Preventing injuries in your neck and back

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Back pain is the leading cause of disability for adults in the United States, and the second most common reason for a doctor’s visit.

Neck injury and pain is also very common, and can be quite debilitating as well. Some of the more common neck and back injuries include strains/spasms and sprains, as well as disc and nerve issues.

Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent back and neck injury and pain.

To prevent back injury, be sure to practice proper body mechanics when lifting weights or participating in other activities, strengthen the core through exercises such as Pilates and yoga, and make sure chairs that you sit in often, such as your office chair, provide lumbar support.

To prevent neck injury, keep your computer screen at eye level to avoid a prolonged downward gaze, avoid holding your arms too far forward for prolonged periods and find a pillow that supports your neck properly while sleeping at night.

In many cases, back and neck pain can be resolved at home by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or pain relievers, as well as icing the injured area (for 72 hours) then applying heat. You should rest the injury; however, after two days, it is important to start moving again.

Back and neck pain is not to be taken lightly, and in some cases, these injuries need professional medical attention.

If you are experiencing numbness, burning, tingling or weakness in the arms or legs, loss of bowel or bladder control, numbness in the groin, fever or chills, or persistent pain lasting more than six weeks, it is time to seek evaluation from a physician.

Our community is fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of sports medicine specialists and other related healthcare providers dedicated to educating individuals about injury prevention, as well as providing the treatment they need when injuries are sustained.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Thomas Thekkekandam is a sports medicine specialist at Cone Health Primary Care & Sports Medicine at MedCenter Kernersville.

Dr. Thekkekandam received his Doctor of Medicine from Ross University School of Medicine in 2009.

He completed his residency in family medicine at Cone Health and a sports medicine fellowship at the Cone Health Sports Medicine Center.

Dr. Thekkekandam is board-certified in sports and family medicine.

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