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exercises to protect your back

Build Your Core to Protect Your Back

exercises to protect your backBack pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical care. If you’ve experienced back pain, you know it’s not any fun. There are many recommendations about preventing or healing back pain, but what actually works? The Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) has answers for you.

Prevention is always the best course of action. Maintain good health and keep in contact with your physician. Staying in shape and building up your core muscles to support your spine are the most effective steps you can take. The exercises and treatments you learn from the physical therapists specializing in back issues at SSI help you to protect your back. Through core-building exercises, you practice prevention while minimizing any back pain you have now.

How Your Core Protects Your Back

Your core refers to the center of your body. It’s easy to think of it as your abs, but your core also involves several other muscle groups right around your hips, pelvis, torso and lower back. Even movements like walking, which seems to involve only your limbs, actually involves your core a lot.

Looking at a muscular skeleton of the human body, it’s easy to see how your core muscles support your spine. Core muscles also protect your back when you’re moving. For example, when you lift something, strong core muscles help you to do so effortlessly — or at least without straining.

If you have weaker core muscles, your back has to do more work. Strengthening your core protects your back by saving it from stressful situations, whether it’s just supporting your posture or helping you move and lift things.

How to Strengthen Your Core

Part of strengthening your core to protect your back means doing things a little bit differently. For example, if you have to lift heavy objects at work, make sure you lift them properly, using your hips and legs instead of your back. Carry heavy items close to your body. Following these and other guidelines strengthen your core. If you’re paying attention, you can even feel how movement taps into your core muscles.

Planking is a great core exercise, which you can do on your front or on your side. Another exercise is to lie on your back and lift your legs, keeping them straight, to a 45-degree angle. Hold them there as long as possible. Crunches and sit-ups are classic core-building exercises, but some experts are starting to recommend skipping them, as they could actually hurt your back.

Maintaining Your Core

One of the best ways to protect your back is to just stay in good shape overall. Stretching, for example, is a vital step to do regularly. Some experts include your gluteal and pelvic muscles as part of your core. Stretching these regularly helps keep your core working at its best.

Building your core makes you a healthier person in general. Good posture, better ease of motion and protecting your spine are all the result of a strong, healthy core. So to protect your back, build and maintain a strong core, which shifts the tension of everyday life off of your back and onto the muscles meant to do the job.

osteoporosis risks

Determining Your Risks for Getting Osteoporosis

osteoporosis risks The likelihood of you getting osteoporosis is actually fairly high. Across America, 10 million people are suffering from the disease, while another 44 million have an increased chance of getting it later. So the earlier you get a checkup by a doctor to test your bone density, the better the chance of understanding osteoporosis and the risks it poses to your well-being.

Osteoporosis and back pain make a killer combination. Lower back pain already affects 85 percent of the population. You can lose your ability to stand, sit or even walk properly once your bone density and strength weaken. The doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) need to take a complete medical history before treating your back pain to rule out osteoporosis.

Age and Gender

People between the ages of 30 to 50 years of age have a high probability of developing osteoporosis. This is mainly because the ratio between bone-building and bone loss becomes wider during the middle-age years. This leads to having bones with holes in them that can break easily. Hip fractures are more prevalent because of this disease, with many people breaking hip bones more than once in a lifetime.

Women are more prone to osteoporosis risks than men. Worldwide, 200 million women are suffering from this silent disease, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation. Vertebral fractures, on the other hand, occur every 22 seconds worldwide for women over 50 years of age. Early diagnosis of the disease is therefore absolutely necessary to help you strengthen weaker bones.

Genetics and Ethnicity

Getting osteoporosis can be caused by your DNA. If you have a family member, especially a mother or sister, suffering from the disease, your osteoporosis risks increase exponentially. You need to consult a doctor immediately to see where you stand regarding the disease. Worldwide, 58 percent of women injure their backs, leading to loss of height, immobility, hunched back and even heart problems.

Another predominant osteoporosis risk connects to your ethnicity. White women over the ages of 50 are more susceptible to the disease than other races. But research shows that Asian women and women from Latin America also have a higher affinity than African American women. If you suffer from back pain, talk to the doctors at SSI to see if osteoporosis might be a reason for the pain.

Everyday Life Osteoporosis Risks

Modern day life has created a viable environment for the osteoporosis disease to grow. Lack of exercise and the penchant for sitting still for lengthy periods of time all contribute to weakening bones. Smoking and alcohol also plays a leading role. At the same time, the decreasing consumption of dairy products and playing outdoors has led to calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies.

Hormonal changes during menopause lead women to have increased osteoporosis risks. Certain medications can also damage the bone-building process and increase osteoporosis risks, as well, including medicine for:

  • Thyroid conditions
  • Epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Cancer

If you recently broken or fractured a bone, it’s a good idea to follow up with the experienced doctors at SSI to determine whether or not you have osteoporosis, higher osteoporosis risks or osteopenia, which is a precursor to the full-blown bone disease. Early detection helps prevent the progression of this potentially debilitating disease.

minimally invasive back surgery consultation

What to Expect After Minimally Invasive Back Surgery

minimally invasive back surgery consultationBack pain is the number one reason why people go to the doctor. In fact, about 80 percent of Americans experience back pain, especially lower back pain, in their lifetimes. And worse still is that anyone can develop a back pain, irrespective of age, race or gender.

Minimally invasive back surgery is recommended by doctors as the step before more drastic measures. For many medical conditions, minimally invasive back surgery is the best recourse to eliminate your back pain permanently. The doctors of spinal medicine at Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) are specially trained and experienced to ensure your surgery is successful, getting you back to your normal routines as soon as possible.

Before Minimally Invasive Back Surgery

To help you to recover quickly, you can do a few things yourself to make your body more resilient and quicker to heal:

  • Go on a diet to lose a few pounds before the surgery.
  • Quit sugary drinks and cut back on oily foods.
  • Take up stretching and other forms of mild exercises, like yoga.
  • Quit smoking and give up alcohol prior to your procedure.

Although your spine doctor performs an extensive medical history with you before the surgery, make sure you mention any diseases you have. Medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, allergy to anesthesia or hemophilia can all cause complications during a surgery.

Recovery Time from Surgery

Minimally invasive back surgery offers benefits you may not have considered. For example, you usually get to go home on the same day of the surgery. Unlike open spine surgery, minimally invasive surgery requires just a very small incision for the treatment. The nearby muscles and soft tissues of the spine remain intact, eliminating the need for longer recovery times.

After the procedure, however, you’ll feel sore as you move around for the first few days. Your doctor may prescribe a pain killer or suggest over-the-counter pain relievers for this short-term discomfort. Most people don’t need heavy doses of medication. The main precaution you need to take at home is to keep the surgical wound clean.

Getting Back on the Horse

You can return to work within two weeks or less, following minimally invasive back surgery. Just make sure you don’t lift heavy things or move with speed. Your spine specialist and rehab team at SSI provide you with a list of best practices to ensure a speedy and uneventful recovery.

You need to slow down your movements during recovery to prevent problems. Stretching exercises, as prescribed by your physical therapist at SSI, allow you to stretch your muscles while improving mobility. You may also need additional exercise therapy to build up your spine muscles, tighten your hamstrings, strengthen your core and build stamina.

Preventive Measures

Once you have your life back, you need to make sure back pain doesn’t return. Some tips for staying pain-free include:

  • Continue doing your stretching exercises.
  • Lift heavy things correctly.
  • Remind yourself to correct your posture.
  • If you’re overweight, go on a diet; every extra pound puts more pressure on your spine.

Swimming aerobics are also recommended, as the water cushions your spine while you move. Talk with your doctor at SSI for more advice on how to prevent back pain.

 

Are Upper Back and Shoulder Pain Related?

The simple answer to this commonly asked question is “yes.” It’s entirely possible that your upper back pain and the pain you feel in your shoulder share a common source. Your spine protects the complex system of nerves that send and receive messages and sensations throughout your entire body.

There are an estimated 95 to 100 billion neurons or nerve cells in your body, although some estimates run as high as 1 trillion. But there are only 31 pairs of spinal nerves. These are known as “mixed nerves” because they are responsible for sending and receiving messages to and from your entire body. Many conditions or injuries can cause pressure on your spinal nerves. When two areas are located as closely together as your upper back and shoulder, it’s very possible that they’re related.

Common Factors

Upper back pain and shoulder pain can result from an injury. But in most cases, the two are the result of aging and degenerative conditions, such as:

  • Issues with your rotator cuff
  • Tendinopathy
  • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
  • Arthritis

Your rotator cuff is a group of tendons in your shoulder that you put through a lot. Every time you lift, pull, or move your shoulder in its socket, your rotator cuff is responsible for much of the weight and range of movement. Injury or degeneration to your rotator cuff can produce significant upper back pain, as well as pain in your actual shoulder.

Easy to Take for Granted

You probably didn’t fully appreciate all the different ways that you move until you started feeling pain. Upper back pain can be debilitating. Shoulder pain can change how you approach everything you do. Aside from overuse and just plain getting older, some very common causes of back and shoulder pain include:

  • Sleeping wrong
  • Bad posture
  • Playing with your kids
  • Carrying shoulder bags
  • Slumping at a desk or over devices such as tablets or cell phones

Spinal misalignment and repetitive stress affect nearly everyone at some point. Upper back pain can make daily activities become problematic. Thankfully, there are several treatment options available.

Getting Back to Your Normal Routines

You don’t have to let upper back pain or shoulder pain take away from your quality of life. Consulting a qualified spinal care specialist is always the best place to start. Your pain is as unique as you are and must be treated on an individual basis. There are no cookie-cutter cure-alls. Treatment and lasting relief take work and can involve:

  • Rest
  • Correcting your posture
  • Physical therapy (stretching and exercises to strengthen and restore movement)
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and weight
  • Not smoking
  • Learning to make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Working within your physical limitations

In addition to lifestyle changes, there is a wide variety of medical treatments available to you that may include:

  • Medication
  • Injections
  • Non-invasive procedures
  • Surgery

If your pain has lasted longer than eight weeks with no relief from lifestyle modifications, then it’s time for you to seek medical attention from your spine physician at the Southeastern Spine Institute. The longer you wait, the worse your pain can become.

 

Opioid Alternatives for Chronic Back Pain

There is hardly a person left in this country that hasn’t been touched by the opioid epidemic in some way. As more and more research concerning the dangers and dependence of opioid pain relievers continues to pour in, it’s no surprise that opioid alternatives are one of the hottest topics in the medical industry.

Just because opioids were considered the go-to pain management treatment for so many years doesn’t mean it’s the only method for confronting chronic pain. You and your loved ones don’t have to surrender control of your lives or your pain treatment to opioids. You should be aware that:

  • Several comparable means of pain management exist.
  • It may be possible to improve or alleviate your condition with a low-risk, non-invasive surgical procedure.
  • Medicine is making progress towards restorative treatments that repair the damage that causes pain, whether from injuries, age-related degeneration or arthritis.

You Have Options

The days of quickly written prescriptions are coming to a close. Opioid alternatives are proving to hold massive advantages over the traditional pharmacological means of pain management. Several more common treatment options include:

  • Nerve blocks have been popular in the field of opioid alternatives for years. Since there are groups of nerves that send pain directly to specific parts of your body, your doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) are able to trace your pain to its source. Injecting numbing medications into the nerves hinders the transmission of pain signals. It’s effective, but only for a limited time.
  • Pain pumps deliver pain medication directly into your spinal cord over time. With a pain pump, much smaller doses of pain medication are able to manage and reduce your pain symptoms.
  • Epidural injections are less invasive opioid alternatives. These injections address chronic pain by treating inflammation that puts pressure on your spinal nerves.
  • Electrothermal therapy is particularly helpful if your discs are the source of your pain. Heat is used to modify your nerve fibers or to destroy your pain receptors.
  • Spinal cord stimulation is an excellent option if your pain is unresponsive to more conservative therapies. It uses a tiny electrical generator to send electric current directly to specifically-targeted areas of your spine.
  • Stem cell therapy is an innovative treatment technique that’s making waves in the medical field. It’s accomplished by harvesting your own stem cells from bone marrow or adipose fat. After processing, it’s injected directly into your problem areas. These tiny powerhouses are the basic building blocks of your cells and have the ability to become different types of cells. Stem cell therapy has entered the world of pain management and opioid alternatives because it promotes regeneration and gives your body the tools it needs to heal itself, naturally.
  • Surgery, while typically considered a last-resort option at SSI, can still be the best option in some cases. New surgical technologies continue to make drastic improvements to the medical field. In most cases, there are several different ways to perform the same surgery. This enables your spine specialists to address your needs on an individual basis. Laparoscopic and minimally invasive techniques are cutting recovery and downtimes to days or weeks; instead of months or years.

 

Pain Management at SSI

Living with pain isn’t easy, but one in four Americans think they have no other options. Often, the pain is misdiagnosed, leading to wrongful and addictive pain medications.  Understanding that there are several underlying reasons for your pain helps you better deal with it. And this is especially true for back pain, the most common reason people seek out pain management.

Pain management at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) is science with humanity. The doctors listen to your pain complaints before giving you a thorough medical examination. Pinpointing the reason behind the pain is the key to giving you lasting relief.

Reasons for Your Pain

Pain can happen anytime in your life. In fact, at any given moment, about 100 million Americans are suffering from pain. Although older people feel more severe pain than young, pain doesn’t discriminate. But you don’t have to suffer. Pain management plan with your doctor can help you maneuver through your life without feeling debilitated.

A common reason for pain is an injury that hasn’t healed properly. Lifestyle also plays a big role in your pain. If you lead a sedentary life or sit for long hours at your desk, your back — along with your legs, shoulder and neck — can start to hurt. Putting on weight, the way you chew your food and taking certain medications can complicate your condition, causing or adding to your discomfort.

There also are several medical conditions that can cause pain. Diabetes and high blood pressure, for example, can elevate certain pain nerves. Ruling out these and other severe medical conditions like a herniated disc or arthritis is reason enough to consult a pain management specialist at SSI.

Non-Surgical Treatment

In addition to exercising and eating right, there are many non-surgical treatments that can help eliminate or reduce your pain. Your doctors at SSI always try non-invasive procedures first. Many of these treatments take only a few hours, and they’re performed right in your doctor’s office.

Some treatments that your spinal team of doctors may recommend include:

The sooner you consult a specialist, the faster you’re on the way to recovery. Because doctors at SSI only treat back pain and associated painful conditions that originate in your spine, you’ll always get a thorough explanation of your condition and the right treatment plan. And you can get it all in one location, from minor surgery to physical therapy — the whole team is on the Mt. Pleasant campus.

Surgical Options

Sometimes, it happens that your condition has worsened or doesn’t respond to minimally invasive treatment. In these cases, you may require a more drastic medical treatment. This could be due to your age or how long you’ve been suffering. Surgery at SSI is always the last resort. But it can release you from your pain.

Depending on where your pain is, doctors might suggest:

Surgery may sound scary, but with the right doctor by your side, you may find it stops your pain once and for all. Then again, some pain management treatments can be as effective to relieve your symptoms. The pain specialist doctors at SSI always recommend a plan of action that involves physiotherapy and minimum medication to ensure your long-lasting health.

5 Signs of Serious Back Problems

If you have back pain, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that as many as eight out of every 10 people experience back pain at some point during their lives. Eight out of 10! So you’re not alone if back pain is making your life a lot less enjoyable.

Even though back pain can limit your activities, the good news is that very often it can start to improve with home treatment within a few weeks. If your back pain doesn’t get better, however, it could indicate that something serious is going on. Your spine specialists at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) understand the signs of serious back problems and can deliver pain relief.

Recognizing Serious Back Problems

Symptoms of serious back problems may not be obvious right away, and you may confuse them with other forms of illness. Even though you hope your symptoms will go away on their own, there are some signs you shouldn’t ignore.

Signs of serious back problems include:

  • Severe pain that doesn’t go away. When pain doesn’t go away on its own or start to subside after a week of home treatment, get checked out by a medical professional. Don’t ignore pain that radiates beyond your back, such as pain that shoots down your leg.
  • Fever or other signs of infection. When your back pain is accompanied by a fever or other signs of infection, such as headache or chills, it’s more than just a backache or a muscle strain.
  • Unexplained weight loss. Losing weight without trying while you’re experiencing back pain is a sign that can signal a serious condition. Don’t ignore it!
  • Weakness, numbness or tingling. Back discomfort accompanied by weakness, numbness or tingling in your arms or legs signifies a medical condition that should be evaluated by a doctor.
  • Problems with urination or bowels. When you’re having problems with bowel movements or urination at the same time as back pain, discuss your symptoms with a medical professional.

Getting Help for Serious Back Problems

When you’re experiencing pain that doesn’t go away along with inflammation you notice somewhere else in your body, the pain is your body’s effort to get your attention. Back pain can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, and when remedies such as ice and rest don’t bring you relief, it’s time to find out the underlying cause.

Make it easy on yourself and go directly to a back specialist, like those at SSI. The best way to care for your overall health is by having your symptoms evaluated. You and your doctor both need to find the cause of your pain. When you go to SSI, surgery is always the last resort, and there are many treatment options available before you get there.

Solutions for Back Pain

Listen to what your body is telling you. At SSI, specialists pinpoint what’s causing or aggravating your back pain. The first option may include simple physical therapy. If you do need surgery, it can be performed on the Mt. Pleasant campus. Usually, that means no hospital visit!

If you have problems with back pain, it’s time to find out exactly what’s going on. Only with an accurate diagnosis can a treatment plan be put in place to get you on the road to better health. The experts at SSI can help you decipher what your back pain really means and help you to return to a more enjoyable life.

pregnancy back pain

Can Pregnancy Cause a Bad Back?

pregnancy back painMotherhood is a mixed blessing of happiness and discomfort for most women. Pregnancy causes havoc on your body, especially when your lower back starts acting up. In fact, pregnancy back pain is the number one complaint from women. According to the National Institutes of Health, 50 percent of all pregnant women suffer from back pain at some point during the nine months.

Pregnancy back pain can lead to serious pregnancy scares like pre-term labor. Keep your doctor informed if you’re experiencing any back pain. The specialists at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) recommend treatments that help relieve the pain while keeping your baby safe.

Leading Causes of Back Pain

While you’re pregnant, your back is under a lot of stress. The most common sources of back pain include:

  • Weight gain. You can expect to add nearly a quarter of your body weight during pregnancy. The added weight puts a strain on your spine as you try to accommodate the extra weight in the front. Your center of gravity shifts, causing you to feel unsure on your feet.
  • Hormones. Your body is preparing to accommodate the baby. Ligaments in your pelvic area soften and your joints loosen. While this is necessary for the birth of your baby, it’s bad news for your back.
  • Muscular imbalances. If you aren’t fit before you got pregnant, your body’s in for a shock. Pregnancy has a major impact on your back and leg muscles. With the added weight, your muscles tire more easily, leading to bad posture and pregnancy back pain.

Activities to Avoid

Many women stay active right up to their labor date. But there are a few activities you should avoid so you don’t aggravate your pregnancy back pain. Remember that your body moves differently now that you’re pregnant.

Ask your doctor at SSI for suggestions about when to be careful and what to avoid while pregnant. In general, take care when doing these activities:

  • Climbing stairs (don’t run up the stairs)
  • Rising suddenly after sitting for a while
  • Getting out of a car, bathtub or bed
  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Doing exercises without warming up
  • Lifting heavy boxes the wrong way
  • Sleeping on your back
  • Slipping into an improper posture
  • Dealing with stress
  • Where You Feel Your Back Pain

Your risk of experiencing pregnancy back pain increases if you’re already overweight or suffering from pre-existing back pain. When back pain starts during pregnancy differs from woman to woman. Some complain during the early months, while most complain after the third trimester. Consult a back specialist from SSI during these crucial months.

Pregnancy back pain can strike many areas of your body:

  • Lumbar region pain occurs in the area behind your waist.
  • Leg or foot pain may originate in your back.
  • Pelvic pain, which occurs four times more frequently in pregnant women, appears below and to the side of your waistline.
  • Pain in your butt is also common.
  • Pubic area pain and pain in the back of your thighs are rarer.

Treating the Pain

There are many ways in which you can ease your pain. Your SSI doctor can recommend different therapies and exercise regimes that help strengthen your back and leg muscles. Things you can do on your own include:

  • Sleep on your side with your knees pulled in
  • Put pillows under your knees while sleeping to relieve the pressure on your spine
  • Squat when you lift anything
  • Don’t lift heavy boxes
  • Don’t stand or sit for long periods
  • Don’t bend from the waist
  • Be wary of your posture while you stand or sit
  • Wear flat shoes
  • Put your feet up while resting
  • Do meditation to relieve stress
back health tips for retirement

How to Take Care of Your Back in Retirement

back health tips for retirementOnce you reach retirement, you finally have a chance to do what you want to do without worrying about anyone else’s rules or schedule. To make sure you can enjoy these golden years to the fullest, take care of your health needs. Make it a top priority. And the one area you must focus on and maintain is your back.

If you’ve already experienced any kind of back problem, you know how limiting it can be. If you hurt your back when you’re older, it definitely impacts your ability to enjoy your retirement. Heeding back health tips can make a big difference in relieving any aches, pains or joint stiffness you may be feeling. And taking preventative action now can keep back problems from getting any worse.

Back Health Tips That Can Prevent Future Problems

You simply cannot avoid all back pain. Some spine issues are hereditary; others were caused years ago. But following some sensible back health tips can prevent new problems from flaring up and stop the progression of existing problems. Tips for protecting the health of your back include:

  • Pay attention to your posture. Sit up straight when sitting at a desk.
  • Participate in targeted exercises that strengthen your core muscles.
  • Try low-impact exercises, such as yoga or swimming.
  • Always stretch before and after exercising.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that don’t put unnecessary pressure on your spine.
  • Improve your overall health by eating right and staying active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, or strive to lose weight if you’re overweight.
  • Let your spine rest while sleeping. Consider buying a more supportive mattress or changing your sleeping position if you experience back pain in the morning.

Back Health Tips for Avoiding Harmful Activities

There are also some activities to avoid when it comes to taking care of your back. In particular:

  • Don’t slouch or sit hunched over a computer or book for long periods of time.
  • Don’t lift heavy objects that are more than one-fourth of your body weight. When you lift something heavy, focus on using the muscles in your legs rather than those in your back or upper body.
  • Don’t habitually carry a heavy pocketbook or backpack over just one shoulder.
  • Don’t overdo repetitive movements when you exercise.
  • Don’t ignore intense pain or discomfort in your back. Untreated problems in your spine can get much worse.

If You Have Chronic Back Problems

Back problems may start long before retirement. If you have existing back problems, whether you have new or ongoing symptoms, don’t ignore them. Taking care of your back by working with the experts at Southeastern Spine Institute is one of the best back health tips you can incorporate into your retirement schedule, no matter how busy you get.

If you have chronic back pain or even the start of twinges in your back, the spine specialists at SSI find the cause. They take a conservative approach to spine care treatment and try to find a solution that doesn’t involve surgery whenever possible. Be proactive in your back care, and you’ll be better prepared to truly enjoy your retirement.

spine health supplements

The Best Supplements for Spine Health

spine health supplementsYou’re probably familiar with dietary supplements. There are many types, including vitamins (like vitamin C), herbs (like ginseng) and minerals (like zinc). Each supports a particular part of your body, from the immune system to your brain functions.

There are even some dietary supplements that promote spine health. In fact, they’re sometimes recommended in conjunction with other types of back treatment. When pain relievers fail to control or reduce your pain, for example, spine health supplements offer additional help in the prevention and treatment of back pain, neck pain, and their causes.

Recommended Spine Health Supplements

In a market flooded with miracle cures, your efforts to discern what’s real from what’s hype can end sometimes in frustration. Since the Federal Food and Drug Administration doesn’t review or approve supplements, the quality varies greatly. As much as possible, focus on purely scientific research and stay away from advertisements and paid testimonies.

While that recommendation is easier spoken than followed, review this list of known spine health supplements and their potential benefits to you:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. They can significantly reduce your dependency on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by reducing your inflammation and relieving your pain. These spine health supplements primarily are made from fish oils and flaxseed. The potential risks from these supplements include bleeding and adverse reactions to blood-thinning medications like Warfarin, Coumadin and aspirin.
  • Glucosamine/chondroitin. These supplements promote joint lubrication. And some studies have shown that these supplements can address arthritis pain specifically. But as with the Omega-3 supplements, there is a risk of adverse reactions with blood-thinning medications.
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). This supplement has also shown benefits if you suffer from arthritis pain. It’s believed to be effective for a wide range of back and neck pain. Some people report side effects such as diarrhea, skin problems and nausea.
  • Bromelain. This is an enzyme that has taken the world by storm. It’s being used for everything from pain relief to skin care. Its intense anti-inflammatory properties make it well-suited for both. Potential risks include an:
    • Increase in bleeding
    • Adverse reaction to blood-thinning medications
    • Adverse reaction to certain antibiotic medications
    • Alert to not take it if you have peptic ulcers
  • Turmeric. This is another supplement gaining popularity. Ancient cultures used turmeric for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of ailments and conditions. Studies are showing that it has profound capabilities to address pain and inflammation. Like Omega-3 fatty acids, it can introduce potential risks such as more bleeding and adverse reactions to blood-thinning medications.

Make Healthier Choices for Your Back

Spine health supplements come in a variety of brands and styles. Consult your medical care professionals at the Southeastern Spine Institute about which supplements are safe for you to take, given your history and health.

Remember that supplements alone aren’t enough, no matter how miraculous they may seem. Stay current with your medical treatments and check-ups. Never underestimate the power of a balanced diet and regular exercise. When you make healthy choices that include dietary supplements in conjunction with diet, exercise and regular medical evaluations, you can stay healthy now and well into your retirement years.