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    How to Lift Heavy Objects

    Last updated 5 years ago

    It’s something you may do every day and hardly think about but can also contribute to severe back pain. Whether you do it once or repeatedly, lifting heavy objects can cause significant injury to the low back if not done properly. Talk to your spine doctor about proper lifting techniques to avoid pain and injury.

    What to Avoid

    One of the worst things that individuals can do when lifting objects is to bend at the waist. Doing so places stress on the lumbar spine. Instead, bend at the knees while maintaining a straight back and upright posture. Other things to avoid include lifting objects that are too heavy for you and twisting while lifting. Both of these things place extra stress and strain upon the lumbar, which can lead to injury and pain. If possible, avoid lifting objects above the waist and shoulders to prevent excessive curvature of the lumbar spine.

    What to Do

    Part of proper lifting technique is correct positioning of your feet and the object you are trying to lift; keep the object as close to your body as possible to reduce torque placed on the lumbar spine and keep your feet at least shoulder width apart. Both of these things help to provide extra leverage and stability. When you are ready to lift, keep your body straight and pointed at the object and balance the load across both sides of your body for equal weight distribution.

    Remember that back injuries can occur as a result of repetitive injury to the spine or from an isolated single injury. By incorporating these simple lifting techniques into your regular routine, you can decrease your chances of a low back injury. If you have been injured because of heavy lifting or other causes, contact your spine specialist for treatment options.

    The founder of Kraus Back and Neck Institute, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. For more information, please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.

     

     

    Happy Fourth of July!

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Happy Independence Day! All of us at Kraus Back and Neck Institute wish you a safe and wonderful holiday!

    The Background on Low Back Pain: Resources for Further Reading

    Last updated 5 years ago

    From limiting full range of motion to making simple activities painful, back pain can interfere not only with your comfort but also your quality of life. If you suffer from back pain, learning more about its causes and risk factors can help you to prevent your condition from progressing and to seek the appropriate treatments. For more information about back pain, talk to your neurosurgeon and read more in the resources below.

    • Although it may seem like an ailment of the elderly, lower back pain actually affects nearly all Americans at some point in their lives. This reference guide to lower back pain provides more information and statistics regarding the prevalence of back pain.
    • While lower back pain often occurs as a result of accident or injury, certain lifestyle factors may also result in or worsen the condition. Being overweight, for instance, can increase the strain put on your musculoskeletal structures, leading to damage and discomfort. For more information about the correlation between obesity and back pain, refer to this WebMD guide.  
    • A herniated disc is a spongy section of your spinal cord that has been damaged, leading to pain in the neck or back. Many herniated discs are caused by accident or injury, which causes the disc to slip or rupture, while others can be a result of inflexible discs caused by aging.

    The founder of Kraus Back and Neck Institute, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. For more information, please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.

    Golfer's Pain: Golf and Low Back Injury

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Played by millions of Americans, golf is generally considered a life-long sport, an activity that players young and old, professional and novice can all enjoy. While golf is not a contact sport, frequent extended play can contribute to injury and pain, most often affecting the neck, hand, elbow, shoulder and low back. If you suspect that your golf activity is the cause of your low back pain, talk to your spine specialist for more information about treating pain and preventing further injury. 

    Causes of Golfer’s Pain in the Low Back

    One of the primary causes of low back pain in golfers is trying to swing the golf club too fast. This violent motion requires the player to bend and rotate the spine while also engaging multiple groups of muscles in the back, arms, hands, abdomen, buttocks and legs, all of which places extreme forces on your lumbosacral spine. In addition to frequent play, other poor golf mechanics like poor posture or improper swing technique can also contribute to low back pain. All of these factors can cause or worsen spinal stenosis, age-related degenerative disc disease, disc herniation and pinched nerves.

    Treatments for Golf-Related Low Back Pain

    In some cases, simple rest and some over-the-counter pain medication can mitigate golfer’s pain. If your low back pain persists despite home care efforts, talk to your neck and back specialist for further evaluation and for a diagnosis. Depending on the severity of your pain and condition, your physician may recommend anti-inflammatory medications, exercise and physical therapy, or surgery.

    The founder of Kraus Back and Neck Institute, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. For more information, please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.

    The Low-Down on Lower Back Pain

    Last updated 5 years ago

    One of the leading types of musculoskeletal pain affecting patients in the United States, lower back pain can arise from a variety of factors, including acute injury or an underlying condition. Scheduling an appointment with a spine specialist can help you to better understand the source of your lower back pain and to start thinking about treatment options. By equipping yourself with the right information, you can make a more informed and empowered decision on how to live a pain-free life.

    Causes of Lower Back Pain

    Whereas lower extremity pain refers to pain that travels down the buttocks and into the legs, lower back pain describes pain that is isolated in the lower back. This pain can be caused by a number of factors, including osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis. Lower back pain can also result from a spinal injury like a compression fracture or disc infection. In rarer situations, cysts and tumors can also contribute to lower back pain.

    Risk Factors 

    While some individuals are genetically predisposed to lower back pain, there are several other risk factors that may increase your chances of developing lower back pain. These lower back pain risk factors include having poor posture, smoking, or being obese or of old age. Those who perform strenuous manual labor or repetitive motions are also at an increased risk for lower back pain.

    Additional Symptoms

    Individuals who experience lower back pain may also experience limited range of motion, decreased flexibility, and the inability to stand up straight. More severe symptoms include constant or intense pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, bladder problems, and bowel problems. It is critical to seek the care of a neurosurgeon or spine specialist when you are experiencing any of these symptoms to curb existing pain and to prevent more serious conditions from arising.

    Treatment Options 

    Depending on the severity of your condition, your spine doctor may recommend a number of treatment options for lower back pain, including physical therapy, medicines or  pain treatments, epidural steroid injections, nerve and branch blocks, and joint injections. Individuals who are unresponsive to non-invasive treatment may benefit from spine surgery.

    The founder of Kraus Back and Neck Institute, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. For more information, please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.

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