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Physician at Advanced Pain Management
Board certified in PM&R
Medical Director of the Center for Head Pain at SpineWorks
Lectures nationally on headache and its treatment as well as locally on spine spasticity/myofascial pain management
Serves on National Advisory Panels for headache/ spasticity
Active Investigator on multiple medical trials
Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine, Univ. of New England with three year residency at Norwalk Hospital/ Yale University Medical Centre
Completed three year residency at Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital
Resides in VA BCH w/ his family
One of the most common conditions and one of the leading causes of physician visits in the U.S. is lower back pain. According to Dr. Spear, the causes of low back pain can be very complex due to the many muscles and pain generators in the lower back.
There are three types of muscles that support the spine:
Some of the more common causes of low back pain include:
Dr. Spear says the key to managing your lower back pain is to get a true assessment of the pain generator. Sometimes the solution can be non-surgical.
A HEALTHY BACK
Dr. Spear says the key to a healthy back is maintaining your range of motion or flexibility and keeping your abdominal muscles strong. Many patients with back problems believe that they should avoid all exercise in an effort to protect their back from further injury or back pain. However, in reality, inactivity and lack of exercise can actually contribute to future pain and worsen existing problems. For example, an obese man with a significant midsection has weaker abdominal muscles than someone who is active and well conditioned. The obese man is much more likely to suffer from low back pain. Patients are often unaware that movement through moderate exercise allows healing to take place. Dr. Spear recommends activities such as swimming and modified pilates. However, he cautions against running due to the increased amount of pressure placed on the joints and back muscles.
SYMPTOMS THAT SPELL T-R-O-U-B-L-E
There are a few symptoms that are possible indications of a serious medical condition requiring surgery, and patients with these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms include:
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