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Dr. Okubadejo and The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care are committed to excellence by providing the highest quality of spinal care in New Jersey and New York.

How Degenerative Disc Diseases Leads to Back Pain

Back Pain

our spine is composed of vertebrae, or bones, and intervertebral discs. The discs have soft, spongy centers that allow them to provide shock absorption and flexibility for the spine. However, the discs can become drier and more brittle over time, leading to a condition called degenerative disc disease. Many patients seek treatments from spine surgeons for degenerative disc disease because the condition can become painful. Additionally, it may lead to the following complications, which can also cause discomfort.

Herniated Disc

Degenerative disc disease increases the risk of suffering a herniated disc. Also called a ruptured or slipped disc, this refers to the protrusion of the soft inner material of the disc through the exterior. This material can irritate and compress nerves in the area, resulting in back pain that can radiate down the leg.

Osteophytes

As the intervertebral discs lose fluid, they become thinner and the spaces between the vertebrae narrow. This results in a less stable spinal structure. In response, the body creates osteophytes, which are bone spurs. These growths may exert pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots, causing nerve pain.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis can occur as a result of the process of degenerative disc disease, the formation of osteophytes, or the herniation of a disc. If your spine surgeon diagnoses you with spinal stenosis, it means that your spinal canal is narrower than usual. This places pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Although some people may not experience symptoms, this condition often causes pain, muscle weakness, and numbness.

If conservative treatments aren’t effective in relieving your back pain, consult a spine surgeon. Call the NJ office of Dr. Okubadejo, board-certified spine surgeon, from The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care at (201) 285-5317 to schedule an appointment. You can also visit our website to get a better idea of our spine services. We invite your questions about your spinal condition.

A Patient's Guide to Proper Posture

If you already have a back problem, your spine surgeon may have spoken to you about the importance of proper posture. Everyone can benefit from using good posture to prevent back pain from occurring or recurring. When you use proper posture, the bones of your spine are in the correct alignment, which lowers the risk of atypical wear and tear that can lead to degenerative arthritis. Proper posture also prevents pain and strain of the muscles around your spine. Keep reading to learn about the proper ways to stand and sit to reduce stress on your spine.

Young woman with position defect and ideal bearing

Understanding Proper Posture
It’s a common misconception that the spine should be perfectly straight for good posture. In fact, thespine naturally has three curves. At the cervical, or neck region, the spine curves slightly forward. At the thoracic, or upper back region, it curves backward. Lastly, it curves slightly inward at the lower back, or lumbar region.

Using Good Posture While Standing
While standing, you can encourage the proper position of your spine by keeping your feet about hip width apart and distributing your weight evenly. Keep your head upright in a natural position and your shoulders relaxed. You should also pull in your stomach slightly. If you have trouble finding the correct posture, stand with your heels about two inches away from a wall. Your buttocks, shoulder blades, and head should touch the wall. Glide a hand between the wall and your lower back. If you’re using proper posture, there should be just enough space for your hand to fit at the curve of the lumbar region.

Using Good Posture While Sitting
Using good posture while sitting down requires an ergonomically correct chair. Select a chair in which you can sit with your feet flat on the floor. It’s also a good idea to use a chair with lumbar support to prevent lower back pain. Sit back comfortably, keeping your neck and upper back relatively straight and comfortable, with your shoulders relaxed. Avoid leaning your head forward.

At The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, you’ll receive personalized patient care at a state-of-the-art facility. Please call our NJ location at (201) 285-5317 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Okubadejo, spine surgeon. Or, visit our website for more information about spinal conditions.

Preventing Back Pain Associated with Pregnancy

Is your impending bundle of joy causing you back pain? You can alleviate your discomfort with a few easy tips.

This video explains the steps to take to alleviate pregnancy-related back pain. During the initial weeks of pregnancy, taking doctor-approved painkiller medication and adhering to an increased rest regimen can lessen your discomfort. As you progress through pregnancy, though, physical activity can become an important part of your wellness. After getting the consent of your physician, use exercise to reduce your incidence of pain. Making sure that you sleep in positions that ease stress on your lower back can also lower your occurrence of pain.

Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo of The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care can help you enjoy a future free from back pain. To schedule a consultation at our New Jersey spine surgery facility, call (201) 285-5317.

Understanding What Structures Make Up the Back

Back pain is a common occurrence partly because of the many structures that comprise it. Each has the potential for deterioration due to disease or injury. The vertebrae are the bone components that house the spinal cord. Though separated from each other by intervertebral discs, issues such as degenerative disc disease and disc herniation can cause harm to both the discs and vertebrae. The spinal cord and its accompanying nerves, which project from the spinal column through the back and into the extremities, also help to form the back. When the discs or vertebrae suffer damage, they may put pressure on these sensitive structures that result in intense pain. Muscles and their connective tissues make up the final major structures in the back. Like the back’s other components, though, both illness and accidents can lead to disabling muscle and tissue injuries.

Spine white and golden close up

Let The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care help you achieve ultimate back wellness. If you are suffering from back pain, Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo can help. Call us today at (201) 285-5317 to learn more about the minimally invasive spine surgery options we offer for individuals in the greater New Jersey area.

Tips for Preventing Low Back Pain

Millions of Americans suffer from back pain, but you can avoid becoming part of this growing demographic. As common as back pain may be, you can largely prevent it when you practice safe behaviors in all aspects of your daily life. The following tips can help you maintain your back health:

Back pain

Engage in Healthy Exercise
Doctors typically advise patients to establish consistent workout routines for good reason. Exercise can keep the muscles of the back strong and limber. It can also lessen the occurrence of arthritis pain. Physical activity can also lower the risk of obesity, as excessive weight can place undue stress on the back structures. However, make sure that the exercises you practice are safe for your back. If you exercise with incorrect form or at an overly high intensity, you may be putting your back in danger of injury and pain.

Avoid Dangerous Lifting Activities
If a friend asks you to help him move, be clear about your limits. When your boss asks you to move the printer, get another person to help you lift and carry it. No matter the circumstances, always approach heavy lifting situations with caution. If you attempt to lift an item that is too heavy or awkward, you can inadvertently strain a back muscle or rupture a disc. Repetitive lifting can cause lasting back pain as well.

Observe Your Body’s Needs
Back pain is a way for your body to communicate a problem. If you suddenly experience pain from swimming laps or carrying moving boxes, stop what you’re doing and evaluate your condition. Should you notice that your once mild back discomfort has now become acute and disruptive pain, do not wait for it to subside. Continuing to pursue the same lifestyle habits despite back pain can worsen an existing back problem. When you feel discomfort, consult a physician for a professional consultation and advice.

When back pain prevents you from enjoying a high quality of life, call The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care at (201) 285-5317. Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo can help you determine the most effective course of action for your back pain problems. If you live in the greater New Jersey area, take a moment to schedule a consultation at our spine surgery facility.

How Lumbar Minimally Invasive Surgery Can Help Alleviate Your Back Pain

Back pain can be an incredibly frustrating problem if you cannot get the relief you need, especially when you suffer from lower back pain, which can make simple tasks such as sitting at your work desk highly uncomfortable. If you have already spent months or even years on unsuccessful conservative treatment for your back pain, it may be time to consider lumbar minimally invasive surgery.

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What is lumbar minimally invasive surgery?
Lumbar minimally invasive surgery is a general term for several surgical procedures that can address issues of the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is the lower region of the back where back pain often occurs. Minimally invasive lumbar decompression is one form of lumbar minimally invasive surgery that can alleviate spinal stenosis. This process lessens pressure on the structures of the lumbar spine by removing extraneous tissue. Minimally invasive lumbar spinal fusion is another procedure that can help patients with painful arthritic problems in the back. By joining together the afflicted vertebrae, a spine surgeon can eliminate the abrasion between them.

Why should you consider lumbar minimally invasive surgery?
Where other treatment methods have failed, lumbar minimally invasive surgery can help. When you and your physician have exhausted other care options to no avail, this form of spine surgery can provide the permanent relief you desire.

When should you contact a physician for lumbar minimally invasive surgery?
Upon recognizing that you have a back pain problem, you may want to seek a medical professional with a background in spine surgery. A spine surgeon can recommend more conservative forms of treatment, but should they prove ineffective for your needs, he can take the next steps to alleviate your discomfort. If you have yet to contact a spine surgeon, but continue to suffer from disabling back pain, now is the time to seek the permanent relief you desire.

Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo is a spine surgeon with expertise in using the most effective minimally invasive measures. If you would like to speak with Dr. Okubadejo about your back pain, call The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care at (201) 285-5317. Our NJ facility offers swift and safe back pain treatment options for your ultimate health and wellbeing.

Get Core Strong!

Good health starts with a strong spine. Any problem in your spine can cause a domino effect of health woes, from chronic pain to reduced mobility and even depression. One of the best ways to protect your spine is to strengthen your core. When they are in top condition, your core muscles work like an internal brace for your spine, keeping it properly aligned and pain-free. This infographic, from NJ’s Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, explains why core strengthening is so important and shows how regular massages can help keep your core in peak condition. Back pain is a problem of epidemic proportions, so please share this useful advice with your family and friends. 

Get-Core-Strong-Infographic-01

What Causes Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that affects the intervertebral discs in your spine. These cushion-like discs are located between the vertebrae of the spine. They provide shock absorption and flexibility, and they connect the vertebrae with the help of facet joints. Over time, the discs lose water content, which interferes with their cushioning abilities and deteriorates their structural integrity.

You can learn more about degenerative disc disease by watching this video. This helpful animation explains the anatomy of the discs and the complications that can occur when they break down. You’ll also learn about some of the symptoms of degenerative disc disease and what you can do to improve your spine health.

 

Minimally invasive spine surgeries for degenerative disc disease are among Dr. Okubadejo’s specialties. Schedule a consultation for a spine surgery by calling the NJ location of The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care at (201) 285-5317.

Common Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

Your spine is responsible for supporting your body weight and maintaining structural integrity. However, the cumulative effects of physical stress on the spine can gradually damage the intervertebral discs between the vertebrae. As you grow older, you become more susceptible to wear and tear damage of the spine, a condition known as degenerative disc disease. While spine doctors usually recommend trying conservative treatment measures first, you may be referred to a spine surgeon if your symptoms are severe or if they persist.

human spine

Type of Pain
The primary symptom of degenerative disc disease is pain and discomfort. Spine surgeons categorize pain in a number of ways, including whether it is acute or chronic. Acute pain is a sudden onset of discomfort that typically resolves within days or weeks. The severity level of acute pain is directly related to the severity of the damage. However, if you have degenerative disc disease, you’re likely to experience chronic pain, which is defined as discomfort that lingers for three months or longer. The severity level of chronic pain may not necessarily relate to the severity of the damage to your spine.

Location of Pain
If degenerative disc disease affects the cervical region—or neck area—of your spine, you are likely to feel pain in your neck and arm. If your spine surgeon diagnoses you with degenerative disc disease of the lumbar region—or lower back—the pain may radiate beyond your lower back to your buttock and leg.

Onset of Pain
People who suffer chronic pain may experience flare-ups of more severe pain now and then. Pain may worsen in the lower back if you sit for long periods of time, for example. Bending, twisting, and lifting can also aggravate the condition.

Symptoms of Nerve Compression
In addition to pain, it’s also possible to experience numbness and tingling that may radiate down a leg. This occurs if material from inside a disc protrudes through and compresses a nearby nerve.

Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo, board-certified spine surgeon, is a recognized expert in the field of minimally invasive spine surgeries to treat degenerative disc disease and other conditions of the spine. Contact his NJ office at The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care by calling (201) 285-5317. Patients may also visit our website to learn more about conditions and procedures.

Who Is Most Likely to Develop Back Pain?

Back pain is such a common condition that almost every adult will experience it at some point in their lives. It usually affects people between the ages of 30 to 50. Back pain is more common in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Regular exercise and stretching is crucial for spine health because it encourages healthy blood circulation, which delivers critical blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the areas around the spine. On the other hand, people who lead a generally sedentary lifestyle and then abruptly try to begin doing strenuous exercise are also prone to back pain due to muscle strain and ligament tears.

 

Backache

Back pain is often the result of poor posture. For example, an individual who has an office job and sits most of the day with the head bent forward toward a computer is likely to experience upper back pain. Back pain is also more likely to affect those who lift heavy objects frequently and incorrectly. Although back pain is less common in adolescents, kids may sometimes be affected by it if they frequently carry heavy backpacks.

If you experience back pain that does not respond to conservative treatments, Dr. Okubadejo of The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care can help. Call our NJ spine surgery practice today at (201) 285-5317 to learn about minimally invasive techniques.

 

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