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The Dangers of Tech Neck

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Tech neck, also known as text neck, is a repetitive-use injury that affects the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves in your neck. Of course, you don’t have to be a tech-head to develop a tech neck: Any kind of activity that requires you to bend your head forward for prolonged periods, including reading or sewing, could cause tech neck. Tech neck may be a silly name, but the condition couldn’t be more serious. Without addressing the habits and causes of tech neck, you could permanently injure your cervical spine (i.e., the thin portion of your spine that runs through your neck).  If you have  neck pain  or  shoulder pain ,  Brian Fuller, MD , and our team at  Mountain Spine & Pain Physicians  in Denver, Colorado, ask you to take it seriously. Here, we lay out why tech neck is a literal pain in the neck and what you can do about it. Your head “gains weight” as you bend Most human heads weigh about 10-12 pounds when you’re standing upright with the good posture your parent

How to Identify and Treat Sacroiliitis

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Up to  25% of lower back pain  is caused by an inflammation of the sacroiliac joints, a condition known as sacroiliitis. You have two sacroiliac joints: one on each side of your hips. The sacroiliac joints attach your sacrum (i.e., part of your lower back that lies between the tailbone and your lowest vertebrae) to your ilium (i.e., the upper portion of your pelvic bones). Brian Fuller, MD , and our expert team members at Mountain Spine & Pain Physicians in Denver, Colorado, recognize that  lower back pain  can be frustrating to live with and its underlying causes may be difficult to detect. Here, we share a few insights into what sacroiliitis is, how to know if you might have it, and how to treat it. A joint you can’t move Normally, when you think about your joints, you think about the “hinge” or “ball and socket” connections between two bones that allow you to do things like bend, flex, and rotate. Your sacroiliac joints, however, are tightly attached to each other with a series

The Link Between Herniated Discs and Spinal Stenosis

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Your spine keeps you upright and protects your spinal cord, which is filled with nerves that connect with almost every area of your body. But, for all its importance, your spine is a rather delicate structure and prone to injury, especially as you age. If you have lower back pain or neck pain, you may wonder why.  Brian Fuller, MD , founder of Mountain Spine & Pain Physicians in Denver, Colorado, here discusses two common sources of back pain — herniated discs and  spinal stenosis   — and how they’re related. The anatomy of your spine Your spine consists of a stack of vertebral bones that encase and protect your nerve-rich spinal cord. Your spinal cord starts at the base of your neck and runs down the center, hollow portion of the stacked vertebrae — an area known as the spinal canal — and ends in your lower back.  All along the spinal cord, nerves branch out and exit through holes in the vertebrae so that they can connect with muscles throughout your body. The nerves carry message

Why Radiofrequency Ablation May Be the Answer to Your Back Pain

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Blame it on your own two feet and your upright stance:  Back pain  in human beings is pervasive. If you haven’t experienced it yet, chances are you will.  But if you have chronic back pain (i.e., back pain that’s lasted three months or more), you may not find comfort in knowing that you’re far from alone. Taking pain medications, or just suffering through the discomfort and trying to get on with life takes a heavy toll, both physically and emotionally. That’s why  Brian Fuller, MD  and his team at  Mountain Spine & Pain Physicians  in Denver offer minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for long-term back pain relief. Turn down the pain signals When you’re in chronic pain, your nerves continually send pain signals to your brain that keep you in a state of discomfort. Pain alerts your brain to the fact that something’s gone wrong in your body. In the short term, pain prevents you from further injuring a weakened or traumatized body part, but if it goes on for too long, pain

How Lower Back Pain Affects Your Hips

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Your body isn’t just a set of unrelated systems that operate independently. Your spine and bones, muscles and other soft-tissues, and your nerves all affect one another. When you have lower back pain, for instance, it changes the way you hold and distribute your body weight, which alters the way you hold and use your  hip joints , too.    Brian J. Fuller, MD,  a Harvard-trained, triple-board certified physician and founder of Mountain Spine & Pain Physicians in Denver, Colorado, believes in healing the underlying problems that cause your pain. Here he discusses how untreated, unhealed lower back pain can hurt your hips, too. The kind of referral you don’t want When your hips and upper legs are stiff and painful, the problem might not originate in your hip joint at all. If you have sacroiliitis — an inflammation in one or both of your sacroiliac joints (i.e., the joint that connects your lower back to your pelvis) — the pain can radiate downward toward your hip joint. Pain that’s fe

What Is Spondylolysis and How Can It Be Treated Nonsurgically?

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Lower back pain is so common in our upright species that almost  80% of men, women, and kids  suffer from  lower back pain  at least once in their lives. A common reason for lower back pain in children who play sports and athletes of all ages is spondylolysis.  If you have spondylolysis, you have stress fractures in your vertebral bones from the impact of the jumping, colliding, and weight lifting that you do during sports and sports training. The stress fractures usually occur on one or both sides of the lower fourth or fifth vertebrae. Over time, untreated stress fractures in your vertebrae weaken the vertebral bone, so that it starts to slip out of its normal place in the spinal column. If your fractured vertebrae are out of alignment, you have a complication of spondylolysis that’s called spondylolisthesis.   When you visit the  Mountain Spine & Pain Physicians  office in Denver, Colorado for treatment,  Dr. Brian Fuller  first evaluates your spine to see if spondylolysis is th