Neuromuscular (such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy) Injuries to, previous surgery on, or infections of...
"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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Now offering Telemedicine appointments (Virtual Visits).
You can now see our specialists from the comfort of your own home via cell phone, tablet, or computer. You will sit in front of a camera where you will be able to see yourself and your Health Care Provider on the screen once your session begins. Our Telemedicine appointments are HIPPA compliant. Most insurances are now covering Telemedicine.
Address: 3273 Claremont Way, Ste. 201, Napa, CA 94558
Phone: (707) 254-7117
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