Back Pain Caused by Arthritis


Back pain can affect anyone. From little aches that hopefully fade away with rest and medicine to deep, debilitating discomfort that makes every facet of life difficult, back pain can be tough to shake. Most back pain will go away on its own, but sometimes the source of the struggle is hard to detect. The causes of back pain are myriad – being overweight, muscle strain, bad posture, as the result of an accident, and, most commonly, age.

As you get older, the most frequent cause of long-term back pain is arthritis. The intricate web of bones, muscles, discs, and tendons that make up your back are all intertwined. Over time, they get worn down or even shrink, adding pressure to the nerves along your spine.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an especially worrisome disease. Rheumatoid arthritis leads to the destruction of joints. Though it commonly affects people’s hands and feet, it can also have an impact on the spine, primarily the neck and around the base of your skull. The pain can then travel down into your arms and legs. If untreated, RA can be debilitating.

While many pharmaceutical companies are working on treatments for RA, there are several other steps you can take to improve your health.

Pay attention to your posture – People have a tendency to slump their shoulders or not sit up straight. Make the effort push back your shoulders and keep your spine straight. You might consider purchasing special cushions for your desk chairs or for the seat or your car.
Exercise – The more active you are, the less stress you’ll feel around your back. Your activity will loosen up the joints, get blood flowing through your muscles, and generally make you feel better. How you choose to exercise is up to you, but make sure you stretch beforehand. Even a simple walk every day is helpful. Focus, too, on strengthening your core. Strengthening your abdominal muscles will reduce the amount of strain you put on your back.
Watch Your Diet – A balanced diet, couple with exercise, will help you avoid struggling with extra weight or obesity. When you carry more weight, your back has to do more work.
Get Therapy – Sometimes referred to as physical medicine, therapy includes rest or limited physical activity, chiropractic therapy, passive therapy (ice, heat, massage, electrical stimulation), active therapy (aerobics and weight lifting), stress relief (meditation, yoga, or other Easter disciplines), and braces you can wrap around your back.
Sleep Right – Sleeping in the wrong position can also lead to long-term damage. Try not to sleep on your stomach. Doing so causes your neck and back to twist and bend in poor directions. If you sleep on your side, place pillows between your knees and behind your back. If you prefer to sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees.

Arthritis can be crippling if untreated. You can do your part to ensure back pain doesn’t limit your ability to enjoy life by following the steps listed above. To learn more, contact us today.

Varicose Vein Information – 7 Interesting Facts about Varicose Veins

Basic varicose vein information isn’t hard to come by. The impact of obesity, pregnancy, aging, and common hormonal changes are fairly common knowledge. But like all topics of interest, you’re bound to find more trivial information the deeper you dig. In that spirit, here are 7 interesting facts about varicose veins you might not have known:

  1. Support hose won’t make varicose veins disappear. Despite some well-travelled, antiquated myths, perhaps passed down from a wise aunt or grandmother, wearing stockings does not cause them to magically disintegrate. They do help treat systems, however.
  2. Men also get varicose veins. Yes, they’re a greater issue with women, but some men – estimates as high as 30 percent – are susceptible, too. It’s believed Henry VIII, weighing in excess of 300 pounds, suffered from varicose veins. Because weight is such a key factor, it’s not much of a leap to think football players may also struggle with varicose veins.
  3. The first recorded case of varicose veins is from 86 BC. Roman general Caius Marius is described in texts from the period as suffering from the condition. At the time, he allowed himself to be subjected to archaic surgical methods to find relief. As expected, those tactics were unsuccessful. Perhaps that experience is what contributed to him later becoming a mad tyrant.
  4. Of all animals, giraffe’s have the greatest pressure in their legs, yet they don’t get varicose veins. Because their veins and arteries are concentrated in the center of their legs, and they have really thick skin (literally), varicose veins aren’t a problem. As some experts are fond of saying, it is like giraffes wear permanent compression stockings.
  5. Hemorrhoids are a type of varicose vein. Most people assume varicose veins are found exclusively in the legs. That’s not the case if you include this particular version. The next time someone states the old tale that Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo because of his hemorrhoids, you wouldn’t be wrong to pipe in with this bit of information.
  6. A type of varicose vein suffered by men is known as a varicocoele. Affecting as much as three-quarters of all men, a varicocoele is a collection that can occur in the left testicle and cause discomfort. Aside from modifying your diet and exercising, there’s little a man can do to prevent it from happening. You can treat the symptoms with warm baths and wearing underwear with greater support.
  7. Foods that cause expansion can make varicose veins worse. These include foods with a lot of sugar or that have a lot of vitamin C. A diet high in fiber and low in salt is recommended.

Fibroid Embolization Leads to High Levels of Patient Satisfaction

The results of a recent study, published in Radiology magazine, showed that women who opted for Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) – also known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) – as treatment for fibroids over hysterectomy had had an equal quality of life.

The Dutch study of 177 women indicated both methods were successful in improving quality of life for women suffering from uterine fibroids. But with UFE, women have a shorter hospital stay and recover more quickly. The women who took part in the study were followed for more than two years following treatment. Their quality of life was assessed six different times during that two-year stretch. More than 90 percent of the patients in the study who opted for UFE were satisfied with the outcomes.

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Fibroid Embolization Leads to High Levels of Patient Satisfaction