Southwest Florida Neurosurgical Associates


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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Sit up Straight: 4 Ways to Improve Your Posture Now

In a recent infographic, we explored the extent of back and neck pain amongst America’s population. We also discussed poor posture’s contribution to this extensive problem. Many people spend between 10 and 15 hours every day sitting or standing with poor posture, and their backs and necks suffer as a result.

Below, we’ll outline poor posture’s effects on your spine in more detail. We’ll also give you tips on improving your posture so you can strengthen your body and mitigate pain today.

The Effects of Poor Posture

Poor posture has the following consequences:

  • It takes your bones and joints out of proper alignment, which means your muscles move improperly. And when they move improperly, they wear in unnatural ways. This incorrect use and wear often leads to joint pain and even degenerative joint arthritis.
  • It forces your muscles to work harder to perform basic tasks. Your body has to use more energy, so it tires out faster.
  • It puts more stress on the ligaments holding your spine’s joints. The stress puts you at a higher risk for back injury.
  • It constricts your lungs and core muscles, which means you won’t breathe or digest as efficiently. When you sit or stand straight, your lungs can pull more oxygen into your blood, boosting your body’s energy and overall health. Most people experience increased focus and memory as a result.
  • It adds several visual pounds. It may not add actual pounds, but poor posture often makes you look heavier than you actually are.
  • It negatively effects your balance and coordination. Your muscles need proper alignment and enough oxygen to function correctly, so poor posture could keep you from playing sports, hiking, and doing other physical activities.


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Stretch Away Your Back Pain with These 7 Moves

Do you suffer from chronic back pain? Did you sustain a recent injury on the tennis court or football field? Is your back still feeling the effects from a recent auto accident? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re familiar with the debilitating effects of persistent back pain.

Between maintaining proper posture, receiving massages, and visiting a chiropractor, you’ve taken a lot of initiative in trying to heal your back. And while these things certainly help alleviate pain, you might be missing a key piece of the recovery puzzle: stretching.

Why You Should Stretch

Your back is at the core of all your body’s movements. It allows your legs to walk, your arms to reach, and your head to turn. So when the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your back experience pain and limitations, your whole body suffers.

Stretching helps combat these problems by:

  • Strengthening the core and back muscles
  • Realigning the musculoskeletal system
  • Alleviating back and neck pain
  • Increasing flexibility and range of motion
  • Reducing the risk of future back injuries


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How Can Physical Therapy Help Sciatica?

If you suffer from sciatica, the pain is hard to miss. In mild sciatica, all you may feel is a numb sensation or tingling in your buttocks and legs. However, in severe cases, you may feel incapacitated by shooting pains in the lower back and legs.

Sciatica’s Causes

Whether sciatica is bearable or unbearable depends on its cause, of which these are the most common:

  • Herniated discs – When a lumbar disc becomes misaligned in the spinal column, it is said to have slipped, ruptured, or ‘herniated.’ Discs herniate either from injury or progressive causes (usually genetic or age-based).
  • Spinal stenosis – As the body ages, the spinal column may undergo stenosis (abnormal narrowing). This causes soft tissue to impinge on the spinal column or nearby nerves.
  • Degenerative disc disease – Also related to age, DDD makes discs weaken and bulge over time. When this happens, the exposed discs press against nearby nerves, causing sciatic pain.
  • Sacroiliac joint irritation – If the sacroiliac joint presses against the L5 nerve just above it, this causes pain similar to sciatica.
  • Piriformis pressure – The piriformis is a buttock muscle. Occasionally, it can pinch the sciatic nerve root and cause pain that mimics sciatica.


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About Our Upper Back Pain Treatments in Fort Myers, FL

When you suffer from chronic pain, you want to find lasting relief. Certain exercises or medications may give you temporary respite, but then you still wake up in the middle of the night with an ache in your upper back or shoulders. You can’t find a comfortable position to sleep in, and you can’t find a comfortable way to sit either.

Since you can’t sleep, you lack the focus to perform well at work, and since you can’t sit comfortably, your pain further compromises your productivity. You don’t want this to be your life, so you’ve come to the internet looking for answers to your chronic pain.

You could have constant upper back or shoulder pain for a number of reasons. Below, we’ve given you a guide to common causes and solutions for your aches and discomfort.

Causes of Upper Back and Shoulder Pain

You’ll often experience pain in these two areas at once because all their muscles, tendons, and bones connect together. If you experience pain in these areas, it could happen for a number of reasons.


  • Exercising incorrectly. This could put strain on your muscles. You may experience pain after repetitive exercises or after you lift something too heavy for you.
  • Not getting enough exercise. This weakens your back and shoulder muscles, causing them to move unnaturally and strain.
  • Being overweight. This also weakens and put strain on your muscles.
  • Sitting for too long. Your body needs to move to maintain its strength. Prolonged periods of sitting could make your muscles start to atrophy.
  • Having incorrect posture. This forces your back and shoulder muscles to move incorrectly and strengthen in unnatural ways, which could strain them.
  • Getting hit. This could damage your back and shoulder muscles.


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Supporting Loved Ones Through Back Pain in Cape Coral, FL

Although it can be terribly difficult to recover from a back, neck, or spine injury, helping a loved one recover can prove just as trying. It’s often frustrating and discouraging to witness a loved one struggle with everyday activities and fail to quickly improve.

If you feel you are alone in helping your loved one recover, consider this. While thousands of Americans experience some sort of traumatic back, neck, or spine injury every single year, just as many Americans experience the unsettling responsibility of having to care for friends or family members after traumatic injuries. You are not alone.

Your loved one might be the early stages of recovery, or perhaps they’re deep in the throes of recovery. Either way, there are certain things you can do to assist and support your loved one through physical rehabilitation:

  • Be proactive
  • Be present
  • Be smart
  • Be creative
  • Be patient
  • Be easy on yourself


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Remedies and Treatments for Lower Back Pain in Fort Myers, FL

Lower back pain is fairly common; it affects 8 out of 10 Americans, making it one of the top complaints in the US.

But why is this?

Causes of Lower Back Pain

The majority of body weight rests in the trunk (middle area), and the lumbar (lower back) bears the brunt of it. The curvature of the lumbar creates opportunities for stress, especially when poor posture or improper lifting techniques are involved.


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Herniated Discs Treatments in Cape Coral, FL

People often experience lower back pain and assume it’s just a side effect of their sedentary or heavy-lifting job. Although many things can cause and contribute to lower back pain, it’s possible that a herniated disc may be the culprit.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

Herniated discs are commonly referred to as slipped or ruptured discs. The human spine is made up of small flexible discs located between each vertebra. These discs enable the spine to twist, bend, and move with ease. These discs are often compared to jelly-filled doughnuts, because they are filled with a gel-like substance surrounded by a tougher exterior.


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