By: Dr. Nima Salari
Often patients ask me whether physical therapy is necessary before or after surgery. Although some conditions that cause severe debilitating pain may not respond to therapy right away, patients find a degree of relief in most cases. We typically do not exercise enough and when we do, many of us use poor form or do not do the correct exercises.
A good therapy program will include stretching especially around the area of the lower back and hips where we develop reduced range of motion over time. The stretching and subsequent exercise often help increase blood flow through the areas that hurt. This helps diminish inflammation and heats the area adding to the relief. Directed therapy also helps to strengthen the muscles of the back. The core muscles surrounding the spine are dynamic stabilizers. The stronger they are, the more they help to stabilize the spine and in turn keep pain at bay. As we improve with physical therapy, we are more likely to adopt other healthy habits including our diet.
About Dr. Nima Salari
Dr. Nima Salari is a fellowship trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon with specialized training in the operative and non-operative treatment of pathologic conditions affecting the spine, including degenerative disc disease, scoliosis and other deformities, infections, and tumors. He has an interest in minimally invasive, tissue sparing approaches and image guided technologies in the management of spinal disorders.
After spending his high school years in Germany, he enrolled in the Bioengineering program at the University of Pittsburgh. A University Scholar and on the Dean’s List, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with honors in 2003. He then received his M.D. degree from Temple University, and earned membership in the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Society in 2006. Named Chief Resident, Dr. Salari completed his Orthopaedic Surgery Residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2012. He then went on to complete a spine surgery fellowship at Stanford University.
In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Salari has been involved in various orthopedic research projects involving the musculoskeletal system. He is a member of many professional organizations, including the North American Spine Society, and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In his free time, Dr. Salari enjoys travel, various sports activities, spending time with his family.
One of the most common reasons for a doctor visit is low back pain. The majority of people experience pain in their lower back at some point in their lifetime. If you’re experiencing pain, you are not alone. Here are three tips to get you back into action.
1. Be careful how you lift objects and pay attention to your posture. Limit your bending and twisting through the spine. Lift with your legs, not with your back. Bend your knees and hips and squat down to pick objects off the floor. Pull in your stomach muscles and hold the object close to your body as you stand up. Push if you can, it is safer than attempting to pull a large object.
2. Maintain a healthy weight and diet. Extra pounds will mean your joints will need to support greater weight and more strain on your lower back.
3. Finally, exercise more. You can take a few days off if your back is aching, but limiting exercise for a longer period may be detrimental to your health. Change your exercise routine up. Try swimming instead of the gym for a few days. Limit the exercises that strain your lower back. Change up your routine and don’t do the same exercises over and over.
Dr. Nima Salari is a fellowship trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeon with specialized training in the operative and non-operative treatment of pathologic conditions affecting the spine, including degenerative disk disease, scoliosis and other deformities, infections, and tumors. He has an interest in minimally invasive, tissue sparing approaches and image guided technologies in the management of spinal disorders.