Back Pain

Move Better, Live Better

If you’re suffering from back pain, you’re not alone. In fact, eight out of 10 Americans will experience a lifestyle-altering episode of back pain at some point in their lives, with many of those episodes becoming recurrent. The spine care specialists and neurosurgeons at Saint Vincent Hospital are trained and experienced in providing relief.

Finding the Cause of Back Pain

While certain diseases and traumatic injury can cause back pain, common causes of back pain occur because of improper body mechanics, the prolonged repetitive use of incorrect bending or lifting techniques, poor posture or poor physical condition. At Saint Vincent Hospital, providing relief for back pain — no matter what the cause — is one of our specialties.

In addition, we understand taking care of an injured spine is more than making a diagnosis. It is the skilled, hands-on evaluation and appropriate diagnostic testing that determines the overall plan of care for you as an individual.

Treatment That Brings Relief

Our spine specialists use their clinical expertise for a quick, yet accurate, diagnosis to develop a plan of care that fits your needs. We’ll exhaust every appropriate treatment option before considering surgery. For instance, our interventional specialists treat back pain with non-surgical approaches such as medication management and injections.

However, sometimes prescribed rest, exercise, conditioning programs or physical therapy is not enough. If a surgical procedure becomes the right choice, our team of spine treatment specialists, including orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, are trained to effectively correct problems related to:

  • Bulging discs
  • Degenerative spinal conditions
  • Fractures, dislocations and subluxations
  • Herniated disc lesions
  • Mechanical back dysfunction
  • Osteoporosis
  • Soft tissue sprains, strains and contusions
  • Spinal deformities both acquired and congenital
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis
  • Systemic diseases affecting spinal function
  • Traumatic and overuse injuries to the spine
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Work-related back pain

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Request one of our specialists to get a second opinion, or a really good first one.

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Six Ways You’re Making Knee Pain Worse

While it may seem like knee pain is an inevitable fact of aging, you may be able to avoid it. 

In fact, you may be doing some things unintentionally that are causing your knee pain, or making the aches and twinges you already have worse. 

Do any of these sound familiar?

You’re overweight. Your knee joints are your shock absorbers and stabilizers. The more weight you carry, the more pressure on your knees. You don’t need to reach your so-called ideal weight to feel a difference; every pound you lose reduces the strain on your knees.

You don’t warm up or cool down properly when you exercise. Be sure to ease into workouts by starting slowly to give muscles a chance to warm up, and stretch adequately afterward, particularly the muscles in your legs. Flexibility is one important key to good knee health.

You jog or walk downhill a lot, or on hard surfaces. When you go downhill (or down stairs), you put more pressure on your knee joints. You can’t always avoid it, of course, but if you’re mapping out a walking or jogging route, you’re better off on gently sloping or flat surfaces. And speaking of surfaces, skip hard cement and pavement in favor of something with a little bit of bounce or give, like a running track or trail.

You wear ill-fitting shoes. Good arch support is important to help absorb some of the pressure your knees normally take. If you have flat feet, consider inserts for your shoes. (If you have arthritis, ask your doctor about special inserts specifically for you.) And avoid flip-flops and other very flat shoes with no support.

You don’t allow enough recovery time. Did you strain your knee playing tennis or some other sport? Most minor knee injuries will heal on their own with rest. (Try the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, elevation.) If you continue to exercise or play a sport when you have an injury, you’re more likely to make your pain worse and risk a more serious injury.

You’re resting too much. While you don’t want to, say, sign up for a 10K race when your knees hurt, avoiding movement altogether is also bad. The less you move, the weaker your muscles become. The weaker your muscles, the more work your joints have to do. With your doctor’s approval, find an activity that doesn’t aggravate knee pain, such as cycling, swimming, tai chi or walking.

Talk with your doctor for more information and treatment options for knee pain.