Can You Feel a Brain Tumor?

Your brain is the effective center of everything you perceive. Your physical actions, emotions, and experiences are all processed through your brain within the protective shell of your skull. Therefore, when a tumor begins to develop, it doesn’t present with the same symptoms that you might expect from a tumor located in a different region of your body. In other words, you can feel a brain tumor itself. You aren’t likely to find physical lumps, but your body will communicate its distress in ways that can sometimes be confused for a completely different condition.

If you have concerns, contact the top neurosurgeon in Los Angeles, Dr. Yashar.

What are the Symptoms of a Brain Tumor?

Chronic headaches are the symptom that makes the most sense for a brain tumor, given its physical location. Still, you don't feel a brain tumor, but instead its effects on the body. However, as the central communication hub for your entire central nervous system, involuntary processes, and emotional life, damage to your brain is not limited to the confines of your skull. Even a noncancerous tumor putting pressure on parts of the tumor can cause a laundry list of symptoms that can dramatically affect a person’s life.

Depending on the location, size, and nature of the tumor, patients may experience several of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Changes in Personality
  • Mood Swings
  • Vision Problems
  • Memory Loss
  • Tingling of Stiffness (on one side of the body only)
  • Loss of Balance
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Difficulty Communicating
  • Confusion or Disorientation
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Muscle Weakness

It is a long and, honestly, frightening list. If you regularly experience any of these symptoms and do not have an underlying condition that explains them, you need to seek medical attention. Fortunately, the odds are in your favor, as less than one percent of people develop a malignant brain tumor during their lifetime. Even so, you should still see your doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms and treat your condition.

What if it’s Bad News?

If a brain tumor is causing your symptoms, then it is essential to do what you can to stay calm and take everything one step at a time. Your first step will be to contact a specialist. Find a reputable neurosurgeon in your area and contact your primary care physician and oncologist. Your neurosurgeon may have to do further tests based on what information has already been collected by the rest of your medical care team, but then they will be able to tell you three crucial things.

  • Is the tumor malignant?
  • Is it operable?
  • Can radiation therapy be a possible treatment?

The answers to these three questions will determine what further action is possible. At this point, you can have a candid conversation with close family and friends if you haven’t already told them. Then you should move forward with treatment as soon as you can.

What to Expect from Treatment?

Your medical team’s approach to treatment will vary widely based on the type, size, and location of your brain tumor. Pre-existing medical conditions and age may also be factors that affect your treatment plan. However, there are some general aspects of brain tumor treatment that might help you prepare.

In many cases, your medical team will first try to shrink the tumor using radiation therapy. If successful, the treatment can reduce the pressure exerted on the brain and limit the resulting symptoms. Additionally, shrinking the tumor can sometimes make it easier to remove, reducing the risks of surgery. Surgical removal is another common step to treating brain tumors, as it is the most reliable way to prevent further growth. In the cases where removal is possible, your medical team will defer to your neurosurgeon.

Living Past Cancer

A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. We all worry about what it means for our future, our family, our life, but you can get past it. With advances in modern medicine and a compassionate team on your side, you can reduce cancer to a footnote in the story of your life.

Your brain is the effective center of everything you perceive. Your physical actions, emotions, and experiences are all processed through your brain within the protective shell of your skull. Therefore, when a tumor begins to develop, it doesn’t present with the same symptoms that you might expect...

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Activities to Avoid with Herniated Disc

Every individual vertebra of your spine is protected by a cushion known as a spinal disc. This disc keeps bones from rubbing against each other. Typically, this kind of disc is hard on the outside but softer in the center. A herniated disc occurs when the hard exterior is replaced by that soft inner material. That does not provide enough cushion to protect the vertebrae, and it causes pain and limited mobility. And there are several activities to avoid with a herniated disc to prevent it from worsening.

All of our herniated disc patients find it difficult to perform certain common tasks and sit in common positions throughout the day. Unfortunately, while dealing with a herniated disc, there will be limits to the everyday activities you can do.

Below is a short list of some of the biggest activities to avoid while dealing with a herniated disc. Remember to reach out to Dr. Yashar, a herniated disc specialist in Los Angeles, to schedule an appointment for further treatment.

House Chores

It can be maddening sitting around the house when there are chores that need to be done and not being able to do them. But you need to give your back a break when you have a herniated disc. Housework that requires a lot of physical motion, such as vacuuming or folding laundry, is totally out of the question. You will need to spend less time using your back and more time treating it. Try to get in touch with a trusted friend or a local cleaning service to help you out for a while since you can’t do these chores on your own.

Exercise

Dealing with a back injury? Going to the gym is out of the question. Any kind of strenuous exercise is bound to exacerbate the painful symptoms of your herniated disc. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sit-ups and pull-ups
  • Running and jogging
  • Jumping rope
  • Squats
  • Yoga and stretching

Any kind of strenuous activity is bound to worsen the symptoms associated with your herniated disc. Even stretches are too dangerous to attempt, as they put too much pressure and movement on your spine. If you are interested in learning about some safe exercises, check the herniated disc exercises from Spine-Health.

Caring for Plants and Pets

If you’re a nurturer at heart, it will be difficult for you to stop doing the things you do so naturally. But taking care of your pets and your gardens demands too much physical labor from someone who is dealing with herniated disc pain. Bending down to fill dog bowls with food is something that you cannot do when you are injured.

Gardening is also off-limits to you while you are being treated for a herniated disc. Much like feeding a pet, gardening requires too many movements that have you bending over or kneeling down. Using a shovel to dig up the soil in the garden is an activity that should be avoided at all costs.

Safe Exercises to Consider

Now that you know a bit about what you need to avoid, it’s important to also know about some of the safer exercises you can still do when your back is injured. It’s okay to partake in gentle, healing exercises such as slow walking and swimming. For some patients, cycling is also a way to relieve herniated disc pain, but every individual is unique, so be sure to approach any new activity with caution and control.

Sitting down for long periods of time is also discouraged. Make sure you go for walks and find ways to keep your blood circulation flowing.

Treat Your Herniated Disc ASAP

Spinal injuries can lead to a lifetime of pain, irritation, and suffering. In the event of a herniated disc, the first step is to figure out the cause. Herniated discs and sciatica issues can be caused for several different reasons, and it’s important to figure out the cause so a proper treatment plan can be made. The longer you wait to get help with your spinal issues, the worse and more permanent its resulting symptoms can be. Get in touch with Dr. Yashar, the best spine surgeon in Beverly Hills, today and schedule your consultation for a pain-free future.

Every individual vertebra of your spine is protected by a cushion known as a spinal disc. This disc keeps bones from rubbing against each other. Typically, this kind of disc is hard on the outside but softer in the center. A herniated disc occurs when the hard exterior is replaced by that soft inner...

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Does Smoking Cause Back Pain?

The scientific consensus is overwhelming. Smoking is terrible for your health. Unfortunately, many people who smoke view the side effects as something that will affect them in the distant future rather than in the present. When discussing the negative health ramifications of smoking, we tend to focus on cancer and heart disease. People depicted in anti-smoking ads are almost always elderly and physically frail. The result is that younger smokers, who have the best chance of fighting addiction, are less likely to identify their habit with the horrible reality depicted on their screen. Some studies even point to smoking being a cause of back pain.

In truth, the materials in cigarettes are far more insidious than anti-smoking campaigns show. The effects are not limited to the elderly suffering from cancer, gum disease, and heart disease. Even young smokers have:

  • Weakened immune systems
  • Decreased ability to heal
  • Reduced blood flow

Together, these effects lead to an entire host of symptoms that people may not even immediately realize are due to their smoking habit.

Smoking and Chronic Back Pain

Long before you may think you have to worry about smoking killing you, it is already having a direct, negative impact on your quality of life. You may already be familiar with the coughing and shortness of breath. But you may not realize that smoking also damages your spine and the surrounding musculature. This causal chain means that smoking can cause back pain. Four distinct factors link smoking to chronic back pain.

1. Reduced Blood Flow

Nicotine naturally restricts the size of blood vessels. Your blood vessels are responsible for delivering oxygenated blood and nutrients to your spine and the supporting muscles. The restriction caused by nicotine reduces the availability of necessary compounds to the spinal region. The result is gradual disc degeneration and muscular degeneration. As the discs and muscles fail, you will have less cushion between the spinal bones and less muscle support. Together, these lead to worsening back pain over time.

2. Inflammation

Smoking also increases your body’s inflammatory response. Inflammation is used as part of the immunological response. But, an increase in response to the harmful elements found in cigarettes can exacerbate existing pain.

3. Reduced Calcium Absorption

Nicotine also makes it more difficult for your body to absorb calcium, leading to higher rates of osteoporosis in smokers. As a result, people who smoke are likely to experience the failure of the soft tissues, musculature, and bones that make up the spinal region at the same time.

4. Reduced Pain Tolerance

Every time you inhale cigarette smoke, the nicotine encourages your brain to release dopamine. This is the “feel good” chemical that causes smoking to be addictive. We rarely discuss an unfortunate side effect: the consistent exposure to dopamine will gradually increase pain sensitivity over time. Therefore, even mild back pain may feel severe to a smoker, especially as their addiction grows.

Beating Back Pain and Addiction

Unfortunately, smoking regularly will disqualify many patients from the spinal surgeries they need to treat the physical degeneration of spinal tissues. Not only does smoking cause back pain, but it can prevent you from treatment. The risk of performing surgery is simply too high for the patient. The reason is that smoking decreases your ability to heal and increases the chance of infection.

At Yashar Neurosurgery, Dr. Yashar will do everything possible to help diagnose and treat patients suffering from chronic back pain. Physical therapy and injections are often viable options for patients who are not eligible for surgery. However, if surgery is required, patients should be prepared to put a pause on smoking. We advise you to quit smoking for 4-6 weeks before surgery and continue to abstain for 4-6 weeks afterward. This period is designed to allow your body to resume normal immunological activity and significantly reduces the risk of complications.

For help with quitting, even if it is only for a few months, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to find out about local resources that you can use to help you quit. It won’t just add years to your life. It will make every day more comfortable.

The scientific consensus is overwhelming. Smoking is terrible for your health. Unfortunately, many people who smoke view the side effects as something that will affect them in the distant future rather than in the present. When discussing the negative health ramifications of smoking, we tend to focu...

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Pinched Nerve Symptoms

If you are experiencing pain throughout your body, and you are unable to identify the source or cause of the pain, you may be dealing with a pinched nerve. Nerves are found all throughout the body, from the brain to the toes, and pain can occur anywhere along the nervous system. This sometimes makes it difficult to find a diagnosis. However, by identifying pinched nerve symptoms, it is easier for your local neurosurgery experts in LA to come up with a viable treatment plan.

At Yashar Neurosurgery, we take symptoms of pain very seriously. Continue reading to learn about the most common symptoms of a pinched nerve, and get in touch with us if you are concerned about the pain you are experiencing.

What Causes a Pinched Nerve?

To understand the symptoms, you must first understand the cause. There are many ailments, events, or conditions that can cause a pinched nerve.

A pinched nerve happens when there is undue pressure or stress that pushes down on a nerve. This compresses the nerve and causes it to have the “pinched” feeling that can cause so many different symptoms of pain. This can happen because you fell asleep with your arms or leg bent at awkward angles, or you had to hold your body in a certain position for a long time. A pinched nerve could even be the result of a workout gone wrong.

A study by Cleveland Clinic shows that pinched nerves most commonly originate in the neck, back, and hands.

What are the Main Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve?

Dealing with a pinched nerve can bring some serious pain. Nerve compression works in mysterious ways, so you are likely experiencing additional symptoms as well. The most common symptoms of a pinched nerve include:

  • Pain that radiates outward from the neck or lower back
  • Burning sensation in certain parts of the body
  • Pain that feels like pins and needles poking the affected area
  • An abundance of fatigue and physical weakness
  • Tingling or numbness in a particular limb or around the affected area
  • Sciatica
  • Limited movement ability (cannot move without stiffness or pain)
  • Inability to sit or stand

Depending on the severity of your pain as well as the original location of the pinched nerve, there are several different treatments available to reduce symptoms and restore comfort and movement in your body.

Pinched Nerve Treatment Options

When it comes to nerve pain, each case is so unique that different patients require completely different treatment plans. In some cases, only time and patience can heal a pinched nerve. But depending on the cause and the nature of your pinched nerve, there are ways to find immediate relief.

The first treatment options Dr. Yashar would recommend is to rest as much as possible and avoid putting any pressure on the affected area. It is also a good idea not to involve yourself in any physical activity at this time. The nervous system and the spine are so complicated that only time can get rid of the problems.

If the pain persists or is too severe to enjoy daily life, you might need additional pinched nerve treatments. This can include surgery to remove scar tissue, excess disc material, or even pieces of bone from your spine that may be putting undue pressure on the nerves. If surgery is not a requirement, though, there are other non-surgical procedures that you can invest in at the office of Dr. Yashar to get rid of your pain and any other symptoms that may be hindering your life.

Get Surgery-Free Pain Relief Today!

Dr. Yashar uses a variety of advanced techniques to offer pain relief procedures without involving invasive surgery practices. Depending on the severity and location of your pinched nerve pain, however, surgery may still be necessary. Keep in mind that as one of the top neurosurgeons in the country. Dr. Yashar is dedicated to giving each patient the individual care and specific treatments they need. If you are worried about your pain symptoms, contact our neurosurgery experts today. You can also call our office at 424-361-0923 to schedule a one-on-one consultation.

If you are experiencing pain throughout your body, and you are unable to identify the source or cause of the pain, you may be dealing with a pinched nerve. Nerves are found all throughout the body, from the brain to the toes, and pain can occur anywhere along the nervous system. This sometimes makes...

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Why Does My Arm Fall Asleep at Night?

We have all been there. You swap positions in your sleep, lay directly on top of your arm, and wake up with a sensationless noodle attached to your shoulder. Using your other hand, you massage the blood back into the limb, suffering the cost in the form of burning pins and needles as sensation returns. It’s a normal, occasional occurrence for most people. But if you find yourself regularly experiencing your arm(s) falling asleep at night, then it could be a symptom of a greater neurological issue. Let's look at the question: why does my arm fall asleep at night?

Sensation and your Nervous System

If your nervous system is functioning normally, it is constantly carrying signals back and forth between your brain and the rest of your body. With every change in texture, temperature, and pressure, your body relays information to your brain, essentially requesting feedback on the appropriate action.

We experience the feeling of a limb falling asleep when those channels become restricted. Normally, the source of pressure is exterior. You might be sitting on your foo. Or a loved one may have been lying against your arm for too long. In these cases, physical pressure on the limb is limiting the extremity’s ability to receive signals from the brain.

However, several neurological disorders can also block or limit communication between your brain and your body. As a result, you may experience a limb falling asleep without any visible explanation. If this is a regular occurrence, then it is time to speak with your doctor and locate a highly respected neurosurgeon in your area. Together, your primary care physician and neurosurgeon can help you to determine what may be causing frequent paresthesia.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common causes of frequent paresthesia. This is especially true for women, who are generally more prone to the condition. It is caused by an internal increase in pressure on the median nerve. It’s the primary nerve in your hand. The syndrome can lead patients to experience numbness, tingling, and even weakness in the affected hand and forearm.

Several contributing factors can lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. But, repetitive actions involving the hand and wrists can make you more susceptible. Obesity, fluid retention, and medical conditions that cause inflammation are other common risk factors for carpal tunnel.

If your neurosurgeon positively determines that carpal tunnel is causing you to lose feeling in your arm(s), then you will start a conservative treatment plan that will target the condition with as little intervention as possible. At Yashar Neurosurgery, this treatment plan will typically begin basic activity modifications and medication. However, if the patient follows through with the treatment plan and sees no results, Dr. Yashar will reevaluate the patient’s condition to determine what the next step should be.

Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve along the line of communication can also lead to the regular loss of feeling in a limb. As such you arm can fall asleep at night. A patient with a pinched nerve is likely to experience more consistent and exaggerated symptoms.

If you’ve been regularly experiencing abnormal sensations in a limb for at least a week, then you should contact your neurosurgeon for diagnosis and treatment.

Your surgeon will perform a range of diagnostic tests to determine if a pinched nerve is at the root of your discomfort. If they can positively identify the condition, you can expect your neurosurgeon to create a treatment plan tailored to your case. In many instances, your neurosurgeon will not immediately jump to a surgical conclusion. Instead, they may try medications, physical therapy, or corticosteroid injections to treat the condition without exposing you to additional risks.

Staying Informed

If you suspect that you could have a neurological issue, don’t hesitate to speak with a medical professional. Diagnosing and treating your condition has the potential to improve your quality of life drastically. As always, be open with your doctor about any concerns you may have and ask as many questions as you need. Dr. Yashar and his team at Yashar Neurosurgery want to make sure you receive the best care in a compassionate atmosphere.

We have all been there. You swap positions in your sleep, lay directly on top of your arm, and wake up with a sensationless noodle attached to your shoulder. Using your other hand, you massage the blood back into the limb, suffering the cost in the form of burning pins and needles as sensation retur...

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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:ShouldersArmsWristsHandsI...

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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, it’s our...

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