Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Known by the distinctive pain in the nerves of your hands and fingers, carpal tunnel syndrome is signified by painful pressure on the median nerve in your hand. Patients who are suffering from untreated carpal tunnel syndrome are likely to experience a lot of pain in their wrists, hands, and forearms. Knowing the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome is the first step in preventing it.

There can be several causes that range from genetics to repeated hand movements. In some cases, a true cause cannot be found at all. Below we have highlighted the major causes of carpal tunnel syndrome and some treatment options that may work well for you.

Major Causes

The pain a carpal tunnel patient feels in the wrist is due to the pressure being applied on the median nerve. This is a gateway to inflammation, swelling, and exacerbated symptoms. But what causes the median nerve to be affected like this in the first place?

Some of the biggest causes of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Repeated quick movements of the wrist and fingers
  • Long-term use of vibrating tools
  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Tumors or cysts in the carpal tunnel area
  • Previous thyroid conditions
  • Physical damage, trauma, or fracture to the wrist
  • Fluid retention in the wrist as a result of menopause or pregnancy
  • Diabetes

Any hereditary structural problems in this area of the hand can make you more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Risk Factors

In addition, the common causes of this syndrome, there are also many risk factors to be aware of. Research shows prior fractures combined with sulphonylureas or insulin give patients a higher chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Some studies also suggest that physical factors are contributors to this ailment. These include the shape of your wrist, your likelihood of obesity, and blood pressure irregularities .

Jobs to Avoid

Those who work in assembly lines, manufacturing, construction, or jobs that require continuous typing are at a higher risk of developing CTS. You shouldn’t worry about changing your occupation just to avoid developing this syndrome. Still, it’s important to keep your daily physical habits in mind.

Treatment Options

There are both surgical and non-surgical options available to treat your carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, the severity of your symptoms determines the best solution for you. At Yashar Neurosurgery, we offer many non-surgical interventions such as wrist splints, medical prescriptions, and physical therapy. Our doctors aim to provide lifestyle interventions to help you reduce the factors that can contribute to the development of CTS.

We also like to work with patients to help them reduce their diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure symptoms. These are the most common causes of this condition.

We recommend lifestyle changes that can help you avoid any or all risk factors. If your condition has been untreated for some time, and you are experiencing more severe CTS symptoms, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Yashar is happy to schedule a consultation with you to discuss CTS treatment options.

Take Care of Your Hands!

There are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk factors and ensure that you are not susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Remember to keep your hands warm, as the cold can stiffen your joints and cause inflammation. You should also try to practice different hand posture exercises that contribute to your wellness in more ways than one.

If you are having difficulty managing your carpal tunnel symptoms or believe you may be at risk of developing CTS, get in touch with our neurosurgery specialists at Yashar Neurosurgery. We can work with you to create a customized plan that best fits your needs. For more information, get in touch with us online or give us a call at (424) 361-0923 to schedule a consultation.

Known by the distinctive pain in the nerves of your hands and fingers, carpal tunnel syndrome is signified by painful pressure on the median nerve in your hand. Patients who are suffering from untreated carpal tunnel syndrome are likely to experience a lot of pain in their wrists, hands, and forearm...

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Understanding Brachial Plexus Injuries

What is the Brachial Plexus?

If we want to being understanding brachial plexus injury, we first need to learn a bit more. The term “brachial plexus” refers to a group of nerves. Specifically, it covers those that control movement and sensation in several body parts.
These are:

  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Wrists
  • Hands

Injuries to this network are comparatively rare. They almost exclusively result from physical trauma. Scientists note that any injury that resulted in extreme trauma from the spinal cord to the hand could cause damage to these nerves.

Dr. Yashar is a top neurosurgeon in Los Angeles. His extensive knowledge of the human body means he can inform and treat many conditions. If you believe you’ve had an injury that affected your nerves, call us today. We’re here to answer all your questions.

Continue reading to learn more about this unique injury. And, find out what how you can treat it.

Recognizing a Brachial Plexus Injury

Unfortunately, nerve damage is not as cut and dry as many other types of injuries. If you’ve been hospitalized due to the initial injury, then your doctor will most likely monitor your progress to ensure the nerves haven’t been affected. However, if you didn’t need immediate medical attention for the initial injury, then it is up to you to recognize the signs and seek help.

Experts warn that patients should be wary if they begin to experience certain symptoms. Examples are shooting pains, loss of feeling in the arm or hand, inconsistent control of those appendages, or if the arm goes totally limp. As these injuries can occur in infants during childbirth, parents must pay careful attention to their baby’s use of their arms in the days following birth.

Some injuries will heal naturally. Many affected infants fully recover within four months. However, healing and treatment vary greatly based on the type of injury that occurred.

Types of Injuries

There are three main types of brachial plexus injuries, according to the.

  • Avulsion
  • Neuropraxia
  • Rupture

These are further divided according to the location and severity of the injury along the brachial plexus.

  • Upper-trunk
  • Lower-trunk
  • Pan-plexus

Avulsion injuries are considered the most severe. These occur when the nerve root has been physically torn from the spinal cord. Treating them with surgery doesn’t always work.

Rupture injuries are partial or complete tears along the nerves. Neuropraxia injuries are the least severe. They are caused by mild stretching of the brachial plexus and usually self-correct with time.

Treating an Injury

If you have a brachial plexus injury, then time is of the essence. Experts warn that these injuries should always receive treatment within six to seven months of the initial injury. Every day that muscles don’t receive appropriate nerve input reduces the chances they will function normally in the future. Even after surgery.

Therefore, if you suspect that you have a brachial plexus injury, you should contact your doctor immediately. First, request a referral to a qualified neurosurgeon. Your primary health care provider and neurosurgeon will work together to perform the required diagnostic tests. These typically include imaging tests. Or, they could be tests that check nerve function or electrical activity.

If your injury is caused by neuropraxia, then you’re in luck. Between 90-100% of all patients with this injury recover on their own. However, if an avulsion or a rupture causes your symptoms, then it is time to discuss your options with your neurosurgeon.

Surgical Treatments

You may attempt to pursue surgical treatment for an avulsion injury. Still, you will have limited odds of success. Understanding brachial plexus injury is important before decided a treatment plan. Your surgeon will be able to evaluate your chances based on your particular case. However, many people successfully regain the use of the affected body part with surgery to treat a rupture. Both cases are typically accompanied by physical therapy afterward. But, a candid conversation with your trusted neurosurgeon will give you a realistic understanding of the process based on your injury.

What is the Brachial Plexus? If we want to being understanding brachial plexus injury, we first need to learn a bit more. The term “brachial plexus” refers to a group of nerves. Specifically, it covers those that control movement and sensation in several body parts. These are: Shoulders ...

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How Traveling Causes Back Pain 

The back is certainly one of the most complex parts of the body, and also one of the most vulnerable. The spine is the center of control for our movements and feelings. We use our backs while we walk, sit, run, lift, and even sleep. It’s no secret that bending your back in an uncomfortable position for hours on end can lead to so much damage. You especially want to know how to avoid back strain when traveling.

Dr. Yashar and his experts at Yashar Neurosurgery want you to be cautious of how traveling can place a burden on your back. The below guide has information about why traveling causes back pain and what measures you can take to ensure you enjoy your vacation without any pain. 

Lifting Guide

We use our backs almost exclusively when we lift objects off the ground. Heavy or light, it does not matter – there are certain techniques you can use while lifting luggage that won’t cause you lasting back damage. 

Take a note from Spine-Health’s recommendations and practice the following lifting tactics:

  • Make sure you put the majority of the weight in your legs when you lift, instead of relying on your back muscles too much. 
  • Squat and bend your knees before lifting any heavy items. 
  • Don’t pull your luggage towards you – move your body to meet the luggage.

Lifting luggage is not a racing game. Don’t speed through it, or else you will risk putting your back into unhealthy positions. You also want to be sure that you are giving yourself enough space to lift – be aware of how much space you have around you when trying to get something from an overhead bin!  

Work on Packing Lighter

If you struggle to lift heavy boxes and pieces of luggage, you can also work on some ways to reduce the amount of weight you pack on your trip. Suitcases that are big and bulky don’t do anybody any favors, especially since you can also be charged for overweight luggage. 

It’s not just about what you put in the suitcase, but what it is made of, too. Heavier materials like leather can actually put on a lot of weight, forcing you to strain your back more when you lift it. 

How to Completely Avoid Back Strain When Traveling

Even if you are traveling alone, you don’t need to stress about lifting all of those heavy bags yourself. There are many services available to help you travel with ease and not risk putting yourself in so much pain. 

For example, you can opt for mobility assistance at an airport or train station. A professional will help you handle luggage and travel to your gate. If you are flying, you can also consider purchasing a preboarding option. This will give you extra time (and space) to stow your luggage, find your seat, or pack up your mobility devices. 

If you are ever in need of help…don’t be afraid to ask! Hospitality experts, flight attendants, baggage checkers, and the like can help you carry bags if need be. And if you are traveling for a long time…ship your luggage to your final destination and avoid the hassle at all costs!

Consult with Your Doctor to Assess Your Spine Health

Back pain can rear its ugly head in many different ways, and it’s essential to recognize what to do – and what not to do – to protect yourself from the strain. You don’t want to hurt your back while traveling, because not only will that ruin your vacation, but it could cause chronic pain. If you are worried about the current state of your back, you can contact us online to get your concerns addressed. To schedule an appointment or consultation, give us a call at (424) 361-0923.

The back is certainly one of the most complex parts of the body, and also one of the most vulnerable. The spine is the center of control for our movements and feelings. We use our backs while we walk, sit, run, lift, and even sleep. It’s no secret that bending your back in an uncomfortable [&helli...

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Does Spinal Stenosis Cause Pain?

Spinal stenosis is the medical term for a condition where the spinal canal becomes abnormally narrow and begins to exert pressure on the spinal cord. According to the American College of Rheumatology, it is a fairly common condition, especially in patients over 50, who regularly develop spinal stenosis as a result of osteoarthritis. As of yet, there is not a direct cure. However, regular treatments and surgery can be used to ameliorate the symptoms of spinal stenosis.

Common Symptoms

Although spinal stenosis can cause pain, not all individuals with the condition will develop pain as a symptom. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons states that weakness, numbness, and cramping are also common symptoms that typically affect the extremities depending on the location of the narrowing.

If the spinal canal is noticeably narrowing in the cervical region of the spine, then patients will typically experience these sensations in the arms. The legs are more likely to be the site of symptoms if the patient has developed lumbar spinal stenosis. In addition to abnormal sensation and pain, some cases of spinal stenosis can negatively affect motor function or limit bowel and bladder function.

In some cases, spinal stenosis is largely asymptomatic. However, as the spine continues to degenerate and pressure on the spinal cord increases, patients will typically experience a gradual, parallel increase in their symptoms. As symptoms develop and worsen, your regular physician and neurosurgeon will work together to adapt your treatment plan. Surgery is typically considered to be a last resort, so do not be surprised if your medical team wants to experiment with other treatment options first.

Spinal Stenosis Before 50

Although most cases of spinal stenosis occur after age 50 due to normal wear and tear combined with the onset osteoarthritis, there are several conditions that can cause the spinal canal to narrow long before reaching middle age. Healthline lists birth defects, spinal trauma, spinal curvature, Paget’s disease, tumors, and achondroplasia as other common causes of spinal stenosis.

In many of these cases, the condition is influenced by abnormal growth present from birth. As a result, your regular physician should already be aware that your pre-existing conditions put you at risk for spinal stenosis. Speak with your doctor if you begin to regularly experience pain, tingling, numbness, or cramping in any of your extremities. This group of symptoms is referred to as myelopathy and typically points to a potential spinal cord injury.

For patients without pre-existing conditions related to spinal stenosis, Healthline states that your doctor will likely want to go through the same diagnostic tests including the possibility of an X-ray, MRI scan, CT scan, electro myelogram, and bone scan. Without age-related factors or clear pre-existing conditions, your doctor may require more than one test to positively identify the cause of your symptoms.

Treatment Paths

If your regular physician is able to positively identify spinal stenosis as the cause of your symptoms, then it is recommended that you also enlist the help of a neurologist. Dr. Yashar will be able to help take you through the early stages of managing the condition by helping to build a treatment plan based on early interventions including rest, bracing, over-the-counter pain medications, and weight management.

However, if your condition has already progressed past the initial stages, then your neurologist will begin to include pain management injections, physical therapy, and spinal decompression into your treatment plan. If symptoms continue to progress, then your neurosurgeon will likely move forward to the surgical phase. Cervical laminectomy, ACDF, and cervical laminoplasty are three common procedures used to ameliorate spinal stenosis symptoms. The best surgical option will depend on the individual patient, so contact your local neurosurgeon and take the first steps toward a pain-free life.

Spinal stenosis is the medical term for a condition where the spinal canal becomes abnormally narrow and begins to exert pressure on the spinal cord. According to the American College of Rheumatology, it is a fairly common condition, especially in patients over 50, who regularly develop spinal steno...

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Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Serious?

The honest answer is, it depends. The symptoms can be uncomfortable or even debilitating depending on the type and severity of your thoracic outlet syndrome, so let’s start by looking at what TOS is and the different forms it takes. To get in touch with a top neurosurgeon in Los Angeles, look no further than Dr. Yashar.

What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is identified as any one of a number of disorders that result in the compression of blood vessels or nerves located between your collarbone and first rib. This space is known as the thoracic outlet, giving the syndrome its name.

According to the Mayo Clinic, physical trauma is the most common cause of TOS. Mainly, it is associated with car accidents, repetitive injuries, or pregnancy. However, anatomical anomalies, such as having an extra rib, can also cause the compression associated with TOS.

Types of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

TOS is actually a broad term used to identify several similar conditions. There are three primary types of TOS listed by Johns Hopkins Medicine.

1. Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

NTOS is the most common form and occurs when the nerves leading from the neck to the arm are compressed. NTOS makes up for more than 90% of all TOS cases. The symptoms of NTOS include:

  • Shoulder or arm pain and weakness
  • Tingling or discomfort in the affected fingers
  • Affected arm tires quickly, and in very rare cases…
  • Atrophy of the muscle in the palm, which leads to the thumb

2. Venous Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

VTOS is only responsible for about 5% of all cases, and it occurs when a vein is compressed in the thoracic outlet. Unfortunately, the nature of the condition can cause blood clots. The symptoms of VTOS include:

  • Swelling in the affected arm, hand, and fingers
  • A blue tinge to the skin on the affected arm and hand
  • Painful tingling in the affected arm and hand
  • Very prominent veins in the neck, shoulder, and arm

3. Arterial Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

ATOS is responsible for less than 1% of all cases, and it is identified by the compression of an artery in the thoracic outlet. The symptoms of ATOS include:

  • The affected hand is cold and pale
  • Pain in the hand and arm, particularly during any motion above the shoulder
  • Blockage of an artery in the affected hand or arm
  • Aneurysm of the subclavian artery

Dangers and Treatment

Overall, ninety percent of all TOS cases are relatively harmless though it can cause you pain and limit the use of your affected shoulder, arm, and hand. Therefore, in the case of Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, physical therapy is typically the first and only treatment. Your doctor will only consider surgery if all other options fail.

In contrast, both Venous TOS and Arterial TOS can have major consequences for your health, with ATOS presenting the most immediate danger. In most cases, surgery will be a necessary part of your treatment plan. However, these cases are extremely rare in comparison to NTOS, so if you are initially diagnosed with TOS, you probably have nothing to be seriously concerned about.

The key is to recognize possible symptoms and speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Dr. Yashar, a board-certified neurosurgeon, states that the following are tests your doctor may suggest.

  • Pulse Volume Recordings
  • X-rays of the neck and shoulder
  • Doppler Ultrasound
  • Nerve Conduction Velocity Test
  • MRI
  • Venography
  • Arteriography

Based on your initial examination and review of your medical history, one or more of these tests will help your doctor to definitively identify the form of TOS you may have, allowing them to put together a comprehensive treatment plan that could relieve your discomfort and potentially save your life.

The honest answer is, it depends. The symptoms can be uncomfortable or even debilitating depending on the type and severity of your thoracic outlet syndrome, so let’s start by looking at what TOS is and the different forms it takes. To get in touch with a top neurosurgeon in Los Angeles, look no f...

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Weighing the Risks of Back Surgery

Chronic pain due to back problems is one of the worst things in the world to live with. Being in constant discomfort without relief is irritating, depressing, and maddening. There are some major procedures available to help relieve or eliminate this pain. Most patients are curious about whether the benefits outweigh the risks. When it comes to the risks of back surgery, you should understand your considerations thoroughly before making a final decision.

Continue reading “Weighing the Risks of Back Surgery”

Chronic pain due to back problems is one of the worst things in the world to live with. Being in constant discomfort without relief is irritating, depressing, and maddening. There are some major procedures available to help relieve or eliminate this pain. Most patients are curious about whether the ...

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Why Does Your Spine Crack So Much?

Have you ever stood up after being seated for a long time, and you can feel your spine crack as you move? What about when you stretch after waking up? Hearing and feeling the cracking of your spine may be alarming to you, but in many cases this is completely normal.

 

At Yashar Neurosurgery, it’s our job to help your spine stay fit and healthy. Therefore, we like to inform our patients when a creak or crack in the spine is cause for alarm. It is most likely a normal bodily function, but there can sometimes be other causes of back cracking that you should be aware of. Below, we will discuss some of the ways in which your spine can crack, and whether or not it merits concern.

Common Back Cracks

The spine will crack naturally due to the nature of its movements. When you stretch or turn in a certain direction, gas bubbles can form in between the joints of your spine. These gas bubbles then pop, which is what causes the cracking sound and sensation.

 

When you move around, you are constantly changing the level of pressure in between each vertebra in your spine. This means that lots of bubbles will form throughout the course of your day, causing it to crack.

 

This is completely normal and never cause for concern. If your back cracks for other reasons, though, you may want to schedule a consultation with our certified neurosurgery experts.

Uncommon Back Cracks

If the cracking in your back is painful or more intense than you’re used to, there could be an additional reason why this is happening. This may include:

  • Damaged cartilage or ligament. Tight muscles force your ligaments to work harder to move around, and this can cause them to rub against your bones or cartilage, causing a popping sound and sensation. Stretching your muscles more often may be a good way to prevent this from happening too frequently.

 

  • Deteriorated cartilage. Cartilage is a substance softer than bone that fits in between each of your bones, preventing them from touching each other. If the cartilage is worn down or deteriorated, your bones will rub against each other and cause an array of pops that may be loud or feel painful.

 

You might have a problem with your spine if you feel a lot of pain and swelling. Some at-home remedies may be able to alleviate this pain and pressure; for example, stretching your muscles and your back in a variety of different positions can be a great way to loosen the ligaments. Healthline provides a guide for some common back stretches and exercises you can do at home to alleviate pressure and prevent frequent popping.

Keep an Ear Out for Abnormal Popping Sounds

There’s a way to determine whether the popping from your spine is a normal, natural sensation, or whether it is cause for concern. Abnormal sounds are usually ones that are repeated often or may be louder than usual. They are also almost always associated with swelling, pain, and fluid buildup.

 

It is especially important to identify whether these abnormal sounds and feelings are coming from a place in your spine that has suffered from an injury. Damage, fractures, or other signs of injury can exacerbate the symptoms of your popping spine. If you feel that this is the case for you, it is imperative that you make an appointment with your local spine specialist as soon as possible.

Get a Top Neurosurgery Consultation Today!

If you are feeling even the slightest discomfort in your spine, or you are concerned about the way your back is popping, you can schedule a consultation with us right away. You can get in touch with our friendly experts by contacting us online or by giving us a call at (424) 361-0923.

 

Have you ever stood up after being seated for a long time, and you can feel your spine crack as you move? What about when you stretch after waking up? Hearing and feeling the cracking of your spine may be alarming to you, but in many cases this is completely normal.   At Yashar Neurosurgery, [&...

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Signs You May Have Osteoarthritis

Do you have pain and stiffness in your joints? Have you noticed swelling or a loss of flexibility at those same sites? If the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” then you may be suffering from the early signs of osteoarthritis.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis affects approximately 27 million Americans, making it the most common chronic condition in the nation.

In healthy joints, cartilage covers the connections between the bones, protecting them from rubbing against each other as you move. As you develop signs of osteoarthritis, cartilage begins to breakdown, causing friction between the bones. Unfortunately, as a degenerative disease, it will generally advance, leading to increased difficulty as you age.

Who can Develop Osteoarthritis?

Anyone of any age can develop osteoarthritis. However, it is most prevalent in people over the age of 65. Genetic factors and previous injuries can contribute to early-onset, as can obesity, which puts the joints under additional strain.

What are the Signs of Osteoarthritis?

In the early stages, you may only notice some discomfort and stiffness in the affected joints. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases notes that you are most likely to notice these symptoms in your hands, knees, hips, or spine, as they are the most common areas affected by the disease.

It is true that some discomfort and stiffness can occur normally, so don’t panic. However, if you regularly notice an increase in stiffness when you first wake up in the morning or after staying in one position for an extended time, then there is an increased chance that your symptoms could be linked to this degenerative condition.

As the cartilage continues to break down, bone spurs may begin to form in an effort to protect the area. Other parts of the bone may also break off in small pieces as a result of friction. All of these injuries will trigger an inflammatory response, causing swelling at the site of degeneration. Of all these symptoms, the most obvious will be the pain, which will increase as the disease progresses.

Spinal Osteoarthritis

Of all the regions primarily affected by osteoarthritis, the most painful and debilitating is the spine. In the case of spinal osteoarthritis, it isn’t just the cartilage and bone that are at stake. As the key protective layer surrounding your spinal cord, the breakdown of cartilage in your spine can be excruciating.

Essentially, as the premier LA neurosurgeon Dr. Yashar explains, as the cartilage separating your vertebra breaks down, it can cause a “pinched nerve” effect. As a result, the early stages of your osteoarthritis may be a bit different. Still, watch for pain or swelling, but also pay attention if you experience any tingling, numbness, or muscle fatigue in your extremities.

Treating Osteoarthritis

Despite the initial grim outlook of being diagnosed with a degenerative disease, there are a number of treatment options. The Mayo Clinic organizes these into four basic categories.

1. Medication

Dr. Yashar may use medication to treat your pain and any swelling you are experiencing. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are both common; although, he may opt for something slightly stronger if your condition is more advanced.

2. Therapy

Physical and occupational therapy is often prescribed in addition to medication and/or surgery. The aim is to preserve your range of motion and show you new ways of doing everyday tasks that are less likely to aggravate your affected joints.

3. Injections

Cortisone and lubrication injections offer extended pain relief for many patients. However, you should keep in mind that you can only receive cortisone steroid injections a few times a year without causing further damage to the joint.

4. Surgery

Your surgical options will vary greatly depending on the location of your osteoarthritis. In the case of spinal degeneration, your Beverly Hills neurosurgeon will always begin with the most conservative means of treatment prior to moving towards surgery in an effort to save you the pain and recovery time involved in spinal surgery. If you think you are experiencing early signs of osteoarthritis, get in touch with Dr. Yashar immediately.

Do you have pain and stiffness in your joints? Have you noticed swelling or a loss of flexibility at those same sites? If the answer to both of these questions is “yes,” then you may be suffering from the early signs of osteoarthritis. What is Osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis is sometimes referred...

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Why Do Backs Spasm?

Because of the way humans have grown and evolved, back pain is one of the most common – and the most inevitable – conditions that will happen to all people at one point or another. In fact, approximately 80% of the human population deals with back pain. Back pain frequently reveals itself by spasming, which is when the muscles in the back involuntarily contract or get tense for short periods of time. But what causes back spasms?

Some people may experience this on occasion, while for others, it may be a more chronic thing. At Yashar Neurosurgery, our mission is to help you understand the causes and symptoms behind your back pain, in order to figure out why the spasms have occurred. If you are dealing with back spasms or chronic pain, the following information can help you get some insight into why this may be happening to you.

Don’t wait for back pain to get worse. Get in touch with your top neuro and spine surgeon to root out the solution as quickly as possible.

Main Causes of Back Spasms

Back spasms usually occur when there is damage in the back’s muscles or ligaments. Sometimes, something as simple as lifting a heavy box can cause the back to spasm.

Anything that puts a lot of strain on the muscles and ligaments in the back can make it prone to injury and spasming. For example, playing a physically-heavy sport like football can damage the back, as you are constantly and suddenly twisting it to get into different positions.

There can be other medical conditions that lead to back spasms, such as if you have a ruptured disc or arthritis in your spine. Pre-existing conditions, especially those in the spine, can lead to the development of further damage as it puts pressure on the spine, vertebrae, back, and legs.

How are Back Spasms Diagnosed?

At the office of Dr. Yashar, we take precautions to diagnose back spasms based on symptoms that you will be asked about. Symptoms involve tightness in the muscles, chronic pain, and unnecessary pressure. Questions will be relating to:

  • How severe your back pain is
  • If there’s anything that relieves it (assuming a certain position, applying pressure, etc.)
  • When the back pain started, and whether you have pre-existing conditions
  • How often your back spasms

It’s important to let your doctor know when you started noticing the spasms, and whether you’ve recently been involved in a lot of physical activity or labor.

How to Get Immediate Relief

There is no one single cure that can get rid of back spasms or cure you of your back pain. There are, however, certain exercises or practices you can use to get immediate relief when your back is bothering you. Medical News Today offers the following solutions:

  • At-home massage on the affected area for one minute
  • Application of heat or ice to reduce tension and inflammation
  • Using a foam roller on the affected area to soothe the muscle tightness
  • Over-the-counter medicines and muscle relaxants prescribed by a doctor

There are also a couple of things that Dr. Yashar can recommend to prevent your back spasms from developing further. It is a good idea to work on standing and sitting up straight as much as possible, as it will strengthen the core of your lower back. Regular physical activity that strengthens the back and abdomen will also help keep the muscles formidable and can prevent spasms.

Back problems can worsen if you are stagnant. The more you remain in bed or in a seat during the day, the more prone you become to developing spasms. If you notice an issue with your back, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor ASAP.

Visit Yashar Neurosurgery to Stop Your Spasms Today!

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Back problems are serious, especially when spasms have developed. If you need help with your back, contact our office to schedule an appointment. You can reach out to us online or call us at (424) 361-0923 to plan a consultation.

Because of the way humans have grown and evolved, back pain is one of the most common – and the most inevitable – conditions that will happen to all people at one point or another. In fact, approximately 80% of the human population deals with back pain. Back pain frequently reveals itsel...

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Common Reasons for Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery is often related to the brain, but it is much more than that. Brain disorders are only one facet of what neurosurgery is helpful with. It encompasses the entire central nervous system, which includes the spine and its peripheral nerves. Neurosurgery can be required for a life-threatening disease or can be used to improve the quality of life. That decision is made according to the severity of each case. Dr. Yashar is a top neurosurgeon in Los Angeles and will be able to guide you through the process expertly.

Carotid Artery Disease

This particular condition affects the carotid arteries. These are the vessels that supply the brain with blood. When a clog occurs, you are at a higher risk for stroke. The brain needs blood and oxygen to function properly. This is a slow-developing disease, so knowing the symptoms is very important. Severe headaches, dizziness, and trouble speaking or seeing are common signs of carotid artery disease. Sometimes, bad health can be the cause. Proper lifestyle changes may be enough to fix the problem. If that is not an option, neurosurgery can be done to give the brain the blood it needs.

Brain Tumors

A tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue that grows and becomes a problem. Although some brain tumors can be benign, that is not the usual case. There are two types of brain tumors: primary and metastatic. Primary refers to the type of tumor that originates from the area it infects. This means that the tumor used brain tissue to develop. Metastatic tumors are always malignant and don’t originate in the brain. In regards to a metastatic brain tumor, the tumor would have originated in another part of the body. It would then travel through the bloodstream to the brain. Surgery is the main type of treatment for tumors whether benign or malignant. Brain tumor symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Nausea

Cervical Stenosis

Many spine disorders require neurosurgery, including cervical stenosis. The spine is a group of interlocking discs, vertebrae, and bone that work in conjunction to support your whole body. As we age, the spinal cord becomes compressed from these parts not working properly. The spinal canal narrows, the discs separate, and the space between vertebrae shrinks. Age isn’t the only cause of cervical stenosis. Injury, spinal disease, and even poor posture can be the culprit.

If you suffer from cervical stenosis, you may feel pain in your neck and arms, have muscle spasms, lose muscle tone, lose muscle coordination, have decreased dexterity, and numbness in your hands. The spine is really the control center for the entire body’s extremities. Without it properly functioning, there are a lot of other problems that will persist. To learn more about spinal stenosis treatment, contact Dr. Yashar today.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

This is a painful disorder that affects the face. The trigeminal nerve is responsible for telling your brain about facial sensations. This nerve is used when touching your face, so brushing your teeth, putting on makeup, putting in contacts, and applying face cream are all daily habits that are involved. Having trigeminal neuralgia means that the nerve is telling your brain that pain is present. It is essentially malfunctioning. Mild stimulation to your face can cause excruciating pain. Since eating, talking, and even smiling becomes difficult, treatment is imperative.

Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is another common reason for neurosurgery. Essentially, a build-up of fluid in the brain puts pressure on it. This pressure can kill brain cells and cause brain function impairment. This disorder is more frequent in infants and adults older than 60 but can happen to anyone at any age. Using neurosurgery, the fluid can be drained, and the pressure relieved.

Top Neurosurgeon in Los Angeles

If you have had chronic pain or weakness that is unexplained, be sure to talk with a Los Angeles neurosurgeon today! Dr. Yashar has the experience to find a diagnosis for anything that you may be suffering from.

Neurosurgery is often related to the brain, but it is much more than that. Brain disorders are only one facet of what neurosurgery is helpful with. It encompasses the entire central nervous system, which includes the spine and its peripheral nerves. Neurosurgery can be required for a life-threatenin...

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Best Exercises for a Pinched Nerve in Your Back

More often than not, if you feel as though you have a pinched nerve, the origin is in your spine. According to the North American Spine Society, even 95% of cases that patients label as sciatica is actually caused by compression of the spinal nerve. Are their exercises for a pinched nerve you can incorporate into your routine?

For a top neurosurgeon in Los Angeles, look no further than Dr. Yashar. With international experience and an expertly trained team, Yashar Neurosurgery specializes in treating patients suffering from pinched nerve symptoms.

What is a “Pinched” Nerve?

Radiculopathy, aka a “pinched” nerve in the spinal column, is caused by increased pressure on the nerves, usually as a result of a narrowing of the point where the nerves exit the spine. This narrowing can be caused by a variety of conditions ranging from a herniated disk to stenosis.

Symptoms of Radiculopathy

  • Sharp pains in the back, shoulders, neck, or extremities
  • Weakness
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Numbness or “Pins and Needles” sensation

Types of Radiculopathy

The type of radiculopathy will depend on the location of the compressed nerve.

  • Cervical radiculopathy indicates that the compression is occurring in your neck. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the arms and hands are the most common sites for symptoms in these cases.
  • Thoracic radiculopathy indicates that the compression is occurring in your upper back. This is the least common form and will sometimes result in painful sensations that can wrap around the front of the body
  • Lumbar radiculopathy indicates that the compression is occurring in your lower back. This is the most common form. You will normally experience symptoms in your buttocks and legs. Lumbar radiculopathy is often what people mistake for sciatica.

Treatment Options

The treatment options available to you will depend largely on the cause of the compression and where it is occurring along your spine. Dr. Yashar, an experienced neurosurgeon in Los Angeles with a specialization in spinal surgery, offers treatment for all of the major causes of pinched nerves with surgical options for extreme cases. Depending on the source of your discomfort, you’ll find the anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections are some common first steps before surgery will even be considered.

Pain Relief & Exercises for a Pinched Nerve

Waiting for diagnosis and treatment can be frustrating particularly if you’re suffering more severe symptoms. In the meantime, there are several stretches and exercises for a pinched nerve that can be used to give you much-needed relief.

For Lumbar Radiculopathy

The Bent Knee Stretch: Start by sitting on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lie back gently and bend one of your knees. Clasp both hands around the knee, keeping the foot flexed, and gently pull it towards you.

Once you feel the stretch in your buttock and lower back, you’ll know you’re in the right place. Hold for 30-60 seconds, pulling a little closer if you can without straining yourself. Then try the other side.

If the full stretch is too much, then try it while you’re still sitting up. Lower your head for a more complete stretch in the sitting position. You can see a video of both versions here.

For Cervical Radiculopathy

The Chin Tuck: Start by sitting or standing in an upright position. Many guides, such as the one provided by Healthline suggest grabbing your chin and gently pushing it down, helping you to elongate your neck. An alternative is a deeper stretch achieved by using your fingertips to exert slight pressure at the crown of your head.

The Shoulder Roll: This exercise for a pinched nerve will target your shoulders and the lowest part of your neck. You’ll start by standing up straight, pushing your shoulders forward and your thoracic region slightly back, then rolling your shoulders upwards and around until they’re all the way back. You can reverse the process for a more complete stretch.

For Thoracic Radiculopathy

Scapular Retraction: Stand up straight and gently pull your shoulders back as though you are trying to get your shoulder blades to touch behind you. It’s a simple exercise with excellent relief potential. A similar effect can be achieved by standing in a doorway with a hand on either side and just barely walking through.

Though exercises for a pinched nerve are not a permanent solution, they may help bring you some much-needed pain relief. Contact Dr. Yashar today for more questions about the condition and strength of your spine.

More often than not, if you feel as though you have a pinched nerve, the origin is in your spine. According to the North American Spine Society, even 95% of cases that patients label as sciatica is actually caused by compression of the spinal nerve. Are their exercises for a pinched nerve you can in...

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What are the Symptoms of a Spine Tumor?

There’s no such thing as a fun tumor, but spinal tumors can be particularly frightening due to the effects on your nervous system. Fortunately, these effects act similar to an early warning system. They let you know something is wrong so you can immediately seek professional help. For more information regarding spinal tumor treatment in Los Angeles, contact Dr. Yashar. Let’s take a look at some common symptoms of a spine tumor.

What is a Spinal Tumor?

The Columbia University Department of Neurology explains that spinal tumors occur when an abnormal and potentially cancerous cell multiplies to form a mass of abnormal cells on the spinal cord or the area around it.

If the tumor began at the site of the spine, Dr. Yashar will refer to it as a primary tumor. A secondary tumor originates from another tumor. Usually, a secondary spinal tumor will be a result of cancer originating in the chest cavity or abdomen, which has traveled through the body to metastasize to the spine.

It is important to note that not all spinal tumors can be treated. The key factor is time. The earlier it is diagnosed, the more likely you are to receive successful treatment options. If you notice any of these persistent symptoms, seek a professional diagnosis from your spine specialist.

You may not have a spinal tumor, as they are relatively rare, but it is always best to know what is causing your neurological symptoms. Even if it isn’t a spinal tumor, it is in your best interest to diagnose a neurological condition as quickly as possible.

Symptoms of a Spine Tumor

John Hopkins Medicine suggests that patients seek professional diagnosis if any of the following symptoms of a spine tumor persist:

  • Back or neck pain. If your persistent back or neck pain cannot be explained by your lifestyle or another condition, it is possible that it could be the result of a spinal tumor. As the tumor grows, it puts pressure on the nerves and forces a slow change in the alignment of the spine.
  • Incontinence. If you suddenly lose the ability to control your bowels or bladder, it could be a neurological symptom resulting from the tumor blocking impulses through the spinal cord.
  • Numbness, Trouble Walking, or Paralysis. From the relatively innocent to the debilitating, all of these symptoms can be a result of a growing tumor increasing pressure on the nerves. As the pressure increases, more advanced symptoms are likely to present.
  • Spinal deformity. If you notice that the alignment of your spine seems to be changing, resulting in scoliosis or similar spinal deformity, then you should seek medical attention. It could be that a tumor is forcing your spine to move. In any case, you will need to see your doctor to rectify the issue.

If one or more of these symptoms present, you should speak with Dr. Yashar. He will want to do a full exam, and they will most likely require an MRI before recommending you to a specialist.

Spine Tumor Treatment

According to Dr. Parham Yashar, a skilled neurosurgeon specializing in spinal surgery, treatment options vary depending on the type of tumor and its size at the time of treatment. Most spinal tumors fit one of five categories.

  1. Spinal Gliomas: Typically treated with corticosteroids to relieve swelling, helping to decrease pressure on the spinal cord. Surgical resection of the spine and postoperative radiation therapy gives the patient increased long-term results.
  2. Meningiomas: These tumors arise in the membrane protecting the spinal cord. Their location tends to result in somewhat different symptoms separate from those caused solely by a physical blockage. Headaches, seizures, nausea, weakness, mood changes, and visual impairment are more common. Complete resection of the affected area is often the best course of action, but complete resection is not always possible.
  3. Schwannomas: These homogenous tumors can usually be removed with minimally invasive surgery if they need to be removed at all. They are almost always benign and grow very slowly. However, they will need to be monitored if surgery is not performed.
  4. Multiple Myeloma: These are cancerous tumors that attack white blood cells. In these cases, therapies will be used to decrease the clonal plasma cell population. Surgery may also be required to relieve pressure from the spinal column.
  5. Spinal Metastases: These are secondary tumors, which will be treated as part of your oncologist’s attempts to help you fight cancer. Depending on the damage to the spine, neurosurgery may be required.

Your Spine and You

Spinal tumors are scary due to the effects they can have. However, it is also these effects that can help you to identify a problem before it’s too late. So, if you are experiencing the major symptoms listed or any of those tied particularly to meningiomas, then speak to your doctor for your own peace of mind.

There’s no such thing as a fun tumor, but spinal tumors can be particularly frightening due to the effects on your nervous system. Fortunately, these effects act similar to an early warning system. They let you know something is wrong so you can immediately seek professional help. For more informa...

Read More >>