The Staying in the Game: Non-Operative Treatment of Low Back Pain was a success. Dr. Heftler and Alicia Hirscht did an astounding job educating attendees about the common causes of low back pain and non-surgical treatment options including, physical therapy, medicines, and injections. They reinforced the fact that when there are back problems, other mechanics of the body compensate for it in order to protect the area; therefore, you have to know where the pain is resonating from in order to diagnose it correctly. And even though they covered a good amount of content, there were still some questions to be answered. The following are excerpts from the Q&A:
Q: My doctor told me that being active in the early morning is bad for me, is this true?
Well, in the morning the body is stiffer, dehydrated, and more prone to injury from being immobile all night. Joints and disks produce fluid by moving so if you are active in the early morning, listen to your body and do not overdo it.
Q: I wake up at night with muscle cramps, what could I do to help reduce it?
A: Easiest solution is to take a shot of tonic water before bedtime.
Q: Is there a way to tell the difference between whether it is a back problem or a blood vessel problem causing leg pain?
A: If you are in a weight bearing position and you have to sit down, it is your back; if you have to stand against a wall, it is most likely the vessels.
Q: … what about pain cause by blood clots?
A: Blood clot pain bothers a patient all the time.
Q: What is your opinion on glucosamine chondroitin?
A: There was a study that said that it does not work in restoring cartilage but a significant amount of patients still reported a reduction in pain, possibly alluding to a placebo effect. Nonetheless there is no medical downside, just stop taking it if it does not help.
To ask some of your own questions, come to the Joint Replacement Symposium on April 22nd at Greenwich Hospital; Dr. Ennis, Dr. Miller, and Dr. Kavanagh will be speaking and Dr. Delos will also be giving a seminar on May 7th about Solutions for Knee Pain. The programs are free and open to the public. Registration Requested. Call (203) 863-4277 or register online at www.greenhosp.org.