Lifestyle changes that an orthopedic physician in Philadelphia may recommend

If you’re a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, patient dealing with chronic neck or back pain, one of the recommendations an orthopedic physician may make to help you overcome your chronic neck or back pain is that you make a few lifestyle changes. If you have recently been diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition, you are probably eager to find fast relief, but just making a few changes in your daily routine can also provide longer-term benefits for your spine health. The following can help you better understand the reason behind making these changes as well as the specific changes you may be recommended to make.

Working with your orthopedic physician to make lifestyle changes

When you’ve been diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition, the goal of initial treatment is typically to relieve symptoms and improve the health of the spine. Maintaining or improving spinal flexibility and making some lifestyle changes might be a key step to achieving this goal. Here are a few of the changes that an orthopedic physician may recommend:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Carrying excess body weight increases the strain put on the spine and can worsen symptoms, particularly in the lumbar (lower) spine.
  • Avoiding certain activities. Participation in high-impact sports or frequent bending, twisting or lifting, can all make neck and back symptoms worse, so a physician may recommend you avoid these activities if possible. If your job requires long periods of sitting in front of a computer or lifting heavy objects, your physician likely will tell you to use proper body mechanics, wear protective gear and take frequent breaks.
  • Keep a healthy posture. Maintaining the right posture while you sit, stand and even lie down can make a big difference and help improve your overall spine health.
  • Be more active. Living a sedentary lifestyle can cause the muscles that support your neck and back to atrophy, which increases the strain placed on the spinal column.

Further treatment options

These are just a handful of examples of lifestyle changes that an orthopedic physician may recommend. In a high number of cases, these changes combined with treatments like medication, physical therapy and spinal injections can provide lasting relief and a return to regular activities. Surgery may become a serious consideration if weeks or months go by without an improvement in symptoms, or if they worsen.

If you are exploring the possibility of surgery, reach out to the caring team at Laser Spine Institute. We provide minimally invasive spine surgery at our state-of-the-art outpatient facilities across the United States, including our center in Philadelphia. Contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.