Health & Wellness

Here’s How to Choose the Right Spine Specialist for You

By Abagail Sullivan

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Content by Ana Williams

Navigating the healthcare landscape isn’t easy, but it feels like even more of a feat when you’re bogged down with chronic pain amidst your search. Here, we guide you with six helpful steps in choosing the best spine specialist for you.

Make a Decision for Action

The first step to choosing your spine specialist is determining you want to take action. Begin your search straight away once you’ve made the decision. The best spine specialists are prepped to help their patients as soon as they’ve determined the needed treatment, making moves as directly as possible after a consultation. When you feel it’s time to take action, it is!

Commence the Surgeon Search

The spine is a complex collection of bones, nerves and tissue. Make sure your spine specialist has the experience and training to properly handle your condition. Providers devoted primarily to spinal orthopedics will have more experience treating your discomfort than general doctors will. The LESS Institute specializes in spine care with Professor Dr. Kingsley R. Chin, our founder, providing first class care of his own. Dr. Chin is a Harvard trained, board certified and repeatedly honored top surgeon and innovator in less invasive outpatient surgery.

Remember to Reference

Studies suggest that almost 80% of Americans will experience lower back pain, which means you’re bound to know a family member, friend or coworker who’s been treated by or heavily researched a spine specialist. There’s nothing like a personal referral to start. If that particular specialist is booked up or not accepting new patients, be sure to ask their office for an additional reference in the right direction.

Take the Time for Testimonials

Patients can provide the most personal insight into the type of care you may receive from the doctor and facility. Ask your potential surgeon to see their testimonials, or check out the practice’s website and social media pages for further info. At the LESS Institute, we’re huge patient advocates and hope they, too, feel the same in return. For our dedicated patients’ testimonials, head here.

Meet the Doc

Sure, you can learn a lot from research and online reviews, but you’ll get a much stronger feeling about your doctor by sitting down with them in person. An appointment will give you the opportunity to talk through your situation and discuss treatment goals. To request an appointment with our LESS Institute team, call us any time at 855-411-LESS.

Prep Your Qs

Undoubtedly, there will be aspects of your condition or recommendations for relief that you may not fully understand. Make sure to bring your past records and questions at the time of your visit so your surgeon can use that face to face time to explain next steps. The LESS Institute S.E.R.V.E. team, our concierge gurus, personally sits down with you (and even your family!) to educate on the recommended procedure to guide you on your road to relief. The concierge hotline is open to those patients getting a procedure and who may have questions after hours.

We’ve witnessed the hardships of living with chronic pain through our patients, and we hope these tips help you navigate the often overwhelming world of healthcare – to find the best spine specialist fit for you.


Wellness Wednesdays: Safety on the Job

By Abagail Sullivan

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The importance of safety on the job goes far beyond the individual – it affects families, careers and futures.

The LESS Institute is proud to be Department of Labor (DOL) approved to receive worker’s compensation patients in their network, as well as in Rockport Healthcare Network – a national network services solution. In 2016 alone, there were 7,406 DOL Workers’ Compensation claims involving the back.

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The following stats show the surprising number of workers in Florida who injure their backs while on the job.

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If you’ve been injured on the job, resulting in back and neck pain, call the LESS Institute at 1-855-411-LESS for a consult today. We are enrolled and ready to help.

And check out the following resources for information pertaining to Workers’ Compensation in Florida:

http://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/wc/employee/faq.htm

http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/WC/pdf/WC-System-Guide.pdf


Adding Vitamins and Minerals to Your Diet to Promote Back Health

By Abagail Sullivan

You may never have considered diet as a way to promote back health, but what you eat is most certainly an influence in whether or not your back is feeling up to par. Consuming enough nutrition – through back-health promoting vitamins and minerals – is crucial in the development, maintenance, and improvement of your bone, muscle, and disc health. Review this list of vitamins and minerals – whose back relief benefits we’ve highlighted – and find out where you can access these (easy, healthy recipes linked accordingly) to start promoting your best back, today!   Vitamin A   Vitamin A helps repair tissue and aids in the formation of bone.  Examples of sources high in vitamin A include: beef liver, carrots,  sweet potato , kale, spinach,  broccoli    To note: more than the recommended amount of vitamin A (about 900 mg daily for men and 700 mg daily for women) can promote bone fractures, so beware of excess intake.    Vitamin B3 (Niacin)   Vitamin B3, also referred to as Niacin, can help maintain a healthy nervous system, which is important for many spine conditions.  Good sources: turkey, chicken breast,  peanuts , mushrooms, lamb liver, tuna   Vitamin B12   Vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy bone marrow and for the spine to grow and function.  It reduces pressure in your back and eases chronic back pain.  Good sources:  clams , beef liver, mackerel, crab, tofu, bran cereal   Vitamin C   Vitamin C is necessary for the development of collagen, which allows cells to be able to form into tissue.  It is important in the healing process for injuries involving tendons, ligaments, discs, bones, wounds, and burns.  It increases calcium absorption in the body to promote strong bones and protects your back from damaging free radicals.  Good sources: oranges, red peppers,  kale , brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries   Vitamin D   Vitamin D is important for the development of healthy bones, aiding in calcium absorption to help prevent osteoporosis.  It produces new bone cells, decreases inflammation in the body, and can lessen spasms in the lower back.  Good sources: sunlight, sardines,  salmon , mackerel, tuna, soy milk   Vitamin E   Vitamin E can help alleviate lower back pain as a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals.  It increases the antioxidant reaction in your body and reduces muscle pain and soreness by repairing damaged tissue.  Good sources: almonds, spinach, sweet potato,  avocado , wheat germ, sunflower seeds   Vitamin K   Vitamin K is needed for the bones to properly use calcium, which in turn aids in the strength of healthy bones.  Good sources: dried basil, kale, onions,  brussels sprouts , chili powder, asparagus   Calcium   Calcium is essential for bone health and building strong bones, helping to maintain the necessary level of bone mass and prevent osteoporosis.  Good sources: watercress, mozzarella, milk,  yogurt , bok choy, tofu   Iron   Iron aids in the production of myoglobin, an important element of healthy muscles needed to support the spine.  Good sources: squash and  pumpkin seeds , chicken liver, oysters, mussels, clams, nuts   Magnesium   Magnesium helps maintain muscle tone and bone density, which can aid in the prevention of back problems.  It is also a factor in prevention of calcium deficiency and osteoporosis.  Good sources: raw spinach, squash and pumpkin seeds, mackerel, soy beans, brown rice,  avocado    Omega-3 fatty acids   Omega-3 fatty acids can help inflammation that cause back pain.  Good sources: cold pressed flaxseed oil,  salmon , chia seeds, walnuts, caviar, mackerel    Other sources that could be helpful…     Devil’s Claw   Devil’s Claw comes from a native African plant and can reduce flare-ups of chronic low back pain.  The ingredients in this plant  may be effective in reducing back pain , because it’s chemicals may decrease inflammation and swelling that cause the pain   Capsaicin   Capsaicin is the agent that gives hot peppers their heat, and this ingredient can be applied, using a cream, to  relieve back pain .   Turmeric   Taken as a powder in capsules, mixed into tea, or as a liquid extract, Turmeric contains effective  anti-inflammatory properties .

You may never have considered diet as a way to promote back health, but what you eat is most certainly an influence in whether or not your back is feeling up to par. Consuming enough nutrition – through back-health promoting vitamins and minerals – is crucial in the development, maintenance, and improvement of your bone, muscle, and disc health. Review this list of vitamins and minerals – whose back relief benefits we’ve highlighted – and find out where you can access these (easy, healthy recipes linked accordingly) to start promoting your best back, today!

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps repair tissue and aids in the formation of bone.

Examples of sources high in vitamin A include: beef liver, carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, broccoli

To note: more than the recommended amount of vitamin A (about 900 mg daily for men and 700 mg daily for women) can promote bone fractures, so beware of excess intake.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3, also referred to as Niacin, can help maintain a healthy nervous system, which is important for many spine conditions.

Good sources: turkey, chicken breast, peanuts, mushrooms, lamb liver, tuna

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy bone marrow and for the spine to grow and function.

It reduces pressure in your back and eases chronic back pain.

Good sources: clams, beef liver, mackerel, crab, tofu, bran cereal

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for the development of collagen, which allows cells to be able to form into tissue.

It is important in the healing process for injuries involving tendons, ligaments, discs, bones, wounds, and burns.

It increases calcium absorption in the body to promote strong bones and protects your back from damaging free radicals.

Good sources: oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for the development of healthy bones, aiding in calcium absorption to help prevent osteoporosis.

It produces new bone cells, decreases inflammation in the body, and can lessen spasms in the lower back.

Good sources: sunlight, sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, soy milk

Vitamin E

Vitamin E can help alleviate lower back pain as a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals.

It increases the antioxidant reaction in your body and reduces muscle pain and soreness by repairing damaged tissue.

Good sources: almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is needed for the bones to properly use calcium, which in turn aids in the strength of healthy bones.

Good sources: dried basil, kale, onions, brussels sprouts, chili powder, asparagus

Calcium

Calcium is essential for bone health and building strong bones, helping to maintain the necessary level of bone mass and prevent osteoporosis.

Good sources: watercress, mozzarella, milk, yogurt, bok choy, tofu

Iron

Iron aids in the production of myoglobin, an important element of healthy muscles needed to support the spine.

Good sources: squash and pumpkin seeds, chicken liver, oysters, mussels, clams, nuts

Magnesium

Magnesium helps maintain muscle tone and bone density, which can aid in the prevention of back problems.

It is also a factor in prevention of calcium deficiency and osteoporosis.

Good sources: raw spinach, squash and pumpkin seeds, mackerel, soy beans, brown rice, avocado

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids can help inflammation that cause back pain.

Good sources: cold pressed flaxseed oil, salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, caviar, mackerel

Other sources that could be helpful…

Devil’s Claw

Devil’s Claw comes from a native African plant and can reduce flare-ups of chronic low back pain.

The ingredients in this plant may be effective in reducing back pain, because it’s chemicals may decrease inflammation and swelling that cause the pain

Capsaicin

Capsaicin is the agent that gives hot peppers their heat, and this ingredient can be applied, using a cream, to relieve back pain.

Turmeric

Taken as a powder in capsules, mixed into tea, or as a liquid extract, Turmeric contains effective anti-inflammatory properties.