What Are the Symptoms Of a Schwannoma?

There are many medical terms and conditions that are popular enough to be known by most people. Then there are conditions, such as schwannoma, that are a bit more obscure. As a premier brain and spine surgeon in Los Angeles, Dr. Yashar wants everyone to be aware of this condition and its symptoms. If you are suffering from a schwannoma, you should know it. Here is a brief description and symptoms of a schwannoma.

To learn more about spine surgery and peripheral nerve treatments, contact Dr. Yashar today.

What is a Schwannoma?

A Schwannoma is a tumor that forms in nerves, and is usually benign. Although in rare instances, it can be cancerous, it is still important to diagnose and treat a schwannoma. These tumors can develop essentially anywhere in the body and age does not play a major factor in those that are affected.

Ultimately, taking care of this before it becomes a problem will stop any nerve and muscle damage, which is the biggest risk from this condition. The name is derived from the type of cell that forms this tumor, called the Schwann cell. This condition has the possibility of affecting the body in ways that is more severe than just pain and discomfort. Although it grows slowly, left untreated, a schwannoma can lead to severe nervous system damage.

What are the Symptoms of a Schwannoma?

The first sign will be a visible lump of the area that is affected. The following symptoms will most likely not happen until it has grown to the point that it is causing pressure to the surrounding nerves. If you have a noticeable lump, combined with any of the following symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor right away for a test. Symptoms of a schwannoma can include:

  • Loss of hearing, dizziness, loss of balance, or ringing in the ears may be due to a schwannoma of the vestibular nerve. This is the nerve that connects the ear to the brain and is one of the most common forms of schwannoma.
  • Pain in your arms or legs, muscle numbness, tingling, or weakness can be due to the spinal nerve root being affected.
  • Pain or discomfort in a localized area of the arms or legs.
  • Problems swallowing, facial paralysis or pain, difficulty moving eyes, or loss of taste may be linked to the facial nerve.

Essentially, if you are feeling pain, numbness, or weakness in any muscles or nerves without proper cause (such as trauma to the area, soreness from activity, etc.), you may have a schwannoma. Look for any lumps or protrusions, and contact your doctor for a proper test.

How to Test for a Schwannoma

If the symptoms are pointing to a schwannoma, you may undergo one of the following tests to double-check:

  • MRI, which stands for magnetic resonance imaging. This is performed in that big machine to get a complete scan of your whole body. It uses magnetic fields and radio frequencies to get this image of your body.
  • CT scan, which stands for computerized tomography. This is a similar test to the MRI scan but uses x-rays instead.
  • Electromyogram, or EMG, uses the electrical activity in your muscles to record an image of what is below the surface.
  • Tumor biopsy is where a small sample of the tumor cell is removed to be analyzed. This test is only performed once the existence of the tumor is confirmed, and to decipher if it is benign or malignant.
  • Nerve biopsy is only performed in certain cases where a false positive of a schwannoma is present.

Brain & Spine Surgeon in Los Angeles

Any chronic pain or discomfort is usually a sign of something larger, so be sure to talk to a professional if any of these symptoms define you. Dr. Yashar has the experience and desire to take care of you. If you are in need of a spine surgeon in Los Angeles, reach out to him today.

There are many medical terms and conditions that are popular enough to be known by most people. Then there are conditions, such as schwannoma, that are a bit more obscure. As a premier brain and spine surgeon in Los Angeles, Dr. Yashar wants everyone to be aware of this condition and its symptoms. I...

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Best Exercises for Flat Back Syndrome

With flat back syndrome, the lower spine loses some of its curvature.

Normally, the spine has several gentle front-to-back, or sagittal, curves. These occur in the lower spine, middle spine, and neck. Together, these curves keep the body’s center of gravity aligned over the hips and pelvis. When the lower spine loses its inward curve, it throws off the patient's balance. This is flat back syndrome.

Symptoms

Flat back syndrome has a few symptoms: 

  • Difficulty standing upright
  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulty with daily tasks

If you feel you are being pitched forward due to a loss of “sway” in the lower back, you may have flat back syndrome. Besides back pain, flat back syndrome causes significant disability.

Treatments

Dr. Yashar is a highly-skilled Neurosurgeon in Los Angeles with a special emphasis on Brain and Spine surgery. He will guide you through nonsurgical options before recommending spinal surgery.

The first line of defense is physical therapy with gait and posture training. Dr. Yashar will also prescribe exercises you can do at home. If you need it, you can also take pain medication. Sometimes,  following these suggestions does not provide relief. This is when the doctor will recommend surgery. Structural problems and severe misalignment are other reasons to pursue surgery.

Muscle Weakness

Patients with flat back syndrome experience the head pitching forward, away from the body. This causes trouble standing upright. In turn, you feel muscle fatigue. Addressing flat back syndrome through exercise can restore some of your natural spine curvature. It also prevents the pain associated with pressure on the nerves.

Flat back syndrome causes tight hamstrings, weakening of the hip muscles, and weakening of the abdominal muscles. To correct these imbalances, doctors recommend the following exercises.

Exercises

Physical therapy for flat back syndrome has three main goals. You want to strengthen the core (abdominal muscles) and the hip muscles and stretch and flex the hamstrings. The exercises below do all these things.

Strengthening the Core

Serpent Pose

Often done in yoga, the serpent pose helps stretch the back and shoulders. It also helps counteract tightness in the upper abdominal muscles.

To do this pose, lie on your stomach on a yoga mat or another flat, clean surface. Place your hands flat on the mat directly under your shoulders. Feel your legs stretching back all the way to your toes. Feel your head stretch forward and upwards until your shoulders are one to two feet off the floor. Press down with your hands for balance.

The Bird-Dog

Use a yoga mat. Stand on all fours: hips directly under knees and hands directly under shoulders. The space under your body should form an even square. Lift your right arm straight up, shooting forward at shoulder height. At the same time, stretch your left leg straight back and up to hip level. Try to achieve a sense of alignment. Try to balance your weight evenly. Release and switch sides.

Stretching and Flexing the Hamstrings

Standing Forward Fold

The standing forward fold is another common yoga pose. It calms the mind and stretches the whole body, especially the hamstrings. It also relieves pressure on the lower back. Read detailed instructions from Yoga Journal. Use a yoga block or stack of books if you can't reach the floor. Also, feel free to bend your knees slightly to make the pose more comfortable.

Foam Rolling

Use of foam rollers can help loosen tightness in the hamstrings. Foam rolling has many benefits. The benefits come from myofascial release. Myofascial release is a process which relaxes contracted muscles. This improves blood and nutrient flow to the area. Myofascial release is popular in the fitness community. It has been used to treat athletes for decades.

According to www.developgoodhabits.com, foam rolling has eight major benefits:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Improved movements
  • Better range of motion
  • Decreased injury risk
  • Decreased recovery time
  • Ability to exercise more frequently

Massage Therapy

Getting regular massages is a great way to release tight muscles and increase blood flow.  Massage also releases feel-good chemicals in the brain that lessen physical pain.

Strengthen the hip muscles

Chair March

Sit in a chair with your shoulders squarely over your knees and your knees squarely over your ankles. March in place. That’s it. The hip muscle used to do this exercise is the same one affected by flat back syndrome.

Flat Back Syndrome Relief

Dr. Yashar at Yashar Neurosurgery is a top provider of brain and spine surgery in Greater Los Angeles. Dr. Yashar was featured on KCAL 9 speaking about an area of his expertise. He believes in exhausting all conservative treatment methods before considering surgery. Dr. Yashar’s spine procedures are minimally invasive and use the latest surgical techniques. He takes pride in being involved in every step of the treatment process from consultation to recovery. Click or call Yashar Neurosurgery at 424-0361-0923 to make an appointment today.

With flat back syndrome, the lower spine loses some of its curvature. Normally, the spine has several gentle front-to-back, or sagittal, curves. These occur in the lower spine, middle spine, and neck. Together, these curves keep the body’s center of gravity aligned over the hips and pelvis. When t...

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Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Neuropathy?

Nerve pain is one of the most difficult types of pain to deal with, especially because it has the tendency to be chronic. While nerve treatments and spine surgery are our specialties at Yashar Neurosurgery, we want to empower you to seek education and information about nerve health on your own as well. Our practice is designed to especially help you with any and all nerve pain you may be feeling.

Many patients love to explore home remedies, searching for ways to ease their unrelenting nerve pain at home in between appointments. Some turn to apple cider vinegar for neuropathy as a natural remedy.


But...does it really work?

The History of Apple Cider Vinegar and Neuropathy

An article published by Medical News Today suggests apple cider vinegar's healing properties go back many years. In fact, it can be traced back to the introduction of apple cider vinegar itself.

Many people and cultures attest to its healing properties, and it is often used in home remedies. Aside from nerve pain, apple cider vinegar is also used to relieve symptoms of:

  • Arthritis
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Soreness

What are the properties that compose apple cider vinegar to make it such a curable tool? If you’re stuck at home without access to your doctor right away, you might be interested in exploring the properties of apple cider vinegar for neuropathy yourself. Let’s take a look!

Active Ingredients

What exactly is in apple cider vinegar that makes it so good at relieving our symptoms of nerve pain? There are a surprising amount of minerals in this vinegar, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are natural anti-inflammatories.

While those minerals can be found in many different substances, especially in the healthy foods we eat, there’s a big difference when it’s applied in a concentrated amount. By using apple cider vinegar on your nerve pain, it can actually reduce the swelling caused by the nerve pain itself.

It is not a cure, but it can definitely relieve pain when you’re in tough situations.

How To Take It

You can take apple cider vinegar by mixing 2-3 tablespoons of it with water. Most people like it warm. To improve the flavor, you can add your favorite natural sweeteners, such as honey or agave nectar.

Consuming it is completely harmless, and in fact, it’s very healthy for you. Other home remedies to temporarily relieve pain include hot tea, yoga, and Epsom salt.

Healthline also recommends cayenne pepper, hot baths, and even long naps to give your body a rest. Nerve pain can be unbearable, and it can take a toll on your physical and mental strength. Dr. Yashar definitely recommends home remedies to soothe your pain while you are scheduling an appointment with us.

Schedule Your Nerve Pain Exam Today!

At the office of Dr. Yashar, we take great care to assess your individual nerve pain and determine the source of your damage. Nerve pain can happen anywhere on the body, and for almost any reason. While this amount of pain may seem impossibly frustrating and difficult to live through, we are here to provide real solutions and treatments so that you can get your life back into your own hands. Our state of the art facility is designed to help you not only manage your nerve pain but seek long-term and permanent treatments.

The nervous system is a complicated part of the body, but experts like Dr. Yashar can help your body get set on the right path. For more information about home remedies, or if you are looking to invest in one of our successful procedures, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact us online or give us a call at (424) 361-0923 to make an appointment right away.

Nerve pain is one of the most difficult types of pain to deal with, especially because it has the tendency to be chronic. While nerve treatments and spine surgery are our specialties at Yashar Neurosurgery, we want to empower you to seek education and information about nerve health on your own as we...

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How to Properly Crack Your Back

We have all cracked our back at one time or another. It doesn’t always take a professional to know when the mobility in your back can be improved from a good stretch. Most of us are told that cracking our knuckles, neck, and back is not good for us. It stands to reason that hearing popping noises can be associated with a negative outcome. Can you be taught how to properly crack your back?

Although the majority of the time, you can crack your back without any repercussions, there is a proper way to avoid injury. Dr. Yashar is highly knowledgeable spine surgeon in Los Angeles and will be able to help you with any chronic back pain you may be experiencing.

Is Cracking Your Back Bad for You?

The first thing to establish is that the popping or cracking sound is not necessarily bad. The noises made when cracking your back are not joints or bones breaking. The sound is a pocket of gas in the joints releasing.

Although this sound is not associated with injury or a negative effect on your spine, you should still be cautious. You may feel that nothing can be worse than back stiffness, but cracking your back can become a nasty habit.

Over time, all these little manipulations done incorrectly can cause loosening of the joint, and create an avoidable injury. The positive news is that cracking your back cannot cause arthritis. But it can exacerbate joints that are already on their way to being arthritic.

Also, just because it can’t cause arthritis doesn’t mean you are safe from pain due to back cracking. Many people tend to exert too much pressure to forcibly get their back to crack when it isn’t necessary. This may cause major joint problems. Although cracking your back may seem innocuous, it can lead to major symptoms that might otherwise never have flared up.

How to Properly Crack Your Back

Having a tight back is a real symptom. But there are better ways to cure it than forcibly wrenching your back until you hear a pop. Using gentle stretches and movements will help adjust your back properly, and reduce uncomfortable symptoms.

The key is to be slow, gentle, and patient because to properly rid your back of pain and stiffness takes time. As time goes on, and you incorporate back stretches into your daily routine, you will be able to increase the pressure and get a deeper movement. Cracking your back does trigger endorphins, which can tell your brain it is helping, but taking the time to properly utilize stretches will bring the same type of relief that will last longer and be safer.

Alternatives to Cracking Your Back

If you have been wondering how to properly crack your back, you may not be thinking of alternatives. The greatest alternative to cracking your back is gentle stretches and movements, which happens to be the proper way to “crack to your back” as well. But if you are still suffering from chronic pain, stiffness, or discomfort, you may require an expert’s help.

Going to a chiropractor is a good place to start because they are knowledgeable about joints, bones, and how to safely manipulate them to relieve pressure. If this still doesn’t fix the problem, going one step further to a medical doctor who specializes in neck and back pain would be important.

Dr. Yashar is highly acclaimed in this field and has performed many successful spine surgeries. The important takeaway is that a professional spine specialist should always be the one administering any manipulation that requires force. Anything more intense than gentle stretching should not be attempted on your own. Even a friend helping crack your back can lead to more problems than you originally started with.

We have all cracked our back at one time or another. It doesn’t always take a professional to know when the mobility in your back can be improved from a good stretch. Most of us are told that cracking our knuckles, neck, and back is not good for us. It stands to reason that hearing […]...

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Does Carpal Tunnel Go Away?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a long-feared condition that can be caused by long hours at the computer or overuse of the hands. The condition itself is defined by a small tunnel that forms in the bones of your wrist and hand, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain.

While carpal tunnel can affect how your joints and tissues feel, the real impact is done on the nerves. That’s why it’s the business of your neurosurgeon in Los Angeles to diagnose this problem and find carpal tunnel treatment right away.

Those who do end up getting diagnosed with carpal tunnel end up with several questions, the biggest of which is, “Does carpal tunnel go away?”

This question and more will be answered in the article below. Be sure to stay in touch with our friendly staff members if you are curious about your symptoms and available treatment options.

Knowing the Cause

Knowing what causes carpal tunnel syndrome can help you to understand how you can treat, prevent, or avoid this condition. This will also lead to answering some questions about whether or not the symptoms can go away permanently.

Carpal tunnel is typically caused by:

  • Repeated hand movements consistently
  • Wrist injury or fracture
  • Hereditary condition

Most people who are constantly on the computer, or who play musical instruments for a living, are more likely to contract carpal tunnel. Familydoctor.org recommends a full examination from your doctor, as carpal tunnel can also be caused by existing conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.

Common Symptoms

Numbness or discomfort in the wrists, followed by pain, are the most common symptoms of carpal tunnel. When you visit our specialists for an examination, you may be asked to move your wrist in a certain way and describe what you’re feeling.

You may also be asked to grab objects. If you have trouble gripping or lifting objects due to pain, stiffness, or discomfort, then it is likely that you are dealing with carpal tunnel. In fact, you might want to keep a log of your symptoms and how much they’re progressing while seeking treatment solutions.

Treatments and Permanence

Thankfully, carpal tunnel doesn’t always last forever. The reason the symptoms exist is due to the inflammation of the tunnel pressing down on the nerves in your fingers and wrist. If the inflammation recedes, your condition may disappear.

In some cases, there is a chance that the symptoms will return. Patients can experience carpal tunnel more than once, pushing them to seek treatment solutions that may or may not have worked in the past. Instead, our doctor wants to offer some avoidance tips so you never have to worry about a relapse in symptoms.

We recommend:

  • Taking long breaks in between the use of your hands
  • Invest in a healthy diet and exercise routine
  • Switch between hands if you can
  • Ask your doctor for better treatment options
  • Invest in over-the-counter anti-inflammatory solutions

If you try many tips for avoidance, and you still feel the return of carpal tunnel symptoms, you may need orthopedic surgery, according to ZocDoc. Dr. Yashar offers neurosurgery solutions that can help to alleviate symptoms and create treatments that will get rid of carpal tunnel forever.

Neurosurgeon in Los Angeles

At Yashar Neurosurgery, we offer progressive and easy solutions to treat your symptoms. If you are struggling with carpal tunnel, you might need to come in for a consultation. Carpal tunnel can cause pain and damage to the nerves under the deepest layers of your skin, making it increasingly difficult to perform tasks with your hands. In order to prevent obstacles in your everyday life, get in touch with us ASAP. You can contact us online or give us a call at (424) 361-0923.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a long-feared condition that can be caused by long hours at the computer or overuse of the hands. The condition itself is defined by a small tunnel that forms in the bones of your wrist and hand, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain. While carpal tunnel can affec...

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Can Scoliosis be Prevented?

On the surface, scoliosis may seem like an annoying problem, but it can be more than just an inconvenience. With potential complications like heart damage, chronic back pain, and difficulty breathing, a scoliosis diagnosis can change the health trajectory of the patient’s life. If you were diagnosed when you were a child or know someone who has scoliosis, then you may be wondering if there is anything that you can do to prevent it or deter it from getting worse. To get more information on spine surgery in Los Angeles, contact Neurosurgeon, Dr. Yashar today.

Can scoliosis be prevented?

What Causes Scoliosis?

Professionals are not sure at this time what causes scoliosis. While many originally believed that poor posture and improper back support had an impact on the diagnosis, there has not been any solid research to support that. However, there are some factors that have been commonly linked to scoliosis. One of the most common elements is family history since hereditary factors tend to play an influential role in the likelihood of being diagnosed. If you or anyone in your family has suffered from scoliosis, it is important to keep an eye on your children from potential signs.

Other conditions that can lead to scoliosis include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Injuries to the spine
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Infections that impact the spine

It is also important to consider potential risk factors that can directly impact the health of your spine. These risk factors include age and gender.

What are the Signs of Scoliosis?

Since scoliosis causes a curvature in the spine, there are a few apparent signs that you can look out for. If you notice that your shoulders are uneven, or that one hip is significantly higher than the other, then the curvature in your spine may be drastic enough to be scoliosis.

Since most of us do not check our alignment regularly, here are some symptoms of having uneven hips: trouble walking, unable to stand straight, and pain in the legs. There are physical signs of scoliosis as well. Having a bump in the lower back or bony bumps on the spine are serious signs you may be suffering from scoliosis. Finally, if you feel full quickly, this can be the curve in your spine causing your stomach to be under pressure. In addition, an uneven waist or a shoulder blade can indicate that you need to schedule some time with a professional to check the health of your spine. To speak with Dr. Yashar’s team on treatment options available, contact our team today.

What are the Treatments for Scoliosis?

The earlier you diagnose scoliosis, the better it can be treated. Although things such as core strengthening and flexibility training are great to build the muscles around the spine, but cannot help with the curve of the spine. In many cases, if the curve is not prominent, you can use exercises and stretching to mitigate the symptoms. For a more troublesome form of scoliosis, bracing can help keep it from getting worse. Unfortunately, even the brace will not be able to reverse the curve in the spine completely. 25% of all children that utilize the brace option see a beneficial impact. For the most severe cases that cannot be helped with a brace, surgery may be required.

In many cases of scoliosis, the curve in the back will continue to grow and become worse as you age. It is important to catch the problem as early as possible to keep it from getting worse. If any of these symptoms appear or become worse, you should see a doctor right away. It might be easy to rationalize the symptoms as poor posture, but it’s better to get tested and know for sure.

On the surface, scoliosis may seem like an annoying problem, but it can be more than just an inconvenience. With potential complications like heart damage, chronic back pain, and difficulty breathing, a scoliosis diagnosis can change the health trajectory of the patient’s life. If you were diagnos...

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Emilia Clarke Reveals Her Struggle with Deadly Brain Aneurysms

From the world of Game of Thrones to the dramatic story of Me Before You, and all the way to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Emilia Clarke has made herself known in some of the world’s largest pop culture properties. With this level of fame and recognition, it’s surprising to find out that she battles with something quite deadly. In an article that Emilia Clarke wrote herself for The New Yorker on March 21 of this year, she opens up about the struggle that she has dealt with since the first season of Game of Thrones. If you are in need of a neurosurgeon, be sure to contact Dr. Yashar to talk with him about any symptoms or concerns you may have.

Emilia’s Battle

Emilia Clarke's story begins in 2011, right after she finished filming for the hit HBO series, in which she plays one of the most popular characters. Even though her character was one of the strongest females to ever be created, Emilia did not reciprocate that feeling and was quite intimidated by the new level of fame that her character propelled her to. She quite literally felt naked and exposed in front of these responsibilities and developed an anxious side she had not had before, which makes her next obstacle all the harder to overcome.

During a workout session, she felt a headache start, which turned into such searing pain that she was unable to even stand. Like many people who have experienced extreme trauma and distress, she knew right away that something was not right and that it was linked to her brain. She was quickly taken to a hospital, and learned that a very fatal aneurysm had occurred, which required immediate surgery if there was even a chance of recovery. The scary situations of press junkets and crazed fans no longer seemed as dire compared to what she now faced. Like many twenty-four-year-olds, a life-threatening health problem was not even close to being a concern, and the timing was completely inconvenient. An up and coming actress on the rise cut short by an aneurysm was not the way Emilia Clarke wanted to be remembered. In fact, her aspirations her entire life was to be a successful actress, and now that opportunity had arrived, but the looming shadow of mortality hung above her like a dark cloud.

Unbeknownst to Emilia, she had been showing early warning signs her whole life, mistaking low heart rates, low blood pressure, migraines, and even passing out a few times as a normal part of growing up. Emilia recalls a time of true panic during her first recovery from the aneurysm where she couldn’t remember her name, a fatal flaw for any actor whose lifeblood depends on remembering things.

After a month of recovery in the hospital, Emilia was able to make it back to her “normal” life, but the remnants of that aneurysm, and a smaller one that remained shadowed her everywhere. But as a true actor always says, “the show must go on.” Eventually, the doctors advised her to “take care” of the remaining smaller aneurysm, but the surgery did not go according to plan. Emilia was rushed into emergency surgery where they accessed the brain through the skull to try and save her life. Luckily, she was saved, but the recovery was going to be as difficult as the first surgery.

All this time, Emilia dealt with anxiety and depression but was able to keep the incident under wraps because this was her battle to face, and not the worlds to watch. With time comes healing, even the emotional kind, and although the fear of this unspeakable condition may creep up, Emilia has made it back to one hundred percent, and is not wasting her double cheat of death.

She is now an avid proponent for charities dealing with brain trauma and will continue to follow her dreams despite the setbacks she faced. This can be inspirational to all that even when we think we have it rough, there is always hope.

If you are experiencing any symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, or fainting, be sure to talk to a neurosurgeon to make sure your brain is healthy. Dr. Yashar is one of the top neurosurgeons in the country and can help you catch any early warning signs of brain trauma.

From the world of Game of Thrones to the dramatic story of Me Before You, and all the way to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Emilia Clarke has made herself known in some of the world’s largest pop culture properties. With this level of fame and recognition, it’s surprising [&h...

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Marijuana Vaping a New and Dangerous Trend Among Teenagers

They look innocent enough. They’re small and look similar to computer memory flash drives. But vaping pens aren’t safe. Doctors say teens are increasingly using them, however, seriously putting their health at risk and can possibly cause neurological problems.

Vaping devices can use chemical oils, marijuana and other drugs and substances. Teens often underestimate the health risks of e-cigarettes or “vaping.” Marijuana vaping, in particular, has become popular among youth.

Vaping devices were recently confiscated at two local middle schools in Pacoima and Sylmar. Students as young as 13 were caught being “high” from using the devices.

While vaping pens — electronic cigarettes — are viewed as a safer alternative to regular tobacco, these battery-operated devices use a heated nicotine-laced liquid to generate an aerosol that users inhale. The liquids come in a variety of flavors that release fruity and sweet vapors.

A parent, who requested anonymity, told the (italics) San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol (italics end) a seventh-grade Sylmar student took a marijuana vaping pen from an older sibling and brought it to campus, and it was passed around classmates.

“By lunchtime, [the student] had no idea who had taken it [and inhaled from the device]. I was [one of the parents] called into the dean’s office and there were 13 other kids who had taken a hit. There were 13 ‘high’ kids in the office” from marijuana vaping, the parent said.

LAPD Mission Division officers said they could not confirm the incident, and said they could not release any information that involves minors.

The young girl told her mother she had been vaping marijuana to “control” her emotions and depression. The mother grew more concerned to learn that her daughter said she thought she could vape enough to overdose.

The incident left the mom worried and distraught. She and daughter are now in therapy.

At the middle school in Pacoima, during a parents meeting, the principal showed them photos of several marijuana vaping pens that had been confiscated from students. Some were even caught using them in class. Parents that vaping pens are easily hidden in the pant pockets and in the hoods of sweaters.

“This is the reality we’re living in,” the principal told the parents.

LAUSD spokesman Timothy Kordic, via email, said the prohibited used of vaping is detailed in the district’s substance abuse policy featured in its Parent and Student Handbook.

According to the handbook, the district “prohibits the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes, hookah pens, cigarillos, and other vapor emitting devices, with or without nicotine content, that mimic the use of tobacco products on all District property and in District vehicles at all times. ENDS are often made to look like cigarettes, cigars and pipes, but can also be made to look like everyday items such as pens, asthma inhalers and beverage containers.

The handbook adds that “These devices are not limited to vaporizing nicotine; they can be used to vaporize other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroine.”

The Dangers

Dr. Parham Yashar, an endovascular neurosurgeon with Dignity Health Northridge Hospital, says “these devices are not healthy water vapors. There are different chemicals within the oils. We don’t know the effects of them (in the long term) on brain and lungs.”

However, he added that among the chemicals found in them is glycerol, which can cause damage to the DNA of the lungs, the bladder and the heart.

“These kinds of things are linked with a risk of heart disease and lung and bladder cancer,” Yashar said.

That’s on top of the regular effects of marijuana, he notes, such as reduced alertness, response time, motivation and energy level. And for adolescents worried about personal appearance: weight gain that can occur over time from the “munchies” you can get from a marijuana “high.”

Heavy use of marijuana can also lead to damage or killing of brain cells over time, Yashar said, adding “when you lose a brain cell, you don’t get it back.”

Legal Weed

In 2016, California voters approved Prop. 64, which legalized the use of marijuana for recreational use. Many other states have followed suit.

Those two factors, experts note, have led to higher incidence of teens using vaping pens, with nicotine and marijuana.

More than one-third (37.3 percent) of 12th-graders reported vaping at least once in the past 12 months, according to a survey released last September by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That’s an increase of nearly 10 percentage points over 2017, when 27.8 percent of high school seniors reported vaping.

Also last November, the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report stating that more than 3.6 million middle and high school students are using e-cigarettes — 1.5 million more than in 2017. But the cartridges that go inside these pens filled with liquid nicotine are being substituted with others that carry a liquid containing THC, the chemical in marijuana that gets people high.

Pot inhaled through a vape device produces a more powerful high — and often with more dangerous side effects — than the smoked version, according to a study in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open.

At the same level of THC, vaping led to higher blood concentrations of the chemical than smoking, as well as higher levels of anxiety, hallucinations and feelings of paranoia, according to the study.

Legislation and Dialogue

In an effort to reduce the availability of vaping pens to teens, state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) introduced a bill in December banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in retail stores and vending machines, with stricter rules included for age verification in the sales of tobacco products online and by mail.

SB 38 and 39 are supported by 20 other legislators.

“We must stop the appalling epidemic of e-cigarette use by youths. Enticed by fruit, candy and other appealing flavors, high school and middle school students throughout the US are vaping in record numbers. The surge has reversed the decline in underage use of all tobacco products,” Hill said after introducing the measure.

While that could help, Yashar emphasized that prevention starts at home with an open and honest dialogue between parents and their kids.

“Don’t lecture to them,” he said. “Ask open-ended questions like ‘what do you know about this?’”

He also said not to “make stuff up” or “lie,” as teenagers can readily check information online and “you don’t want your kid to doubt you.”

Most importantly, the doctor said, lead by example.

“If you’re stressed, don’t come home to have a cigarette or vape because this will send the message to your kid that this is a way to relieve stress,” Yashar said.

He admits the fact that marijuana is legal in California can make it a harder discussion to have with young, impressionable minds.

But that also makes it much more important.

“Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s good for you,” Yashar said.

They look innocent enough. They’re small and look similar to computer memory flash drives. But vaping pens aren’t safe. Doctors say teens are increasingly using them, however, seriously putting their health at risk and can possibly cause neurological problems. Vaping devices can use chemical oil...

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What Happens When You Crack Your Back?

Cracking your back may be an irresistible habit if you enjoy the satisfaction of relieving pain or pressure in your spine. All it takes is a simple twist to pop that area back into place. Sometimes, it can be painful if you align your body in the wrong way. Regardless of the mildness or severity of the crack, it is very important to schedule a consultation with a specialist right away. The health of your neck and spine can affect the integrity of your entire body, and you don’t want to continue ignoring that risk.

At the office of Dr. Yashar, we want to carefully assess the state of your back after you experience a crack or a similar trauma-based incident. Your back is vital to your oxygen and blood circulation, nerve processing, and almost all brain functions; do not take it for granted. If you’ve had a scary back-cracking experience, you may need herniated disc surgery in Los Angeles. Here’s what to expect.

Cracking Your Back Voluntarily

Some people like to crack their backs voluntarily, much like one would crack their knuckles or toes. It feels relieving to do so, as it releases gas bubbles that have formed due to the amount of lubricating liquid formed in the spine. However, back cracking may have different effects based on the individual. It might be risky to continue engaging in this habitual behavior, although it can bring some relief. Let’s assess both the benefits and dangers of cracking your back.

Pain Relief Techniques

Cracking your back may provide a little bit of relief, however, it is very temporary. Relieving the gas capsules in the spine might feel good, but they do little to resolve any issues of pain or discomfort you may be feeling in the long run. If you find yourself getting into the habit of cracking your back, you might need to consider if there is something bigger that is affecting your back.

Your back should not be feeling tight every day. If you have an urge to crack it all the time, it may not be a good sign. In fact, you might be due for herniated disc surgery in Los Angeles.

Dangers of Cracking Your Back

Fortunately, there is not ample scientific evidence to suggest that engaging in back-cracking activities is actually dangerous for your back. Most of the time, if you are careful and gentle with yourself, you can crack your back with ease and suffer no negative side effects.

However, it still must be emphasized that this practice doesn’t actually affect the health of your back. If you are experiencing a more painful issue, it’s important to seek the advice of your medical professional as soon as possible. Some patients have hurt themselves due to over-cracking or stretching too hard, which can affect the nerves throughout the body.

If you aren’t properly cracking your back, you may experience more pain in that area than before. In cases like these, it’s imperative that you schedule a visit with your back specialist, even if cracking your back provides temporary relief.

Look at the Bigger Picture ASAP

Back cracking is like a bandage. It might provide temporary relief and healing, but it cannot actually heal the source of the problem. You may be at risk for back conditions and spinal injuries that can be solved with herniated disc surgery in Los Angeles. At the office of Dr. Yashar, we have the tools and resources available to thoroughly assess the problems in your back and provide a solution right away. For more information about your diagnosis and treatment options, please contact us online or give us a call at (424) 361-0923 right away.

Cracking your back may be an irresistible habit if you enjoy the satisfaction of relieving pain or pressure in your spine. All it takes is a simple twist to pop that area back into place. Sometimes, it can be painful if you align your body in the wrong way. Regardless of the mildness or severity [&h...

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Most Common Back Injuries Most People Don’t Think About

Your spine is a multifaceted part of your body’s makeup that is not only comprised of the bones themselves but also the nerves and muscles it surrounds. Aside from acting as a crucial component of the framework of your body, your spine is also often connected to common back injuries that most people do not think about. Since this area of your body is quite fragile with certain conditions, it is important to be educated on common back injuries and how they are related to your overall health. For more information and to hear about their herniated disc surgery in Los Angeles, contact Dr. Yashar.

Herniated Disc

To understand what a herniated disc entails, it is important to first understand the makeup of the spine as a whole. The spine is comprised of vertebrae, which are individual bones that align to create your spine. However, there is a cushion between each vertebrae, which is the “disc” that is referred to in the name “herniated disc.” This is when there is a problem because the disc itself is out of place and causing surrounding nerves to become irritated. This can be painful to patients who experience it, and it is important to not put off seeing a specialist, like Dr. Yashar, to correct the problem as soon as it arises to get your herniated disc surgery in Los Angeles.

Compression Fracture

When a vertebrae is fractured and it results in a decrease in its height, it is a compression fracture. Often directly related to weak bones, there are three types of compression fractures: wedge fracture, crush fracture, and burst fracture. Each is different based on the location and severity of the fracture; however, there are some common symptoms to be aware of across the board:

• Acute to chronic back pain
• Loss of muscle or height
• Less physical ability and activity

To discuss the symptoms, types of fractures, and treatments of a compression fracture contact Dr. Yashar and his team today.

Bone Spurs

Although not always painful, bone spurs are a spinal issue, which involves abnormal growth on the bone itself. The reason that these are not always painful initially is that they can grow in size overtime before irritating a surrounding bone, nerve, or tissue. Some symptoms to look out for include: localized pain, numbness, and swelling. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or have experienced bone spurs in the past, it is important to contact Dr. Yashar as soon as possible to access your spine properly.

Pinched Nerve

Perhaps the most common to the everyday person, a pinched nerve is exactly what it sounds like. A result of compression from aging or previously existing conditions, a pinched nerve can cause pain to the surrounding areas, as well a radiating pain that can travel throughout the body. If you have experienced these symptoms recently or even currently, then it is important to schedule an appointment with Dr. Yashar for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

If you are feeling pain, discomfort, or irritation, it is of the utmost importance that you do not write it off. The pain that is being experienced is a way for your body to communicate with you that something is not functioning as it should, so taking the proper steps to take care of your body and listen is the best way to restore its functionality. Whether you have been experiencing acute pain, chronic pain, discomfort, severe pain, or anything in between, it is important that you speak with Dr. Yashar and his team immediately. Contact us today here to discuss your herniated disc surgery in Los Angeles.

Your spine is a multifaceted part of your body’s makeup that is not only comprised of the bones themselves but also the nerves and muscles it surrounds. Aside from acting as a crucial component of the framework of your body, your spine is also often connected to common back injuries that most peop...

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Does Spinal Stenosis Go Away?

What is spinal stenosis? What can patients expect with this diagnosis? Are there treatment options? And, most importantly...does spinal stenosis go away?

Living with a spine injury can cause complications to even the simplest daily tasks. If you’re dealing with undiagnosed symptoms, and you’re looking for a spinal stenosis specialist in Los Angeles, our professionals at Yashar Neurosurgery can provide some answers for you.

Below, we’ll review the symptoms and treatment options of spinal stenosis, helping you to understand what to expect if you believe you are living with this condition.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

In its official terms, spinal stenosis is defined as the way a body channel narrows more than it’s supposed to. This means that the spinal nerves or spinal cord can get squeezed tight within these bone channels, causing a lot of pain and sensitivity throughout different parts of the back.

It can be a congenital condition, or it can develop over time. In most cases, it is a degenerative condition that develops over time within the spine. As you age, you may start to feel the effects of spinal stenosis more and more.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Some patients compare spinal stenosis pain to the sciatica pain experienced in the gluteal region. These symptoms are described as:

  • Pain in the spine that comes and goes
  • Pain while walking or doing physical activities
  • Pain while holding the head up
  • Pain relief when sitting or lying down
  • Pain relief when bending forward

Patients might also feel pain in the legs, as many nerves from the spine travel down to the back of the legs. It might hurt to walk, or to sit. There are different types of spinal stenosis that can determine the symptoms you might experience. Our spinal stenosis specialist in Los Angeles can schedule a one-on-one consultation with you to determine the type of spinal stenosis you are dealing with.

What Are Some Spinal Stenosis Treatments? Can Spinal Stenosis Go Away?

Thankfully, spinal stenosis can go away with proper treatment. There are a few different treatment options that our patients typically invest in to improve their mobility and reduce spinal pain:

  • Physical Therapy. This treatment involves a long-term plan to slowly strengthen your spine over time, naturally working your body to widen those narrowed bone gaps to free yourself of pain. This is not a cure, but it is a way to prevent debilitation.
  • Epidurals. Epidural injections are blasts of cortisone that can relieve the pain from spinal stenosis temporarily. Again, this is not a cure, but it can be used in cases of severe pain to prevent the symptoms from becoming overwhelming.
  • Medication Treatments. Your doctor may prescribe ibuprofen or aspirin as an anti-inflammatory measure to reduce the pain of your symptoms. However, this is not a good long-term plan, as ibuprofen can damage the kidneys over time.
  • Surgery. Often used as a last resort, spinal stenosis surgery is used to identify the source of the narrowed bone channels and possibly correct them. This is mostly an exploratory surgery that does not guarantee complete relief from the condition. However, it may be used to aid your personal situation.

One of the most successful ways to reduce pain and symptoms from spinal stenosis is to invest in activity modification. Changing the way you move, exercise, sit, and sleep can have drastic results on the pressures placed upon your spine. You may need to learn how to cope with your narrowed bone channels, only moving your body in ways that will prevent a flare-up of pain.

Get A Spinal Stenosis Consultation ASAP!

When it comes to spine injuries, it’s dangerous to wait without seeing a doctor. Our spinal stenosis specialist in Los Angeles can schedule a consultation with you to get your pain assessed right away. Yashar Neurosurgery specializes in spinal injuries and pain, and we can provide a customized treatment plan to fit your needs. For more information, contact us online or give us a call at (424) 361-0923. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

What is spinal stenosis? What can patients expect with this diagnosis? Are there treatment options? And, most importantly...does spinal stenosis go away? Living with a spine injury can cause complications to even the simplest daily tasks. If you’re dealing with undiagnosed symptoms, and you’re l...

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How Long Should Your Back Hurt After a Discectomy?

Patients often choose to undergo a discectomy to correct areas of their spine that consistently cause pain. However, the relief from the pain is not always immediate as one would like since there can be some pain experienced following the discectomy and throughout the healing process. For that reason, it is extremely important to be educated on both the normal and abnormal pain symptoms so that you can have the most successful experience possible. For more information on getting a discectomy in Los Angeles, contact Dr. Yashar’s team today.

Is pain after a discectomy normal?

Since each patient is different, it is crucial to consult with your doctor regarding any pain that is experienced after a discectomy. In addition, taking note of your symptoms and sharing them with your doctor can be extremely helpful since sometimes patients experience waves of feeling better, others initially feel pain that subsides, and still others can consistently feel pain. However, the team at Spine Health suggests that within 6 to 9 weeks the success of the discectomy should be evident. This is due to the fact that an examination can generally be performed from your doctor at that time and that any abnormal healing will be able to be accessed. To get information on a discectomy in Los Angeles with the highly recommended Dr. Yashar, contact the team here.

What could be causing the pain?

One reason for continued pain even after a discectomy could be a misdiagnosis. In this case, the source of the pain will continue since the direct cause of the issue was not pinpointed properly. Another reason that the pain could be continuing is because of an unsuccessful surgery, which is a risk one takes before undergoing the procedure. According to Spine Health, of the around 200,000 patients that undergo the surgery, about 10% do not experience successful healing. For these patients, it is important to continue on the path to discovering the issue with an experienced doctor to ensure optimal results. For more information on the healing process of a discectomy in Los Angeles, causes for the pain you are experiencing, and which options are best for you, contact the team at Dr. Yashar’s office today.

Is there anything that can be done to help with pain?

Experiencing pain can be frustrating and debilitating to those who it affects. For that reason, speaking with your doctor about available solutions to the pain is of the utmost importance. Make sure you keep open communication with your doctor both before and after your procedure so that you can discuss pain relief options, directions for optimal healing, and any issues that may arise.

What if the pain isn’t getting better?

If after your surgery your pain relief is not getting better or possibly getting worse, then you need to consult with your doctor on other options available to you. It is important to also remember that many patients heal differently and have a different journey on the road to recovery, so make sure that you allow the proper time (as advised by your doctor) to let your body heal.

Undergoing a discectomy can be revolutionary and can provide an immense amount of pain relief. To ensure that your discectomy in Los Angeles has the best result, make sure to use the trusted professionals at Dr. Yashar’s office. With years of experience, a knowledgeable approach, and passion for your successful outcome, these are the professionals to trust with your procedure. To contact our team and discuss the options available to you, contact us here.

Patients often choose to undergo a discectomy to correct areas of their spine that consistently cause pain. However, the relief from the pain is not always immediate as one would like since there can be some pain experienced following the discectomy and throughout the healing process. For that reaso...

Read More >>