The Spine & Back Blog

Back Surgery RecoveryNearly 80% of Americans struggle with back pain at some point. Back pain can dramatically decrease one’s quality of life and sometimes back surgery is the only remaining option. But, fortunately, there are many efforts that can be made to reduce back pain and the likelihood of needing surgery.

Here are 6 simple tips for avoiding back surgery:

  1. Walking: Studies show the patients with back pain who consistently incorporate a 30-minute walk into their daily routine are able to reduce their back pain and discomfort. Walking and exercising consistently is important for long-term mobility especially for those who suffer from back pain.
  2. Yoga and Stretching: Yoga is a valuable exercise tool for increasing flexibility and soothing sore muscles. There are yoga classes designed specifically for individuals struggling with back pain. Explore yoga studios in your area to see if there are any beginner-level classes.
  3. Healthy Diet: A healthy diet that is rich in nutritious vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and healthy fats can reduce inflammation which can ease back pain. Avoid processed foods and foods that are high in sugar. Furthermore, a balanced diet will help to boost your energy which will improve your mobility and overall wellbeing!
  4. Weight Loss: Carrying excess weight puts pressure on your spine causing back pain. Shedding those extra pounds will work wonders to reduce your discomfort. Losing weight is a critical step in avoiding back surgery.
  5. Spinal Manipulation: As a surgery alternative, your doctor may recommend spinal manipulation therapies by visiting a physical therapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, etc. Many studies indicate that spinal manipulation techniques can reduce back discomfort. Be sure to speak with your doctor before pursuing spinal manipulation.
  6. Over the Counter (OTC) Medication: Managing your discomfort through OTC medication can be a simple way to avoid back surgery if you have mild to moderate back pain. Ibuprofen and naproxen may be beneficial, but you should consult with your doctor before taking any medication.

If you are struggling with back pain, please call NSSC Spine Clinic: 704-864-5550

Avoiding Back SurgeryIf you are considering back surgery due to persistent back pain, then you are probably concerned with the recovery process and expediting your recovery time. The length of time it takes for you to recover will depend on your specific surgery and your doctor will guide in you how to best prepare for recovery.

Here are some general tips for recovering from back surgery:

  1. Follow your doctor’s recovery recommendations. Too often patients over-exert themselves after surgery, which can result in a delayed recovery. It’s very important to pay careful attention to your doctor’s post-operative protocol and to follow it as closely as possible.
  2. Listen to your body. Healing can be a slow process that requires patience and time. It’s important to listen to your body by resting and avoiding strenuous activity during the duration of your recovery. Also, be attentive to any pain that you have and discuss it with your doctor. If your pain exceeds what you feel is normal, contact your doctor immediately.
  3. Create a cozy recovery space. During recovery from back surgery, you will not be as mobile as you normally would be. Make sure that your recovery area (couch, bedroom, etc.) has everything that you need and make sure that all necessary items are easily reachable. Stock up on good books, movies, podcasts, and boardgames to help you relax during recovery.
  4. Ask for help. Alert friends and family members of your upcoming back surgery so that they are aware of any needs that may arise while you are recovering. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family members to bring you meals or offer support when you need it. The recovery process can often feel isolating, so it’s important to surround yourself with people who care for you and can check in on you.
  5. Eat healthy. Eating a balanced diet that is filled with vegetables, fruit, lean meats, and healthy fats will help you recover quicker. Try to also focus on high-protein options as your body is working hard to heal itself. Also, remember to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  6. Commit to a full recovery. Set goals and timelines with your doctor and physical therapist about a realistic recovery date. Become determined and eager to follow their instructions in order to reach a full recovery from your back surgery.

If you are struggling with back pain or back surgery recovery, please call NSSC Spine Clinic: 704-864-5550

Neuroscience and Spine Centers of the Carolinas (NSSC) is pleased to announce a Rebranding Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony with the Gaston Chamber of Commerce on November 6, 2019.

Medical representatives will be on-site to showcase their cutting-edge instrumentation products and Physical Therapists will be available as an educational resource. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the surgeries that Dr. William Hunter performs and to meet leading members of your medical community.

Physicians, patients, and all community members are welcome. Drinks and Hors d’oeuvre will be provided.


Date: Monday, November 6, 2019

Time: 4:00-6:00pm

Neuroscience and Spine Centers of the Carolinas (NSSC)
2555 Court Drive, Suite 400
Gastonia, North Carolina 28054


Hydrocephalus is a condition that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid to accumulate in the brain. This can result in spreading of the ventricles in the brain, which can lead to potentially harmful pressure on the brain tissue. The name means “water on the brain.” Hydrocephalus can be a congenital condition or the result of injury or disease. Although hydrocephalus can occur at any age, it's more common among infants and older adults.

Causes of Brain Tumors:

Hydrocephalus is caused by an instability between how much cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced and how much is absorbed into the bloodstream. An excess amount of CSF places pressure on the brain. This pushes the brain up against the skull and damages brain tissue.
Hydrocephalus may begin while the baby is developing and growing in the womb. It is common in babies who have amyelomeningocele, a birth defect where the spinal column does not close correctly. Hydrocephalus may also result from genetic defects, certain infections during pregnancy, infections such as meningitis or encephalitis, injury or trauma.

Symptoms of Brain Tumors:

  • Eyes that appear to gaze downward
  • Irritability
  • Seizures
  • Separated sutures
  • Sleepiness
  • Vomiting
  • Speech difficulties
  • Hearing problems