In Sarasota, Dr. Lance S. Cassell specializes in the treatment of patients with acute and chronic pain, and with physical impairments and disabilities secondary to both traumatic and non-traumatic causes.
One of the most common pain conditions Dr. Cassell encounters is low back pain, which affects an estimated 80% of the United States population at some point in their lives, according to the ACA.
Dr. Cassell offers patients relief from pain without need for traditional pain management methods such as back surgery or additive opioid medications, instead producing remarkable results with powerful alternative treatments.
In addition to the minimally invasive procedures provided at clinic locations in Sarasota, Dr. Cassell also provides helpful information about how to lessen back pain in our everyday lives. Here are his recommendations for steps you can begin right away to help prevent or alleviate suffering.
1. Stop smoking
Because nicotine restricts blood flow to the disks that cushion your vertebrae, the rate of disk degeneration – and therefore back pain – is increased in smokers. Smoking also diminishes proper calcium absorption, resulting in a greater risk for osteoporosis, and can lead to atherosclerosis, (hardening & narrowing of the arteries,) which also restricts blood flow.
Additionally, smokers have decreased cardiovascular capacity, so they are less likely to exercise regularly. As a result, a decrease in muscle strength and stamina means less support for spine flexibility and function.
One study even suggests that smoking interferes with a brain circuit associated with pain, making smokers more prone to chronic back pain.
2. Engage in a daily low impact activity such as swimming
Studies show that a stronger back results in less pain and fewer injuries. Strengthening the back also improves posture, flexibility, bone structure and endorphin levels.
Low impact exercises* help strengthen muscles that support the spine and body weight, which helps to prevent injury and back pain. Swimming and other aquatic exercises are a great way to strengthen back and core muscles, and the buoyancy of the water takes stress off the joints.
Other exercises that may help decrease lower back pain include walking, biking, stretching and resistance exercises. Aerobic exercise strengthens your lungs, heart, and blood vessels and can help you lose weight, which also alleviates pressure on the spine.
* If you experience back pain, check with your physician prior to beginning any exercise regimen to ensure that these exercises are safe for your pain condition.
3. Use your legs when lifting
It is common knowledge that heavy lifting should be done with the legs in order to avoid injury to the back. But sometimes a lighter lift may seem like a 'piece of cake' and the lifter is less concerned with precautions, resulting in muscle, disc or joint injuries. These injuries can be quite painful and may take a long time to heal.
To lift safely and avoid such injuries, it is not enough to simply bend at the knees. Instead, bend at the hips, (not the back,) keep the chest forward and back straight. The upper body should be as upright as possible, facing squarely forward. Hold the object close to the body when lifting, keeping it nearer to your center of gravity to ease the amount of force needed to lift and carry the item.
When changing directions to move or place the object, keep shoulders in line with the hips throughout the movement, to avoid painful twisting and injury to the back.
4. Stretch every day
A regular routine of stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments that support the spine can provide substantial benefit in reducing low back pain. Stretching exercises help to alleviate muscle tension in the spine, increase mobility and reduce the risk of disability caused by back pain.
Examples of beneficial stretching exercises include neck & shoulder stretches, hamstring stretches, and stretches specifically helpful for low back pain such as knee-to-chest and kneeling lunge stretches.
A qualified pain management specialist can recommend the best stretches and techniques for your individual lifestyle and physical condition, but always remember that when stretching, move slowly to avoid muscle strain, and never force the body into painful positions, ("no pain, no gain" does not apply here.)
5. Follow your pain management provider's recommendation for care.
There are many new interventions and procedures available to reduce back pain. When the steps outlined above don't serve to decrease back pain symptoms, Dr. Cassell recommends a visit to your pain management physician for a thorough evaluation to determine whether one or more of the latest in minimally invasive treatment options may be the best solution for your pain.
About Dr. Lance Cassell
Dr. Cassell is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with subspecialty certification in pain medicine by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has an additional board certification in pain medicine by the American Board of Pain Medicine.
Sarasota Pain Relief Centers is proud to have Dr. Cassell practicing at our South Sarasota, Bee Ridge and Venice locations. His primary goal is to reduce suffering for every patient, and to optimize their function via safe multidisciplinary interventions.
Are you tired of living with chronic pain?
If you want more information on options for minimizing or eliminating your suffering, call Sarasota Pain Relief Centers today at 941-923-2500 to schedule a consultation, or click the button below to set up a consultation online for one of our clinics.