What You Should Know About Back and Neck Problems
If you have a back or neck problem, you’re not alone, as these are two very common locations for pain and discomfort. Often these problems are caused by aging or injury, or are the result of daily wear and tear on your spine. No matter the cause, back and neck problems are often very painful. While there are no magic cures, treatment can help ease your pain and improve your quality of life.
Pain due to back and neck problems is different for each person. For some, pain gets worse with certain activities. For others, the pain is constant. The location of the pain can also differ. Pain in any of the following areas may indicate a back or neck problem: head, arms, legs, upper or lower back, neck or buttocks. Rather than causing pain, these problems may cause tingling, weakness or numbness in those areas.
Whatever your symptoms, a back or neck problem often puts limitations on your life. Doing even simple tasks, like lifting groceries or bending to help your child, can be difficult and painful. In some cases, constant pain can even lead to depression.
If other treatments haven’t helped your symptoms, surgery may offer relief. Surgery often helps ease back, neck and leg pain, relieves pain during movement, reduces numbness and improves your quality of life.
In the online presentation below, Dr. Ajay Bindal discusses the latest advancements in the treatment of chronic neck and back problems including when to seek help, treatment options, recovery and getting back to your active lifestyle.
About Dr. Ajay Bindal
Dr. Ajay Bindal is a Neurological Surgeon at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.
»Learn more about Dr. Bindal.
When to Seek Help
Chronic neck and back conditions may indicate the need to seek help:
- Pain that is persistent and cannot be relieved
- Pain radiating into the buttocks, leg or groin or pain radiating into the shoulder, arm or hand
- Muscle spasms in the back or neck
- Numbness in the legs or arms
- Weakness or loss of bladder or bowel control
Getting You Back to Your Active Lifestyle
Spine Camp Makes Recovery Faster
In Spine Camp, our goal is to help you return to your active lifestyle. The Spine Camp program creates a positive environment where patients can get up and moving soon after surgery, which research shows leads to quicker recovery.
Spine Camp is an innovative patient rehabilitation and recovery program uniquely designed for individuals with thoracic, cervical and lumbar surgery. It emphasizes wellness and uses a group approach to promote teamwork and camaraderie. The program helps patients get back to living and enjoying active lives more quickly than traditional rehabilitation.
Education Before Surgery
The pre-admission process begins with you – the patient. Preregistering for Spine Camp usually begins 10 days in advance in order to complete all admitting paperwork. Patients then visit the hospital one to two weeks prior to surgery for medical testing and pre-screening. Our multidisciplinary healthcare team consists of affiliated doctors, nurses, home health providers, pharmacists, anesthesiologists and physical therapists. They answer questions and discuss rehabilitation, postoperative goals and the road to recovery. A tour of the facility is also given at that time to help you familiarize yourself with the areas of the hospital where you will be spending time, and is followed by lunch.
Your Hospital Stay
Spine Camp creates an atmosphere of wellness, where patients focus on living well and recovering from surgery. Following surgery, patients wear casual attire such as T-shirts and workout clothes instead of hospital gowns.
Going Home and Resuming Activities
Recovering from surgery takes time. To help speed up your recovery, slightly increase your activities each day. Also be sure to take all of your medications as directed. As you feel better, you may be given exercises to improve your strength and mobility. Exercise can also help ease your pain.
Be sure to keep all of your follow-up appointments as they will let your doctor check how well you are healing, confirm your activity levels and adjust your medication if needed. By working together, you and your doctor can help ensure a smooth recovery.
For more information, questions about the referral process or a referral to one of our affiliated physicians, call toll free 1-866-201-BACK (2225).