Summertime Back Pain Tips


Summer can be one of the most enjoyable times of the year, but for some with back pain it’s not enjoyable at all. Simple activities exacerbate your pain. You probably know which activities make your back pain worse. So, we thought we’d share some tips to help you enjoy some of the most popular summertime activities – and minimize your chronic back pain.

  • Events: Summer is the time for America’s favorite past time, baseball. Unfortunately, going to a game can be a disaster for your back. Stadium seating wasn’t designed to take our different shapes and sizes into consideration. So, if you are allowed to bring in cushions or seat pads bring one! The extra padding and support helps alleviate strain on your back so, instead of being distracted by your back pain, you can cheer on your team.
  • Travel: Summer is one of the busiest times for families to travel. With the kids out of school and nobody really wanting to be at work during the most beautiful time of the year, this gets people in the mood for vacationing.
  • Car: If you are taking a road trip, be sure to give yourself time to stop and see the sights. Sitting for long periods can take its toll on your back. Also, when packing the cooler full of snacks throw an ice pack in for your back as well.
  • Plane: Even if you do not have to use the bathroom it is good to get up and walk around on extended flights. Also, making sure your feet are at a ninety degree angle while sitting will help reduce pain in your lower back. Asking for a pillow to rest your feet can help you reach that degree.


There are also some beneficial activities that are great for managing your back pain (assuming that you have your doctor’s approval). Things the whole family can do or you can enjoy solo.

  • Swimming: Getting to the pool or a nearby lake can be one of the best activities for your back in this summer. The “weightlessness” effect of water supports your body so you can  mildly move your muscles through the waves. You build muscle strength without the stress of gravity.
  • Bike Rides: Hopping on your bike and taking a ride around the neighborhood can help those with lower back pain. There are also many different types of bikes that enable those with back problems to enjoy a bike ride. Some people may find a bicycle with a forward-leaning position is most comfortable, while others may prefer recumbent bike that reclines.  Check out your local bicycle store and ask which models they recommend. Make sure you test ride before you buy.

Take your summer back this year. Don’t let back pain stop you from enjoyed all  that summer has to offer.

If you are experiencing back pain, it is important to see a doctor and find out exactly what is causing the pain. Once the cause of pain is found, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan that fits your needs, including exercises that will improve your condition.

Interventional Physicians of Indiana is a leading provider of kyphoplasty and back pain management services and has served Central Indiana since 2003. We offer state-of-the-art, minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedures, and have one of the largest single center practices in the country.

Varicose Veins: Not Just a Cosmetic Concern

Varicose veins are an unsightly nuisance that affects up to 40 million Americans. But they’re also a potential health hazard that could put you at risk for blood clots, ulcers and worse.

Swollen and twisted, and visible just under the skin, varicose veins develop when the one-way valves inside your veins become weak or damaged. When these valves don’t function properly, blood backs up and pools in your veins, causing them to swell. This occurs most often in the legs and ankles, but it can happen in other parts of the body as well. Hemorrhoids, for example, are a type of varicose veins.

This isn’t just a problem for women. Men can get varicose veins too. Anyone with an occupation that requires a lot of standing such as nursing, waitressing or bartending, is at risk.

If you don’t treat your varicose veins you will continue to experience pain, fatigue and swelling that keeps you from enjoying your life. In addition to the discomfort of varicose veins, there are a number of possible complications from untreated varicose veins:

  • Lipodermosclerosis: Blood that pools in the varicose veins is depleted of oxygen and nutrients. The veins don’t tolerate high pressure and red blood cells and fluid to leak into the tissues of the leg, which causes painful swelling. The red blood cells in the tissues cause chronic inflammation and the skin becomes dark and discolored. The medical term for the dark discoloration is hyperpigmentation. When the skin and the fat under the skin are inflamed for years, the tissues become woody and firm. The medical term for this woody, hard tissue is lipodermosclerosis.
  • Venous Leg Ulcer: A condition that may occur over time, with chronic venous insufficiency, is a venous leg ulcer. The ulcers due to varicose veins are painful and difficult to heal. In some cases, the ulcers cannot heal until the backward vein blood flow is corrected.
  • Spontaneous Bleeding: Another possible consequence of untreated varicose veins is spontaneous bleeding from the varicose veins. As the skin over the veins becomes thin, eventually the vein can be exposed and easily injured by clothing, bedding, etc. The blood loss can be significant but is painless.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis (ST): ST is an inflammation of a vein just below the surface of the skin. The inflammation is not cause by and infection – rather, the inflammation is caused by decreased blood flow through the vein, damage to the vein and blood clotting. The symptoms of ST include skin redness and a firm, tender, warm vein. Localized leg pain and swelling often occur.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): DVT is often first noticed as a “pulling” sensation in the calf of the lower leg, and it can be quite painful. Symptoms also include associated warmth, redness and swelling. The swelling often extends to above the knee.

If a clot in a superficial (close to the skin) vein grows, it can move into a deep vein. These clots can break loose and move through the bloodstream to the lung, where it can cause a pulmonary embolism (a sudden, potentially life-threatening blockage). However, clots can be identified through ultrasound and then treated, typically with anticoagulants (blood thinners).

Varicose vein removal is covered by most insurance plans, a reflection of the procedure’s value beyond cosmetic concerns. If you’re not sure whether you need to treat your varicose veins, come in and see us.

Vein Center of Indiana is a leading provider in the treatment and removal of varicose veins and spider veins, including Phlebectomy, Sclerotherapy, Vein Imaging, and Compression Stockings. We serve the greater Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Westfield, Fishers, Noblesville, Geist, Broad Ripple, and Castleton.

How Do I Know If I Have Fibroids?

Two thirds of women with fibroid tumors do not have symptoms, but the third of women who do have some common indicators. Uterine fibroid symptoms can develop slowly over several years or rapidly over several months. In some cases, there may be no symptoms or indicators at all. The type of symptoms you have can depend on where the fibroid is located in the uterus, the size of it and the number of tumors present. For some women, uterine fibroid symptoms become a problem and affect the ability to maintain daily activities. Pain and heavy menstrual bleeding are the most common symptoms, but there are others you need to be aware of.

Do you have…

✻ Heavy, prolonged periods?  Excessively heavy and/or prolonged (7 days or more) menstrual bleeding is a common symptom. Women describe passing blood clots, soaking through sanitary protection in less than an hour and being unable to leave the house during the heaviest day of flow.  As a result of this loss of blood, some women develop anemia, also known as a low blood count. Anemia can cause fatigue, headaches and lightheadedness.

✻ Bleeding between cycles?  Spotting before or after periods may be an indicator of fibroids.  Abnormal uterine bleeding is the most common symptom of a fibroid. If the tumors are near the uterine lining or interfere with the blood flow to the lining they can cause spotting between menses.

✻ Frequent urination?    This is caused by fibroids pressing against the bladder, reducing its capacity for holding urine or blocking the outflow of urine.  The most common bladder symptom is needing to urinate frequently.  You may run to the bathroom many times in a day to empty your bladder.

✻ Difficulty emptying bladder?  Occasionally, women are unable to urinate despite a full bladder due to the pressure and possible block in flow.

✻ Enlarged uterus?  An enlarged uterus makes it difficult to lie face down, bend over or exercise without discomfort.  It is often this is described as a vague discomfort rather than a sharp pain.

✻ Pelvic pressure or pain?  Usually, the pain is localized to a specific spot and improves on its own within two to four weeks. Using a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, can decrease the pain significantly but only temporarily.

✻ Back aches?  Depending on the size and location of the fibroid, you may experience back pain as they press against the muscles and nerves of the lower back. Because back pain is so common, it is important to look for other causes of the pain before attributing it to fibroids.

✻ Constipation?  Fibroids can cause pressure on the rectum with painful or difficult defecation.

✻ Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse?  Fibroids can make sexual intercourse painful or uncomfortable. The pain may occur only in specific positions or during certain times of the menstrual cycle. Discomfort during intercourse is a significant issue.

✻ Miscarriage or Infertility? While fibroids do not interfere with ovulation, some studies suggest that they may impair fertility and lead to poorer pregnancy outcomes. Occasionally, fibroids are the cause of recurrent miscarriages. If they are not removed in these cases, the woman may not be able to sustain a pregnancy.

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors, and are finding it difficult to perform your daily activities and maintain your way of life, you should let the doctors at Interventional Physicians of Indiana help.