Ohio Governor Puts Restrictions on Prescription Opioids

Ohio Governor John Kasich recently announced a new initiative to reduce the amount of opioids being prescribed by primary care physicians and dentists. This new order has been put in place to help combat the opioid epidemic that is currently sweeping the nation. This order does not apply to patients who require opioids for cancer pain or terminal illnesses. Moreover, this law should have little effect on patients with chronic illnesses that may require a prescribed dosage of pain medications for relief.

The new rule ensures primary care physicians and dentists can only prescribe no more than seven days of opioids for adults and five days for minors. It also requires doctors to provide a specific diagnosis and procedure code for every pa...

Excess Gadget Use Leads To Hunchbacks

This Blog Covers:

  • More reports have come out regarding the negative health effects of smartphones, tablets, and other digital gadgets for the spine.

  • In a previous blog, we wrote about the dangers of “texting neck” for patients who are constantly looking down at their cell phones or tablets.

  • In this blog, the spine specialists at American Spine discuss how excess gadget use leads to hunched backs and other health issues.

In January 2015, we wrote a piece about the dangers of texting for the neck and spine (see above). Researchers at various institutions discovered different degrees of head tilt added immense pressure on the spine, which increased a person’s risk of early degeneration and chronic pain. To fully understand the scope of the problem, the research team developed a table that included information regarding how much pressure gets placed on the spine when you tilt your head down a certain degree. See below:

  • 0° Head Tilt = 10-12 pounds of added pressure

  • 15° Head Tilt = 27 pounds of added pressure

  • 30° Head Tilt = 40 pounds of added pressure

  • 45° Head Tilt = 49 pounds of added pressure

  • 60° Head Tilt = 60 pounds of added pressure

New, emerging research has found excessive use of electronic gadgets in adolescents increases their risk of kyphosis, a condition that causes severe hunching in the upper back and shoulders. Initially, it was believe...

What’s The Difference Between PRP Injections and Stem Cell Therapy?

This Blog Covers:

  • Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections are a relatively new treatment option for patients with chronic pain, a musculoskeletal condition, or post-surgical wound.

  • American Spine is one of the few practices in the area that offers PRP injections for patients after spine surgery. The team has witnessed great success with this treatment option.

  • In this blog, the spine specialists at American Spine discuss the difference between PRP injections and stem cell therapy.

If you’ve heard of PRP, there’s a chance you’ve heard of stem cell therapy too. These therapies have been incredibly effective at mitigating chronic pain, musculoskeletal conditions, and post-surgical healing. While this treatment technique is widely used in many other countries, it’s still a “new” concept for physicians in the United States. Why?

Generally speaking, there are stricter regulations for medicine in the United States compared to other countries. This ensures patient safety and treatment efficacy. Regardless, a number of studies have been conducted on both therapies, and more often than not, the results come back astounding.

First, for those unfamiliar with these treatme...

New Spinal Graft Fills In Gaps After Surgery

This Blog Covers:

  • According to Gizmag, scientists from Mayo Clinic have developed a less invasive and inexpensive alternative to expandable titanium rods for intervertebral disc removal.

  • For patients suffering from metastatic cancer of the spine, intervertebral discs are often removed to help eradicate malignant spinal tumors.

  • In this blog, the team at American Spine explains how this new technology will benefit spinal surgery patients.

The practice of medicine is an ever-evolving industry that sees a number of revolutionary technologies take shape. Scientists from Mayo Clinic recently developed a spinal graft made of a biodegradable polymer substance that works to fill in gaps of spines that have been affected by metastatic cancer. Patients diagnosed with metastatic cancer of the spine often benefit most from a combination of treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and minimally invasive spinal surgery.

In the case of spinal surgery for treatment, physicians will remove any tumors that are present and parts of the intervertebral disc that have been damaged by cancer. The nature of this surgery results in an empty space where an interve...

Using a Fluoroscope for Hip Injections

Hip injections at American Spine are very similar to the many other steroid injections offered in our offices. However, one difference makes them stand out – the use of a fluoroscope. This added feature can be intimidating to patients, but the American Spine team assures patients that it is just another tool used by physicians to help do their job even more accurately.

One reason patients may be intimidated is that “fluoroscope” sounds a lot like “endoscope.” Endoscopes go inside of small incisions in order to shine a light on the inside of the body. This allows physicians to get a good view of the area without having to make large incisions. Fluoroscopes also help physicians get a clearer view, but unlike t...

Examining The World’s Opioid Gap

This Blog Covers:

  • A recent study published by The Lancet examined the impediments of opioid use and the possible solutions for those affected by the world’s opioid gap.

  • The study published a comprehensive overview of several barriers that make it almost impossible for physicians to prescribe, administer, and regulate opioid medication.

  • The spine specialists at American Spine explain findings from this study and analyze some of the “solutions” to this opioid-related issue.

According to the study, which was published in Clinical Pain Advisor, there have been several obstacles for patients needing opioids to mitigate their chronic illness or cancer pain. These barriers were listed as a lack of physician training, limited awareness about diversion and dependence, financial restraints, cultural attitudes, and restrictive regulations, among others. The combination of these impediments makes it difficult for patients to be accurately prescribed their opioid medication, and in a timely fashion.

Dr. Berterame of The Lancet stated, “The most important barriers to be addressed are lack of capacity of health care professionals to prescribe and administer pain medications, onerous regulations ...

What Does A Spinal Fracture Feel Like?

This Blog Covers:

  • Patients experiencing back pain for an extended period of time often attribute their symptoms to old age or a minor injury.

  • As their symptoms progress, however, they begin to wonder what’s causing their pain. Ultimately, they turn to the Internet for answers.

  • In this blog, the spine specialists at American Spine address what a spinal fracture may feel like for patients experiencing chronic back pain.

First and foremost, it’s important we point out that until you see a specialist for an official diagnosis, there is no telling what may be causing your pain. Patients may be apprehensive to see their primary care physician or a spine specialist in fear of discovering the root cause of their discomfort. We understand a trip to the doctor's office isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, however, undergoing a comprehensive evaluation is absolutely necessary if you want a definitive answer to your back pain problem.

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of receiving an official diagnosis, we know patients are still going to turn to the Internet for answers. The spine specialists at American Spine va...

How Well Do You Know Your Spine? (Spine Quiz)

This Blog Covers:

  • The spine is a complex structure that many people, apart from the spine specialists at American Spine, know very little about.

  • There are a number of things that can be done to keep the spine flexible and healthy.

  • In this blog, the spine specialists at American Spine ask patients how well they know their spine through a fun quiz.

Your skeletal system supports all of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and organs in your body, and one of the most important components of this structure is your spine. Over time, your spine may experience some wear and tear from minor injuries, fluctuation in body weight, or a degenerative disease.

As a result, you may begin to experience pain and other symptoms that require interventional pain care or a minimally invasive spine surgery. If you’d like to have a conversation about your spine health and meet with one of our specialists, please call 951-734-7246 today to schedule an appointment!

How well do you think you know your spine? Take our quiz and find out below:

Spine Quiz

1. People develop more bones in t...

How Desk Jobs Are Affecting The Spine

This Blog Covers:

  • There have been an increasing number of back and neck injuries developing in working Americans not related to injuries sustained on the job.

  • Now more than ever, American workers are sitting to perform their job tasks. Unfortunately, this behavior is causing an increase in back and neck injuries in many employees.

  • The spine specialists at American Spine explain how desk jobs are affecting the spine.

When you hear the phrase “workplace injury,” you probably think of someone breaking a bone due to a fall or pulling a muscle due to overexertion. Although these are common workplace traumas, there are other injuries occurring more and more frequently.

Back and neck injuries due to poor sitting posture have become a serious health threat to individuals who work at a desk job for more than 11 hours a day. These injuries, in addition to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, weight gain, and metabolic syndrome, are drastically cutting our lives short.

In 2012, researchers discovered sitting for more than 11 hours a day increased a person’s risk of death by 40%. What’s worse, peopl...

Common Sports-Related Spinal Injuries

This Blog Covers:

  • If you or someone you know enjoys the occasional touch or tackle football game, you may want to listen up!

  • It should go without saying, but sports, especially contact sports, increase the risk of injury to the cervical and lumbar spine (neck and low back).

  • In this blog, the spine specialists at American Spine explain some of the most common sports-related spinal injuries.

This is far from “new” news, but athletes and weekend warriors who play contact sports increase their risk of developing spinal injuries. You may be thinking, “yeah, no duh,” but what you may not realize is even minor injuries can cause long-lasting, damaging effects.

The spine is a vulnerable structure that can shut down a person’s normal level of functioning when damaged. That’s why it’s imperative patients take every spinal injury seriously and see a specialist immediately after they’ve sustained some kind of injury. Furthermore, some of the most common sport-related spinal injuries often require treatment from a spine surgeon or specialist.

According to the National S...

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