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Suffer from Back and Neck Pain?

Suffer from Back and Neck Pain?

Seminar With Local Neurosurgeon Reviews Minimally Invasive Procedure

If you suffer from neck and back pain, you are not alone. Among adults, 60% to 80% will experience back pain and 20% to 70% will experience neck pain that interferes with their daily activities, according to the National Institutes of Health.

“Neck and back pain are very common problems,” said Dr. Eldan Eichbaum, a neurosurgeon at Washington Hospital and member of the Washington Township Medical Foundation. “But there are treatment options available today that can restore quality of life.”

Dr. Eichbaum will talk about minimally invasive procedures that can alleviate the pain when he presents, “Neck and Back Pain Relief: Cervical and Lumbar Disc Replacement,” on Monday, Sept. 12, at noon. The free seminar will take place on Facebook and YouTube. For more information or to register, visit www.whhs.com/events or call 800.963.7070.

Dr. Eichbaum, who specializes in spine surgery, will explain what the neck and back procedures are and how they differ from traditional disc surgeries. He will also provide information about who is a good candidate for the minimally invasive procedures.

The spine consists of 33 bones stacked one on top of the other called vertebrae. Ligaments and muscles connect the vertebrae and keep them aligned. These vertebrae are separated by discs, which work like shock absorbers. The discs can break down over time, causing severe pain.

Both men and women can develop neck and back pain—particularly as they age. Older adults are more at risk due to wear and tear on the discs throughout their lifetimes. Having weak back and abdominal muscles can increase your risk for back pain. Job-related stresses like lifting heavy items and sitting at a desk all day, particularly with poor posture, can also lead to neck and back pain.

Regain Quality of Life

The minimally invasive procedures that Dr. Eichbaum will describe have the ability to help patients get back to the activities they enjoy and regain their quality of life.

“I didn’t realize the effect of chronic pain and how it weighs down your life,” said Kelly Asbe, who underwent minimally invasive cervical disc replacement surgery at Washington Hospital in December 2021. He had suffered from neck pain for years before getting the surgery. It finally got to the point where it was debilitating.

“I couldn’t do all the things I like to do,” Asbe added. “It was a nightmare. But now I’m back to doing what I enjoy.”

Dr. Eichbaum said it’s important to first try noninvasive treatment options before heading into surgery. “Most neck and back pain doesn’t require surgery,” he explained. “For the majority of people, the body will heal itself. Most people will get better without significant treatment. That’s why we first focus on nonsurgical, noninvasive treatment options.”

But for those who can’t resolve their pain any other way, the minimally invasive procedures could be an option. One of the benefits of these newer types of surgeries is that the discs are not fused together, according to Dr. Eichbaum.

“The disadvantage of fusion is that it adds stress to the discs above and below the fused disc,” he said. “With the minimally invasive procedures, the incision is smaller and we do what we call muscle splitting rather than cutting and retracting, so that means faster recovery times, less pain, and shorter hospital stays.”

To view the Sept. 12 seminar on Facebook, sign into your account and then go to facebook.com/WashingtonHosp. Watching from YouTube does not require an account. Simply go to YouTube.com/whhsInHealth.

People attending the seminar via Facebook will be able to ask questions directly during the seminar. Anyone can submit questions in advance to CommunityOutreach@whhs.com. Following the live event, this seminar, in addition to hundreds of other Washington Hospital productions, can be found on their YouTube channel, YouTube.com/whhsInHealth.

To learn more about the Neurosurgery program at Washington Hospital, visit whhs.com/neurosurgery.

NEXT WEEK

Kelly Asbe shares his story of how Dr. Eichbaum restored his quality of life.