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    Explore These Links for a Closer Look at the Causes of Back Pain

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Lower back pain is one of the most common ailments in the United States, and also one of the most easily preventable. These articles explain why you might be suffering from back pain and how to prevent it:

    • Medical News Today relates the many factors that can contribute to the onset of back pain.
    • Do you have a desk job that demands many hours of sitting? details why lower back pain often results from office work.
    • The rate of obesity is rising in the United States, which in part may explain why back pain is also prevalent. discusses the link between back pain and obesity.
    • Strengthening your abdominal and back muscles can ward off lower back pain. The Mayo Clinic relays the other benefits of core exercise.
    • Are you a frequent flyer? offers some luggage handling tips for those who travel by air.

    Dr. Gary Kraus, M.D. of the Kraus Back & Neck Institute can help Houston-area patients suffering from lower back, spine, and neck pain. If you are experiencing pain, stiffness, or numbness in your back, call (888) 816-8954 to make an appointment with a spine specialist.

    3 Types of Exercises that Can Improve Your Spine Health

    Last updated 5 years ago

    A strong back and supported spine are essential to your health and mobility. Though eating right and maintaining good posture can benefit your back, exercise is fundamental if you want to enjoy years of unrestricted movement without lower back pain. To start on the path to improved spine health, consider these exercises that can strengthen your back muscles and protect your spine:

    Cardiovascular Activity

    Cardiovascular activity is key for spine wellness. When you engage in aerobic exercise, you increase blood flow throughout the body, including to the back muscles and tissues. This allows for the enhanced transfer of nutrients and vitamins to these structures, which can bolster spine health. Cardiovascular activity also burns calories, which wards off extra weight. Without having to support extra weight, the back can function at an optimal level. Running, biking, and swimming are all great forms of cardiovascular activity.

    Core Strengthening

    Core strengthening improves the vigor and robustness of the abdominal, lower back, and pelvic muscles. These muscles surround and protect the spine, so increasing their strength means better protection for the more delicate structures in the spinal column. As a result, core strengthening can diminish the likelihood of back injury, back deterioration, and lower back pain. Traditional stomach crunches, twisting crunches, and lying windmills all constitute effective core strengthening exercises.

    Lower Body Strengthening

    Far too many people lift objects with their back when they should be using their leg muscles. That’s why improving your lower body strength can help your spine health. When you have strong leg muscles, it becomes easier to lift with them instead of your back muscles. To increase your lower body strength, try squats and lunges.

    Would you like to learn more about what you can do to protect your back and spine? Call the Kraus Back & Neck Institute at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gary Kraus, M.D. at our Houston facility.

    Why is Back Pain so Prevalent Among American Adults?

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Spine specialists are witnessing a rise in the number of patients who complain of lower back pain. Many of these individuals have not suffered a pain-inducing injury or incident; rather, their discomfort has developed from years of unhealthy work circumstances and harmful lifestyle choices. The following reasons reveal why so many Americans experience back pain on a daily basis:

    Poor Working Environments

    Many Americans’ jobs demand eight or more hours of sitting at a desk. Some individuals may not even leave their desks for breaks. Many people fail to recognize that sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental to their back health. Being motionless for hours at a time can strain the back, causing stiffness and inflammation. If a person’s desk, chair, and computer are not positioned in the right way, it can lead to even greater lower back pain.

    Sedentary Recreation

    A long day at work frequently results in little after-hours activity for Americans. Instead of loosening their back muscles with exercise, many people head to the couch and sit in front of the television for the rest of the night. These sedentary behaviors only promote the increasing incidence of lower back pain. 

    Overweight and Obesity Issues

    Inadequate physical activity and unhealthy eating habits have caused a large segment of the American population to gain more weight than they should. In fact, approximately a third of all Americans are obese. Extra weight harms the body in many ways, including the health of the back. When a person is overweight, it forces the back to support more weight than it can handle. This results in spinal problems and lower back pain.

    Dr. Gary Kraus, M.D. and the staff at Kraus Back & Neck Institute can provide the relief you’re seeking for your lower back pain. Our Houston facility can see to it that you receive the treatment you need for a healthy and pain-free future. Call (888) 816-8954 or visit our website for more information on our lower back pain services. 

    Smart Travel Tips for Back and Neck Pain Prevention

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Whether it’s for business or pleasure, packing for a trip often involves cramming as much as you can into your suitcase or bag. This video explains why careful baggage handling is essential to avoid lower back and neck pain.

    As you pack for your trip, a good rule of thumb is to test its weight with one hand. If you cannot easily lift it with a single hand, leave some packed items at home. Whenever you pick up a piece of luggage, lift with your knees instead of your back. Also, keep your luggage close to your body when attempting to store it in an airplane overhead bin.

    Dr. Gary Kraus, M.D. of the Kraus Back & Neck Institute can help to alleviate your lower back and neck pain problems. To schedule a visit at our Houston facility, call (888) 816-8954.

    Learn How You Can Finally Say Goodbye to Chronic Back and Neck Pain

    Last updated 5 years ago

    If you suffer from chronic back and neck pain, you know how debilitating it can be. Don’t let this pain control your life anymore! Houston neurosurgeon, Dr. Gary Kraus of The Kraus Back and Neck Institute, is committed to working with each patient to create a customized treatment plan so you can stop suffering and get back to living. Click the links below to learn more:

    • Up to 80% of Americans experience back pain at some point in their lives. Read this article by The New York Times to find out how changing your posture can prevent future problems.
    • For a brief overview of back pain treatments and medications, check out this summary from the Mayo Clinic.
    • Find out how myelogram imaging technology works to help doctors diagnose problems of the spine by reading this fact sheet from Johns Hopkins University.
    • Do you have neck pain? Check out this informative article from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons for a closer look at this condition.
    • Recent studies have shown that practicing yoga can help ease chronic back pain. Discovery Health shows you the best poses.

    For more recommendations on how you can banish chronic back and neck pain for good, make an appointment with Kraus Back and Neck Institute today. Call (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation with acclaimed spine specialist, Dr. Gary Kraus. 

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