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spineadvisor: Neck & Back Pain eNewsletter from January 14, 2009
Ask The Experts
Please Translate What My Doctor Said...!
Ask the Experts Question

The doctor just told my husband that he needs a foraminotomy.  I need an explanation of that in layman’s terms.  No fancy doctor words, just explain it so we can understand what will happen during the surgery.
—El Paso, TX

Ask the Experts Answer

No fancy doctor words—I can do that.  I also want to encourage you, after you read my explanation of a foraminotomy, to talk to your doctor again.  Ask him to explain the procedure—not so you can compare our answers—but because he is the one who will be doing your husband’s surgery.  You want to make sure you completely understand what he will be doing. A foraminotomy is…

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Nicola V. Hawkinson, RN, ANP This Week's Expert
Jason M. Highsmith, MD
Charleston Brain and Spine Charleston, SC
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New Year's Resolutions
Here it is, mid-January already.  For many of us, this is a trying time for sticking to those New Year’s resolutions.  You’ve been at it for two weeks, and the first week was easy because you were so motivated New Years Resolutionby the “New Year, New You” concept.

Now it’s week #2 and you’re sorely tempted to skip a morning at the gym (sleeping in feels so good!).  You’re also thinking about secretly eating an entire bar of chocolate (chocolate tastes so good!).

(Maybe you’re a more resolute person than that, though—in which case, bravo/brava!)

Why should we care about your resolutions?  Because usually, they’re about health and wellness.  Working towards a healthy lifestyle—good food, low stress, balanced exercise plan, restful sleep, etc.—also helps you work towards a healthy spine.

For the sake of your spine, we want to keep you motivated and on top of your resolutions.  Choose from the typical resolutions below.
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Relax The Back
Resolution #1: Get in Shape
Goal: Exercise A Lot
Get in Shape

Let’s bring that down to a more specified goal:  work on your abdominal muscles.  Core strengthening is a huge component of keeping a healthy spine.

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Resolution #2: Quit Smoking
Goal: Overcome Nicotine Addiction
Quit Smoking

Especially if you’re going to have spine surgery, you have to quit smoking.  Nicotine increases the chance that you won’t have a successful surgery.  If you crave an end to your pain more than you crave a cigarette, make sure your last cigarette really was your last cigarette.

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Resolution #3: Learn Something New
Goal: Challenge Your Mind
Challenge Your Mind

Ok, this goal usually involves speaking French or learning how to make a good homemade chicken stock, but how about this nice, manageable goal?  Learn something new about your spine.  We can help you do that right now!

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