When You Should Visit a Spine Specialist

persons spine

There is never any reason that you should simply endure back pain. In fact, pain is one of the only indicators that there could be something seriously wrong with your back. Scheduling an appointment with a trusted spine specialist is easy, safe, and will help you get on track to be pain-free once again.

When to See a Spine Specialist

It can be pretty normal to experience mild back pain from time-to-time. Perhaps you slept in a weird position or tweaked your back while dancing. This kind of pain usually resolves itself within a few days, and there’s usually no need to see a doctor for it. However, here are some signs that you may need to schedule a visit:

  • When pain is moderate to severe.
  • If back pain has lasted several days and hasn’t resolved.
  • If there are any other symptoms with the pain, such as muscle weakness, tingling, or numbness of the arms or legs. 

An Overview of a Consultation

Whenever you go to the doctor’s office for an initial visit, you will be asked for a family medical history, and a list of medications you are currently taking. The doctor will then attempt to diagnose the pain, and help find the right treatment plan for you. 

To diagnose the back problem, the doctor will perform a physical examination, usually at and around the source of the pain. After a physical examination, they will likely need some images of your back, in the form of an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a CT scan. 

After the doctor has been able to diagnose the issue, they will recommend a treatment plan that is as little invasive, yet most effective, as possible. Non-invasive treatment plans usually include medication or physical therapy. If the non-invasive treatment plans do not fix the back problem, your doctor may discuss surgical options with you. 

List of Possible Spine/Back Issues

  • Spinal Arthritis. A condition that leaves weakness and pain in the arms and legs, osteoarthritis of the spine is when the cartilage of the joints and spinal discs begin to breakdown, often putting pressure on the nerves. 
  • Sciatica. Sciatica refers to pain in the sciatic nerve, which is located in the lower back and moves down each leg. When the sciatic nerve is injured or is under a lot of pressure, it can cause intense lower back and leg pain.
  • Herniated discs. A herniated disc is a disc of the spinal cord, in which a fragment of the disc’s nucleus has pushed out of the disc through a rupture or tear. The fragmented piece often puts pressure on a nerve, which can cause pain. 
  • Fractured vertebrae. A fractured vertebra is often caused by a car accident, fall, gunshot, or sports injury. These fractures are very serious, as they can injure spinal nerves, which can sometimes do irreparable damage to the body. 

Again, there are a lot of cases of back pain that will resolve on their own. However, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms that would require treatment from a spine specialist. When a back or spine gets injured, it can become very serious, very fast.

Stem Cell Treatments: The Alternative to Surgery

person with needle

Are you experiencing pain from a previous orthopedic injury, arthritis, or spine pain? Most modern treatments would recommend you undergo surgery to treat this pain. Surgery can be a painful and invasive form of treatment for something that would otherwise just have to be endured. Not only is surgery painful in most cases, but it can also lead to long stints of rehabilitation that can add additional pain to the situation.

What are Stem Cell Treatments?

In recent years, different approaches have come to the forefront of modern medicine. Among them, the best alternative is through the use of stem cells. According to MedlinePlus, stem cells are cells with the potential to develop into many different types of cells in the body. They serve as a repair system for the body. There are two main types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.

Stem cell treatment is actually quite simple. Stem cells are injected directly into the area of pain, eliminating invasive surgery techniques. As we get older, the body has a hard time circulating these versatile cells to the areas where they are most needed. This is where stem cell treatments come into play. Regenexx treatments, a specific type of stem cell treatment, take a highly concentrated dose of stem cells and inject them into the problem area, allowing the body to take over the natural course and heal, strengthen and relieve that join or bone of the pain that it is causing.

In contrast to surgery, stem cell treatments, like Regenexx, have far less downtime, and avoid a long and painful rehabilitation period in which the joints and muscles need time to recover. 

When Should I Consider Stem Cell Treatments?

Regenexx, a pioneer in stem cell treatments, uses stem cells for the following conditions. If you are suffering from any of these, contact your local spine specialist to go over all possible treatment plans: 

  • Orthopedic Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Spine Pain
  • Torn or Strained Ligaments
  • Other Degenerative Orthopedic Conditions

Stem cell treatments are an option that anyone who has these conditions, should consider. It is especially enticing to those who have very busy lives and cannot afford the time that is required to recover from invasive surgery. 

Other Reasons for Stem Cell Treatments

With stem cell therapy’s recent break onto the scene, there are many areas of interest for medical professionals to apply it in. Stem cells are able to be manipulated into specialized areas for an individual’s treatment. Some of the other uses for stem cells include:

  • Nerve damage. Specialized stem cells that have been manipulated for this purpose could be injected into the area of nerves that are damaged. These injected stem cells would then contribute to the rehabilitation of those nerves, as dictated by the body.
  • Treat diabetes. According to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, stem cells could be used to produce insulin that could treat people with diabetes and heart muscle cells that could repair damage after a heart attack.
  • Replacing essentially any tissue or organ that is damaged or diseased.

What You Need to Know About Kidney Stones


There are two physical pains that are often compared to one another, two pains that are considered some of the worst pains that the human body can experience: childbirth and kidney stones. Unlike childbirth, both men and women experience kidney stones. In fact, it is a very common condition that urologists treat regularly. What, exactly, are kidney stones? Are the signs and symptoms to watch for? How can we prevent them?

What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are solid, pebble-like masses that form in the urinary tract. They are composed from salt and other minerals from urine, in a process called urolithiasis. When kidney stones form, they can either be a small stone that passes easily through the urethra, or they can build up into larger stones that may block a ureter.

Causes and Risk Factors

There are often a combination of causes for kidney stones, it’s hard to pinpoint a single cause in any case. However, studies show that kidney stones are more common in men than in women, and most often between the ages of 30-60. Here is a list of common factors that put an individual at risk for kidney stones:

  • High urine calcium levels
  • Dehydration
  • Family history of kidney stones
  • Obesity
  • Diets high in animal proteins
  • High sodium intake
  • Excess vitamin/mineral intake

Also, according to Very Well Health, kidney stones are more common in the southern United States, where dry heat and dietary patterns contribute to their development.


There are a number of symptoms that can point to kidney stones. If you have one or more of the following symptoms, make sure to visit a urologist near you so that you can receive a prompt diagnosis and treatment:

  • Intense pain in the back, sides, pelvic or groin areas
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Burning when attempting to urinate
  • Fever and chills
  • Blood in urine
  • Cloudy or smelly urine
  • Nausea and vomiting


Kidney stones are typically diagnosed by an x-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT scan.) After a diagnosis has been made, there are several ways to treat kidney stones, each way being dependent on the size and location of the stones.

Smaller kidney stones are usually given a more conservative treatment. Doctors may advise the patient to drink plenty of fluids, rest, and wait for the stone to pass through the urethra. Other forms of treatment include the following:


  • Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a technique in which a machine attempts to break apart the stones from outside of the body, allowing smaller, broken down stones to pass naturally.


    • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is a technique in which a doctor inserts a small tube, through a small incision, into the body to help drain the kidney.


  • A ureteroscope is a small instrument that is inserted up through the urethra to help either extract the kidney stone, or break it apart into smaller pieces.



There’s no guarantee that kidney stones are completely preventable. However, there are many dietary tips that can be followed to greatly reduce the risks for kidney stones.

  • Drink plenty of water to continually flush out urinary tract.
  • Limit caffeinated beverages to one or two cups per day.
  • Eat less animal proteins and refined sugars.
  • Avoid excess vitamin supplementation.
  • Reduce sodium intake.

Doing what you can to prevent kidney stones could save you from the most excruciating pain that the human body is able to experience! However, it’s important to seek medical attention right away if you believe you may have kidney stones. A trusted urologist will be able to provide you with an effective treatment plan, as well as help you find ways to manage the pain.

The Anatomy of Tooth Extractions


“It’s like pulling teeth!” We’ve all heard that phrase used to describe an unpleasant situation. Though many of these situations are hyperbolic, the origin of the phrase holds true.

Getting a tooth pulled, or extracted, is not fun. I say that as if there is a type of medical operation that is enjoyable. Getting a tooth removed is going to be very unpleasant and you should do everything you can to avoid it. Let’s break the process down.

What is a Tooth Extraction?

As noted, and hopefully easily guessed from the name, a tooth extraction is an operation done to remove an infected or rotten tooth, though there can be other reasons too. Tooth extractions are generally done to solve a problem and prevent further complication as a result of said problem.

Reasons for Tooth Extraction

There are many reasons to pull a tooth. Infection is a very common reason that teeth are pulled. Sometimes it could be that a certain tooth is infected, and your dentist wants to prevent the infection from spreading. Other times the risk of infection is enough to pull a tooth, though this would happen mostly with those with weak or damaged immune systems.

The way your teeth have or have not come in is another reason that certain teeth make good nominees for extraction. If your teeth are too close together, also known as crowding, then you may need one removed to give proper space for your teeth to be correctly aligned.

When I was 16 I had my two baby canine teeth pulled. The reason I even still had those teeth is that the permanent teeth were sideways, therefore not coming down properly. I had a brief operation that involved pulling the two teeth, cutting my gums, and attaching a chain between my adult teeth and braces to pull them into the correct spots. It sucked, but the amount of ice cream my mom let me eat during that time was unheard of.

Ways to Prevent Tooth Extraction

This section will not be mind-blowing. These are mostly very basic things that will keep your mouth healthy.

Brush your teeth twice every day. *gasp* I know, not groundbreaking. The number of people who struggle to brush their teeth, floss, and gargle mouthwash is astounding though. It should be a daily, vigilant habit.

What you are putting into your mouth is very important. For example, toothpaste with fluoride is ideal as that will help strengthen your teeth and prevent infection. Foods and drinks that are high in sugar soda, candy, the ice cream I ate after surgery, should be limited in consumption as they are very bad for your teeth.

Good foods like fruits, vegetables, water, and cheese are great things that will help strengthen your teeth and clean bacteria out of your mouth. These are all easy things to snack on and add to a variety of meals.


Having a tooth pulled is very unpleasant, and in many cases very preventable. Make sure you do your part by eating good things, avoiding bad things, and practicing good oral health. By doing so you can maintain good oral health, hopefully not get chastized next time you go to the dentist, and keep all your pearly whites nice, healthy, and as part of your smile where they belong.

Getting a Filling? Here is What to Expect.

boy getting a filling

At some point in most of our lives, we need more than just a checkup with the dentist. It could be due to a cavity, an injury to the mouth, or other oral pain.

Cavities are one of the most common reasons for dental trips. Cavities occur when food and bacteria cause plaque to build up on your teeth. The plaque is acidic, and over time this can form holes in your teeth, in other words, your teeth are decaying.

Luckily the dental field has advanced a long way and has treatments readily available for when this happens. When it comes to cavities, usually you will get what’s called a filling. A filling can be resin, plastic, or metal. The cavity is removed and the filling is put in its place, making sure that you don’t walk around with a hold in your tooth.

If you have never had a filling before, it can be unnerving to think about. It is a simple process, the whole thing usually takes no more than an hour. Here is what you can expect.


Once you are in the chair, the dentist may take an X-ray of your mouth. The dentist would have already done this previously to identify the cavity, but this is a good way for them to ensure that they have the most up to date information. This doesn’t always happen when you get a filling, but it is very common.


Once the dentist is ready to begin, you will get your mouth, teeth, and gums numbed. This is done by administering a local anesthetic (medical speak for pain-numbing medication) into your mouth. To ensure that this is as painless as possible, the dentist will numb your mouth using a gel, and then inject the anesthetic, usually Lidocaine, into your mouth.

This numbing will be present throughout the entire operation and for several hours after. The amount of time it takes to wear off depends on the amount of medication administered, and your body.


Once the numbing has been completed, the dentist will start drilling the cavity. They are drilling the rotten or infected part of the tooth and removing it. This is rarely painful, dut to the anesthetic, though if you are experiencing pain they can generally give you more medication.

This part can be a little scary because you can hear the drill and can feel things happening (not pain, but you can feel movement and vibrations from the drill) but you can’t see what is going on. It is important to remain still and calm. Dentists are highly trained and very capable of doing this operation.


Once the bad part of the tooth has been removed, it is time to fill in the tooth. This is done so that you don’t have an awkward hole in your tooth, but also to prevent the tooth from becoming infected or more susceptible to disease.

There are several different filling types, ranging from resin to gold. There are different benefits to the different types of fillings, and also drawbacks. Gold fillings look super cool and last a long time, but they are quite expensive.


If you are going to take anything from this, just know that the process of getting a cavity filled is not anything to stress about. It is a simple procedure, and your dentist will take good care of you. While all dental services differ in process and intensity, just remember that regardless of what the problem is, the solutions are all tested methods that will allow you to have relief from pain and get maintain your 100-watt smile.

Home Health Care Options for Aging Loved Ones

elderly man receiving home care

It is hard to see loved ones grow old. They start to lose the ability to live without assistance, limiting their independence. Note that our aging loved ones can have a hard time accepting the changes that are coming their way.

There are many home health care options out there. It is important to understand the benefits and services they provide, and why those services matter. OneSource Home Health and Hospice, they believe in providing top quality care for everyone; they treat every patient like they are family. Here are some of the great services they provide, and for more details visit onesourcehh.com.

Personal Care

Some caregiving centers just focus on doing only what is necessary and moving on to the next job. OneSource focuses on meeting the needs of their clients. They want to ensure that everything from errands to hygiene is provided. This is vitally important because your loved ones have needs that need to be met. While there may be a list of things that need to be done, it should not be treated as a checklist, your loved ones should be attended to with loving care, ensuring they are comfortable and cared for.

Home Health Care

OneSource offers a variety of services to help your loved ones receive the care, and in many cases healing, they need. There are a number of health professionals ranging from many different disciplines to make sure that any problem that is presented to them can be handled. Nurses, CNA’s Dietitians, and more all work together to provide a quality experience for your loved ones.

Palliative Care

Palliative Care is care provided to those with serious pain and illness. If you have a loved one with a serious medical condition that is causing pain and distress, palliative care is a must when looking for home health care. OneSource, as mentioned before, has an army of medical professionals waiting to assist their patients. They can provide relief and comfort from the symptoms and pain of the health problem. Palliative care is not offered at every home care establishment, and it is a critical need for those with serious health conditions.


There, unfortunately, come times when loved ones are living on borrowed time. Most have been through a lot, fighting disease or serious health conditions. OneSource provided quality hospice services, they will come and care for the needs of the patients. Hospice by definition is care for terminally-ill patients. One Source takes that to the next level by not just bring service, but genuine care and love to their patients.They even use multiple people with different skills and backgrounds to provide everything your loved one needs, from medial to spiritual to emotional.

There are many good options for home care, especially from a mental standpoint. Why settle for good, when you could have the bets? That is OneSource’s hallmark, providing top-quality service and care. They don’t just want to check boxes and get out, they want to love, care, and support your loved ones. You want the best for your loved ones, so do they. They won’t just treat them as patients, they treat them as family.

5 Reasons You Need Knee Replacement Surgery

knee replacement surgery

Surgery, no matter what kind, does not sound like a lovely prospect. Knee surgery, of all the surgeries, tends to sound like one of the worst things you can have happen to you. The rehab alone is a daunting prospect, but sometimes knee surgery is necessary to help patients return to a more fulfilled way of life. The five main causes for knee replacements are listed below.


Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints. The inflammation can eventually lead to the cartilage in the knee slowly wearing away. If the cartilage completely wears away it leaves the bones exposed to painfully rubbing against one another instead of smoothly gliding like they are meant to do. Surgery becomes an option when other treatments can no longer help to manage the pain.

Trauma from a fracture

If you were in a car accident or had some sort of intense trauma happen to your knee you may be a candidate for knee replacement surgery. For minor injuries, you’ll want to consider alternatives to getting your knee back up to full health, but in the case of a severely fractured knee, surgery could be your best option.

Increased stress

Knees are never given enough credit for how much work we put them through on a daily basis. Being overweight or obese just adds to the stress of everyday movement for your joints. Before your knees give out on you, you may want to speak with your healthcare provider about some weight loss options that would be best for you.


Infected bone or cartilage could be the cause of needing knee replacement surgery. There is only so much that you can do to fight infection before it needs to be completely removed.

Inactive lifestyle

Have you ever heard the phrase that if you don’t use it you will lose it? As scary as this may sound that includes your joints and living an active lifestyle. If you choose to sit on the couch all day you might find that doing some activities gets more and more difficult. In extreme cases, your joints, like your knees, will start to give out on you.

You and your doctor will need to decide together if knee replacement surgery is the correct next step for you on your road to recovery. Many people who undergo a complete knee replacement find an increase in their quality of life.  They finally find relief from intense pain that had been bothering them.

Before considering knee replacement surgery, be sure to talk with your doctor about alternatives. In some cases, a little bit of rehab and certain exercises can help and for others, a change in diet can mean a change in their quality of life. Speak to your doctor about what is right for you.

12 Bad Habits For Your Teeth

girl and popcorn bowl

Many seemingly normal habits in your everyday life affect your teeth probably more than you’re aware. If you’re wanting to take a step towards better oral health here are a few bad habits you might want to kick to the curb.


  • Snacking


Snacking all day, or grazing as some people like to call it, isn’t the healthiest thing you can do for your teeth. You may think you’re doing a great job of spacing out the sugar in your day but in reality, you are making sure there is always some sugar in your mouth, putting you more at risk of cavities.  


  • Chewing Ice


Your teeth are hard, but so is ice. One of the two will have to give and usually the ice breaks but on occasion, your teeth may crack or chip from munching on chunks of ice.


  • Nail Biting


You might not have thought of nail-biting as being a risk for your teeth, but it can actually be harmful to your oral health. Nail biting puts you at risk of chipping your teeth and it can impact your jaw. Your jaw wasn’t meant to stay jutted out for long periods of time and making it do such an irregular action can cause jaw dysfunction.


  • Tongue Piercings


The reason a tongue piercing can be dangerous to your teeth is simple. If your teeth come in contact with a solid piece of metal they are likely to break or chip. Having a tongue piercing increases the chance of you biting down on metal.


  • Aggressive Brushing


You may think you are just being thorough when you’re brushing your teeth very hard, but honestly, you’re most likely doing more harm than good. Aggressively brushing your teeth can wear away at your poor gums and damage your teeth.


  • Cough Drops


Cough drops don’t come across as bad for your teeth, but they are loaded with sugar. To keep cough drops from wrecking your teeth make sure to brush soon after using a drop to soothe your throat.


  • Teeth Grinding


Whether you grind your teeth in your sleep or out of stress you need to try to get out of this habit fast. Teeth grinding wears down your teeth, leaving them smaller and more vulnerable. If you grind because of stress try chewing on some sugar-free gum instead. The best advice to keep from grinding in your sleep is to invest in a mouth guard.


  • Teeth Tools


Your teeth should never be used as tools. If you come across a bag that is especially difficult to open, do your teeth a favor and find a pair of scissors instead of ripping into the packaging with your teeth.


  • Sugary Drinks


Everyone knows that sugary drinks are bad for your teeth because they increase the chance of getting cavities. Sugary drinks include almost all sodas, juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, tea, coffee and almost anything that isn’t water. Sugary beverages are great, but try to have water be your main drink of choice.


  • Pencils and Pens


Chewing on anything that wasn’t intended to be eaten is a bad idea. Pencils and pens are a big culprit for nervous or stress munching for a lot of people. Try to replace your writing utensil with sugar-free gum when you have the need to munch.


  • Smoking


Smoking is bad for your teeth for a number of reasons. It stains your teeth a different color and can cause gum disease, which makes your teeth fall out because they no longer have strong gums holding them in place.


  • Binge Eating


Binge eating is bad for your teeth because often when someone binge eats they aren’t munching on fruits and veggies. They reach for all the sugary and unhealthy foods they can get their hands on.

If you found that you are guilty of a few of these bad habits then good luck! Breaking a bad habit is not an easy thing, but it is so very worth it. Your teeth will thank you for thinking of them and putting forth the effort.

5 Common Causes Of Hip Pain

doctor with x-rays looking at joints

Pain in your hips can be anything from frustrating to debilitating. If the pain gets bad enough it can make it difficult to get around and do your daily activities. If you have a bothersome pain in your hip and you’re wondering what a possible cause could be, then here are five of the most common problems that cause hip pain.


A very common cause of hip pain, especially in older adults, is arthritis in the hips. The two main types of arthritis that might be causing your hip pain are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis first causes inflammation in the joints and then it can lead to your cartilage breaking down. The cartilage is what provides cushioning for your joints so if it breaks down enough it leaves your bones painfully rubbing against each other.

Hip Fracture

A hip fracture usually happens due to a fall or impact of some sort. A fracture is a broken bone, and typically hip fractures happen mostly in the elderly because as you age your bones become brittle. Brittle bones are more likely to break from a fall that wouldn’t harm more resilient bones. Do what you can to keep your bone strength up to avoid hip fractures from falling.


“The hip bursa is a collection of smooth mobile tissue which decreases friction of the IT band as it glides over the lateral aspect of the hip, and if this tissue gets inflamed it can be quite painful and tender, creating difficulty lying on one side or walking or climbing stairs,” according to Dr. Dalling an orthopedic surgeon at Biddulph Huntsman and Dalling Orthopedic Surgery.

If the condition is bad enough it can require surgery to fix the problems, however, that is not always the case. Sometimes people can experience pain relief by changing the activities they do, taking anti-inflammatory drugs or even with help through physical therapy. Talking with a specialist is always the best route to take to see what needs to be done.  


Your tendons are extremely important thick bands of tissue that attach the bones to the muscles. Tendinitis is when those tendons become inflamed or irritated. The most common cause for this irritation is some repetitive activity that you might be doing. This could be anything from cleaning your house to skiing. To avoid tendinitis, try to steer clear of overly repetitive motions especially if you start to feel any pain.

Muscle or Tendon Strain

Muscle and tendon strains are similar to tendinitis because they are often caused by repetitive motions that have overworked your muscle or tendon. Straining your muscle or tendon is often painful and you’ll need to rest to allow time for healing.

If you are experiencing any aches or pains in your hips then it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what the root cause is. When the pain first begins, try resting and taking something to bring down any inflammation. If the pain continues, visit with a professional so you can take care of the problem instead of just the symptoms.

Healthy Gums for a More Healthy You

People are always talking about how to keep your teeth healthy and ward off cavities, but what about your gums? The health and care of your gums is important because it is a major line of defense for the roots of your teeth. They help to keep your teeth properly functioning as they should. Here are a few tips for making sure your gums are ready to do their job.

Brush Twice a Day

Brush twice a day and make sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles. You may think that scrubbing away at your teeth with a rough brush will make them super clean but, in reality, you could be hurting your teeth and gums and increasing the chance of tooth erosion. To ensure that your teeth brushing is effective, replace your toothbrush about every three months. Also, remember to use toothpaste that contains fluoride to help slow the breakdown of enamel and prevent tooth decay.


Make sure to floss once a day. Food and germs get trapped between teeth and around your gums making it so your toothbrush alone will not be able to dislodge those harmful chunks. Flossing is the extra care your gums need to get rid of the bad so they can focus on the good. If the harmful material were to remain wedged in there it would eventually begin to erode the teeth and affect the gums.

Regular Dental Cleanings

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily help to protect your teeth from germs and keep them clean, but there is usually stubborn plaque on your teeth that your daily routine just can’t get rid of. To guarantee that your oral health is where it needs to be to protect your teeth and gums, dentists recommend that you get a deep dental cleaning every 6 months.

Gum Grafting

You may need a gum graft if you have receding gums and the roots of your teeth are beginning to be exposed. Gum grafting is a surgical process that is relatively quick and simple. It helps to protect the roots of your teeth by covering them back up again with gum from the roof of your mouth. This will help your teeth to last longer by protecting the sensitive root from harmful bacteria and trauma.


Keeping your teeth happy is not only what you eat but when you eat. Of course, keep a healthy diet but also don’t eat at night after you brush your teeth. If you eat after you brush your teeth but before you got to sleep than you could get food stuck in your teeth and gums and that will just sit there through the night working away at your oral defenses.

It doesn’t take a long time each morning and evening to keep up good oral health. Just a few minutes in the bathroom will help you to keep munching away with your own teeth and gums for years to come. I don’t know about you, but that sounds totally worth the effort.