Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Am I suffering from a herniated disc?
Am I suffering from a herniated disc?
Herniated discs most commonly occur in the lower back region (lumbar spine herniations) or neck region (cervical spine herniations), but they are far less common in the upper back region (thoracic spine herniations). (Mayo Clinic) Herniated discs can be very painful, but often times, patients with herniated discs are unaware of their condition. There are certain symptoms to be aware of that may indicate whether you’re suffering from a herniated disc. Weakness or pain in your toes Herniated discs in your fourth and fifth lumbar segments (L4 and L5) can cause nerve impingement that may make it difficult to raise your big toe. If the herniation occurs between your fifth lumbar segment and first sacral segments (L5 and S1, respectively), you may experience difficulty or even pain standing on your toes. Leg Pain Leg pain, or “sciatica” as it’s sometimes called, can be the leading sign of a herniated disc. Research shows that “approximately 90% of herniated discs occur at L4-L5 and L5-S1, causing pain in the L5 or S1 nerve that radiates down the sciatic nerve.” (Spine Health) If you have a ...

Getting your Christmas tree up without throwing your back out
Getting your Christmas tree up without throwing your back out
By: Dr. Keith Wilkey The holiday season is here! It’s time to deck the halls, wrap presents, and put up the Christmas tree. Before you wrestle your favorite Douglas fir into place, there are a few tips to keep in mind to keep your back and knees on the “feeling nice” list this year. First, you may be thinking, “It’s a Christmas tree! How much could it possibly weigh?” The average 6-7 ft. Fraser fir tree weighs around fifty pounds. (North Carolina Christmas Trees) When it comes time to swing that piney bundle on top of your luggage rack, you want to be careful with how your back, knees, and shoulders are positioned for the safest lifting possible. It never hurts to use a second person’s assistance when loading or unloading a Christmas tree. As with all heavy lifting, lift with your legs, not with your back. Always do a few stretches before lifting heavy objects, keep your back straight, and position your legs shoulder-width apart for maximum lifting power. If you have a taller car, like an SUV or a minivan, ...