Southwest Florida Neurosurgical Associates

The Connection Between Your Emotions and Your Pain

Many situations and circumstances can impact the way you perceive pain. For example, your pain may feel slightly diminished when you participate in a family activity as opposed to when you focus on a work project you’ve been putting off.

While chronic pain has definite and often treatable physical causes, your pain also interacts with your perception of the world, including your emotions.

In this blog, we discuss how your emotional well-being may cause, alter, or help treat your physical pain. (more…)

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Pregnancy and Back Pain

Pregnancy has its perks for your body, like excellent skin and good nails. But most women don’t have any illusions about the discomfort they’ll face as well. Along with heartburn, morning sickness, and stretch marks, most women will cope with back pain at some point during their pregnancy.

In the blog below, we’ll talk about why back pain happens during pregnancy and how, under your doctor’s supervision, you can relieve that pain.  

Why Does Pregnancy Cause Back Pain?

Back pain can occur at any point during pregnancy, but most women experience it in their second and third trimesters. If you have pre-existing back problems like lordosis, you might experience back pain earlier in the first trimester. (more…)

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Stabbing, Aching, or Throbbing? How to Describe Your Pain to a Doctor

You deal with frequent aches and pains. You figure that most people probably have similar conditions and that plenty of people probably have it worse. But over time, your pain becomes more frequent and more intense.

Discomfort begins to interfere with your daily activities, preventing you from exercising, performing personal care tasks, and working normally.

But once you decide to address the problem with the help of a medical professional, you realize you’ve become so accustomed to persistent pain that you don’t know how best to describe it.

Many patients struggle with expressing either the intensity of their pain or the specific sensations they feel. In this blog, we walk you through some of the common descriptors and scales of pain. This understanding can help you communicate more effectively with your doctor or physical therapist and better focus your treatment. (more…)

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Coping With Back Pain: Yoga Moves to Stretch and Tone

Jacob Hendricks had been active his entire life. He was on the varsity soccer team in high school, enjoyed ski vacations with his family, and even ran a marathon the day before his wedding. But the car accident changed everything.

Luckily, Jacob survived the collision with a drunk driver, but he sustained a herniated disc during the accident. After neurosurgery and physical therapy, Jacob’s back pain has largely dissipated, but his doctors advised him to take it easy for a few more months. Jacob wants to be active and in shape, but doesn’t want to push his back too far.

If you have sustained a back injury or suffer from back pain, you may feel like Jacob—unable to enjoy the active lifestyle you once had. Luckily, you don’t have to sit around and wait for the back pain to go away. In fact, you don’t even have to give up the exercise you love. The answer is simple: yoga. (more…)

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Could You Have Acid Reflux?

When you hear the words “acid reflux,” you think of horrible heartburn—that intense, burning feeling in your chest that you get occasionally. But you don’t experience heartburn often enough to be overly concerned. After all, everyone experiences a little heartburn after Thanksgiving dinner, and especially when Aunt Mary brings her green bean casserole.

What most people don’t realize is that while everyone experiences noticeable symptoms of acid reflux from time to time—like heartburn, for instance—there can be more subtle signs of acid reflux, a condition also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Below, you’ll learn more about acid reflux and its symptoms. Learn what to do if you suspect that you suffer from this condition and how to seek diagnosis and treatment. (more…)

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The Connection Between Sleep and Back Pain

In June 2015, we published a post that described how standing and sitting posture relate to back pain. We also outlined how to improve your posture and strengthen your core so you do not experience further discomfort.

However, even though you might have perfect posture while conscious, you may still have back and neck pain because of your sleeping position. When you sleep, you spend around eight hours in the same position. If you have improper posture during those eight hours, your back muscles may strain as a result.

Below, we’ll tell you how to maintain proper posture as you sleep so you do not have to worry about aches or soreness in the future. (more…)

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What You Need to Know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The term “carpal tunnel” can strike fear in even the bravest of hearts. It causes constant pain that becomes debilitating and overwhelming.

But just what is it and what causes its symptoms? Keep reading to find out.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Your median nerve runs from your palm to forearm. This main nerve controls sensation for your palm, thumb, and fingers, excluding your pinky. Impulses that move the fingers and thumb also come from the median nerve, so its function is imperative for normal hand movement.

The carpal tunnel is a small passageway at the base of the hand. The median nerve runs through this narrow pathway. When tendons in the wrist become irritated or swollen, the carpal tunnel narrows, compressing the median nerve, and resulting in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. (more…)

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The Best and Worst Footwear for Your Back

When you think of back pain, do you imagine something related to a sports injury or herniated disc? While these situations often bring patients into the doctor’s office, the pain could come from a less threatening source—your shoes.

Back pain is the number two reason individuals visit their doctors. As this pain represents such a common problem, it shouldn’t surprise you that it stems from something just as ordinary.

The reason lies in the fact that the foot acts as the foundation for the rest of the body. Whatever force you put on your feet ultimately makes its way to the back. Additionally, an issue with your feet can adjust your body’s entire alignment up through the spine. And improper footwear can make pre-existing foot problems even worse.

If you suspect your back problem’s cause rests on your feet, learn about the best and worst shoes below so you can find relief.


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4 Situations That Lead to Running-Related Back Pain

When you started running, you only needed to grab your shoes and your iPod before you left your house. Over time, you increased your mileage—and your gear. Now you carry a hydration pack, GPS, and snacks. With more miles comes more responsibility.

While you might hit the road prepared to hydrate your body and track your pace, you might not think about how to ready your body. If you start your run without thinking about the best way to prep your muscles and joints, you could encounter back pain.

Should you experience lower-back pain, read through the following situations to see if any of them sound familiar.

Situation 1

On your busy Saturday last weekend, you scheduled in an early-morning run before the sun came up. Although you covered a familiar path, you accidentally tripped on a curb—hard. Since you felt no immediate damage, you pressed on. However, in your current workouts, you notice a sharp pain radiating from your lower back and hip. Sometimes, the pain feels so intense, you can’t finish your runs.


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Four Life Improvements to Prevent Neck Pain

Anyone who experiences neck pain knows that it can be debilitating. This pain adds stress, worry, and irritation to your life. However, you can often avoid neck pain completely. Follow these tips to find some pain relief in your own life.

During Sleep

Many people experience neck pain simply from the way they sleep or the types of pillows they use at night. Your pillow should support your neck just as much as it supports and adds comfort to your head. According to research studies, the best kinds of pillows are those that naturally conform to your neck and head, such as memory foam and feather pillows.

Ideally, you should sleep on your back or side. When you sleep on your back, use a cervical pillow. This pillow type gives better support around your neck and aligns your neck with your spine. If you sleep on your side, you should never place your pillow too high or too flat. These positions cause your neck to bend unnaturally toward your mattress.

Not all sleeping positions are ideal. When you sleep on your stomach, you can cause your neck more damage than other sleeping positions. However, if you habitually sleep on your stomach you can use a very flat pillow or no pillow at all to keep your neck straight during sleep.


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