Why you need a second opinion

When is it a good idea to get a second opinion?

Second opinions should strongly be considered when there is a potentially life threatening medical condition, like back surgery, when the proposed treatment options are intensive or demanding, like major surgery, or when there is a chance for a very bad outcome or complication, i.e. brain surgery. By having a second opinion, particularly in these high stakes situations, patients and their families will have the opportunity to have a second set of eyes double check to see if the original diagnosis and treatment plan are reasonable as well as a chance to hear someone else explain the problem which may be more understandable and enlightening.

When you receive a diagnosis that is urging you to consider spine surgery, making the decision for surgery and selecting a highly experienced surgeon suddenly becomes your number one priority. Short of an emergency, no matter how little time you have, please get a second opinion, even a third. You will be putting your life in this professional’s hands. You owe it to yourself to investigate all the risks and benefits, to take it all in, to discuss the decision-making with several close allies, then – most of all — to check in with yourself and to honor your own gut feeling.

You know how to do it

With any other big decision – purchasing a new car or deciding to get married, for example – people instinctively seek out multiple opinions. Others voice their unsolicited opinion. When making a decision which could mean the difference between life or death, patients should not be shy about getting a second opinion. Patients should also ask their primary care doctor about their thoughts and understanding of the treatment plan of the first doctor and the need for a second opinion.

Why are patients reluctant to get second opinions?

Patients may be afraid that their doctor won’t take care of them in the future because they are asking for a second opinion. They may not feel the need to get a second opinion since they are comfortable with their doctor. They may not be aware that getting a second opinion is a good idea. They don’t know how to ask for a second opinion.

Get a second opinion now !!!

We make it fast and easy to get a second opinion.   Click here and upload a form to start the process.  You owe it to yourself to get a second opinion.

 

Why Surgery?

I am often asked,

Doctor Callewart, Do I Need Surgery?

My answer is very simple…   If it impacts your daily activity, you should consider Surgery.  Many conditions can be treated without surgery, but it depends on how it impacts your lifestyle.

Watch my video below which discusses this topic further.

Give Your Neck, Back and Legs a Break

Research shows that sitting is the hardest activity on the back, other than lifting weight off the floor from a bent-over position.

Some physicians think that many of our modern day back troubles afflict us because we spend most of the day sitting.  Research shows that sitting is the hardest activity on the back, other than lifting weight off the floor from a bent-over position.

Sitting Better at Home

At home, firm wooden chairs are usually better than soft fabric chairs or couches. If you sink low, you can’t get out  without bending or twisting your neck and back. Some people are helped by recliner  chairs, some are not – the biggest problem is getting out. The best way to get out of any chair is to scoot your hips forward until you are on the edge of the chair, then stand up without bending your back and neck. Have a comfortable chair in each room that is designated as “yours.”

Pain Prevention at the Office

In the office, you need an adjustable chair if you spend more than an hour a day there – especially useful if more than one person uses the chair. When considering possible adjustments, here are some things to look for:

  • Height adjustment, so you can sit with both feet flat on the floor and no pressure areas on the thighs. Height adjustment also helps the chair remain low enough to go under the table, and minimizing the need to lean forward.
  • 5-6 rollers on the base to help the chair move and to prevent it from falling over.
  • Arm height adjustable to be able to fit under the desk and allow a person to rest their elbows without tilting their spine or pelvis.
  • Seat should tilt forward to use when under a desk, and tilt backward to reach other work areas.
  • Chair back should adjust so it contacts the spine. A built-in lumbar support is helpful, but unless it’s adjustable, it may cause discomfort. Better to buy an inflatable support to attach it to the chair.
  • Computer screen should be located so hands work in front of the screen and the neck is not rotated or tilted. Try not to work more than 30 minutes without changing position. Use a timer as needed. The strain that  occurs in the office at 2 p.m. may not hurt until 2 a.m. Timers are extremely helpful.
  • Consider a standing table. Or, as a low cost alternative, a cardboard  box works well to raise the work level high enough to stand while working. U-Haul sells a tough “File Storage Box” that is the right height and even has hand holds. A piece of smooth particle board, plywood or Formica added to the top of the box makes writing easier, but it is not necessary.
  • A pillow to support the neck in a high back chair is helpful.
  • If you spend a significant amount of time on the phone and have neck problems, try to use the speaker or a headset.

Don’t Let Neck and Back Pain Affect Your Home and Work Life – Get Quality Care

Many of the orthopedic conditions which we commonly face today can be addressed with nonsurgical treatment. For serious back and spine problems, seek quality orthopedic care.

Travel Comfortably to Prevent Neck and Back Pain

Don’t Let Neck and Back Pain Affect Your Ability to Travel

Riding in a vehicle is difficult due to bumps and turns. If you suffer from neck and back problems, getting in and out can be a painful experience. With so many types of vehicles – and so many different types of neck and back conditions affecting us – there is no one solution to riding comfortably.

Neck and Back Pain Prevention Tips for the Road

Generally, sport utility vehicles, vans and trucks sit up high and are easier to ride in than cars that are lower to the ground. Bigger vehicles have bigger doors and seats. This extra room makes it easier to transfer in and out.

The seats are important. For the neck and back, cloth tends to be more comfortable than leather. Automobile manufacturers make one seat to fit all shapes and sizes. With a little padding, you can make your seat fit you, instead of you fitting the seat. A lumbar support in the low back can be helpful if your car seat does not have this feature built-in. Most physical therapy centers sell foam “lumbar rolls.” A small rolled towel across the back at the waist level is another easy option for lumbar support.

Some seat bottoms sag and don’t give enough support; here, a small stack of newspapers under a towel can help. The newspaper firms the seat and the towel protects your clothes; also, the towel slides on the paper and makes it easier to transfer out of the vehicle. Headrests should be adjusted so the back of the head hits the rest in a rear collision, instead of the head going  over the top of the rest. A small pillow placed behind the neck or upper back will support the neck while driving and may lessen neck pain and headaches.  Become familiar with positioning the rear-view mirror and side-view mirrors. This one easy detail will lessen the amount of neck and back twisting needed to drive.

A manual transmission is harder to drive because of the clutch and gear shifter. A vehicle with automatic transmission is easier on the back and muscles.

45 Seconds Now to Save 45 minutes of Pain Later

When transferring in and out of a vehicle, remember to avoid twisting your back and neck –  keep them straight. If you have them, use electric controls to move the seat back and tilt the steering wheel up before exiting the vehicle. When getting into your vehicle, sit down first, and then bring both legs in together. Alternatively, go in head first, to keep the neck and back straight. Remember to move as a unit – neck, back and pelvis. Take your time; 45 seconds here may save 45 minutes of pain later.

Neck and Back Pain Prevention for Occasional and Frequent Flyers

Airplane seats are not usually well-padded. Use a blanket to sit on, and some kind of lumbar support. An inflatable neck pillow is helpful if you regularly try to sleep on airplanes. Exit rows and bulkhead seats often have enough room to allow a person to stand in front of the seat. Avoid carry-on luggage, as it usually requires a person to twist/ lift/ bend to store it, and there is usually not time or space in the aisle to use proper body mechanics.

If possible, don’t drive or fly for more than 45 to 60 minutes. Get out and stretch or walk around. Prevent further injury by using lap and seat belts.

Many of the orthopedic conditions which we commonly face today can be addressed with nonsurgical treatment. For serious back and spine problems, seek quality orthopedic care.