Why spine doctors see more patients with back issues in the Fall November 28th, 2017 Back Pain, Lower Back Pain Amy Crowell DISC Spine Institute Holiday Stress photo by peapodsquadmom / CC 2.0 Table of Contents Why back Issues are more prevalent in the FallStress-induced back issuesTreatment for back issues Why back Issues are more prevalent in the Fall Feeling that unmistakable twinge of lower back issues or neck pain? It’s a telltale sign of fall thanks to the increased stress level that is often associated with the season. Between kids being back at school, holidays coming up, and the everyday stresses of work, this season can take a toll on your body, and the DISC Spine Institute is here to help. “We see an upswing in new patients, many of whom may previously have received treatment elsewhere, at key times of the year,” they said. “Summer travel can be tough on back pain sufferers and, in winter, joints and muscles can respond negatively to the cold weather, but fall has become one of the busiest times of the year for new patient visits. These higher stress times are often associated with a higher activity level—long hours hunched over your child’s homework, out shopping, or preparing meals—and that, alone, can cause or worsen the pain. It’s also important to remember that stress exacerbates pain and pain exacerbates stress. It’s not at all unusual for someone to be experiencing heightened pain sensations during a high-stress time.” Stress-induced back issues School stress, holiday stress, and work stress: There are many ways to reduce stress and keep it away, like deep breathing exercises and yoga; you can see more suggestions here, courtesy of Health magazine. There are also steps you can take to help ward off back pain, especially if you have suffered in the past. Leaving strenuous yard work to someone else, taking great care with indoor activities that require lots of bending, kneeling, stretching, or ladder climbing, and working on abdominal exercises to better support your back are all smart strategies. But, the real key to getting relief is getting to the source of the pain. You shouldn’t have to suffer at any time, but it’s especially demoralizing when you’re having to worry about your pain instead of being able to concentrate on the important goings-on around you. A diagnosis from the DISC Spine Institute is the first step toward relief. Once you make an appointment at one of the facilities all over DFW, the industry’s leading experts in minimally invasive procedures will do a thorough workup and review any previous doctor’s notes and record to pinpoint what is causing your pain. Then, our doctor will develop a treatment plan based on your condition. Treatment for back issues While treatment plans will vary depending on the person, the pain, and the specific symptoms, there are a series of treatment options for back pain that leading professionals will typically explore. Over-the-counter pain relievers, particularly anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs like Advil or Motrin, can help temporarily manage the pain for any injury or condition that causes inflammation, like sciatic nerve pain. These are often prescribed as a first step, and sometimes in combination with massage and hot or cold therapy. The next step for many may be steroid injections. Although they have been successfully used to treat other conditions, “Back injections may help treat two major back pain problems,” said WebMD: “Inflammation or damage to a nerve, usually in the neck or the low back Spinal stenosis, which means that the spine has narrowed. This can happen because a herniated disk is pressing on the spine, or because a bone spur is jutting into that space, or, less commonly, if a tumor presses on the spine.” If there is still not sufficient pain relief, a minimally invasive surgical procedure may be necessary. Minimally invasive back surgery is a fast-growing type of surgery that offers multiple advantages to patients, from shorter surgeries to smaller incisions, to less blood loss and tissue damage. All of these advantages can lead to quicker surgery recovery. For more information visit the DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back issues.