|Each year back pain affects millions of people
in the United States. As a result, many people see
their quality of life diminish. Hobbies cannot be
enjoyed, workdays are missed, and sports and leisure
However, there is good news too! By taking several
simple steps now, we can all improve the health of
our back and neck, and diminish the chances of
developing spine problems later in life.
Our medical team is committed to helping our
patients become healthy! As a result, our medical
team will not just focus on your spinal condition,
but we’ll also suggest steps you can take to improve
your spine’s overall health.
We invite you to review the following five tips for
a healthy spine, and hope that you’ll build them
into your daily life. You’ll never regret making
Tip #1: "Lift light and lift right”
We all put immense stresses on our spine
daily. Whether you are reaching into your car to
pick up a child, loading grocery bags into your
trunk, or digging weeds in your yard, your back
endures a daily assault-course. Each time we lift
too much, or lift in an awkward way, we risk injury
to our spine. To minimize your chances of injury
from lifting, follow these easy steps:
*If it seems too heavy, don’t lift it! Get help!
*Do not lift at arms length; always get close to the
*When lifting or lowering an object, bend your hips
and knees and keep your back straight. Do not hunch
over an object, and never lift with straight legs
while bending at the waist.
*Never make sharp movements. Lift smoothly!
*Never twist your back when moving an object. Move
your feet instead!
Tip #2: Stand tall
Good posture helps your spine! However,
poor posture can damage the spine and its associated
muscles and ligaments. A hunched stance places
abnormal stress on muscles and ligaments, causes
backache and fatigue, and can even cause the spine
to become fixed in an abnormal position.
So, if you want your spine to feel healthier, and
you want to look better, follow these two simple
pointers for good posture:
*Stand straight. Keep your shoulder blades pulled
back and down, and your knees and back straight.
*Head up. Hold your head up straight, not tilting in
any direction. As a general guideline, your earlobes
should be above the middle of your shoulders.
Tip # 3: Work smart
Many of us spend hours each day working at
a computer terminal. Poorly designed workspaces can
wreak havoc on your back and neck. If you’re ending
your days at work with headaches or backache, check
the following guidelines for a "back healthy" work
*Are you sitting comfortably? Your chair should
enable you to have a "neutral posture", i.e. no part
of your anatomy is in an unusual or uncomfortable
position when working at your desk or monitor. Make
sure that your back is well supported by your chair,
and that the chair is not pinching the back of your
knees. Your feet should rest firmly on the floor,
with the angle behind your knees greater than 90
degrees. Your forearms should angle down slightly to
rest on the keyboard, while your upper arms should
be able to rest close to your body in a relaxed
*Eyes forward. Your computer monitor must be
positioned so that it is directly in front of you,
and does not require you to bend your head forward,
backward or sideways to view it comfortably.
*Talk straight. Do not cradle your phone between
your ear and shoulder. Such posture is almost
guaranteed to cause neck problems. Either sit
straight and hold your phone to your ear, or
purchase one of the various hands-free phone
Tip # 4: Start moving
Exercise is critical for keeping your back
healthy. Even a few minutes of exercise each day can
greatly help your back and neck. Under the direction
of a physician or exercise expert, build an exercise
routine that combines stretching, strengthening and
aerobic activity. Our medical staff is always
pleased to help patients develop safe and worthwhile
Tip # 5: And so to bed
Most people spend one third of their life
in bed. A bad mattress, or an unhealthy sleeping
position can be a significant cause of back pain.
Here are some guidelines for sleeping in a way that
will help your back and neck:
*To maintain proper posture, sleep on your side with
your knees bent and a pillow placed between your
knees. However, if you must sleep on your back,
place a pillow under your knees, to help maintain
the natural curves of your spine. Sleeping on your
front with your head turned to one side, or sleeping
with a large pillow should be avoided.
*Make sure your mattress supports your body so that
the natural spine alignment is maintained. Soft beds
provide insufficient support, while overly firm beds
can push your body into stressful positions.
*Turn your mattress regularly to maintain even wear,
and to provide consistent support.
6: Keep your Spirits Up!
Most people will encounter disabling neck or back
pain sometime in their life. When this happens, do
not empower this pain. Get proper care from
fellowship trained specialist and take back control
of the situation.
While these tips are only a small selection of those
that our staff provide our patients, they are a
great foundation upon which patients can develop a
healthy back and neck.
The spine is a complex structure that provides both mobility and strength.
Proper functioning of the neck and back allows for fluid, effortless
movement. But, when there is a deformity, injury or disease of the spine,
common activities such as turning, bending, or stretching often become
painfully out of reach. More than 80% of adults will experience significant
back or neck pain at sometime during their life.
Dr. Sethuraman, a fellowship trained Spine Surgeon from the Mayo Clinic, is
a minimally invasive Spine Specialist & Surgeon who offers
treatments and performs the latest surgical techniques in treating disorders
of the spine. He enjoys working individually with each of his patients to
find the best custom tailored options for resumption of an active and
healthy lifestyle while minimizing down time. His specializations include:
*Specialization in Minimally Invasive Techniques
*Image Guided Technologies in the Management of Spinal Disorders
*Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbosacral, and Intervertebral Spinal
*Cervical Spine Disorders and Disc Replacement
*Vertebral Compression fracture
*Comprehensive Treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease
*Techniques in Spinal Instrumentation
Why the Southwest Spine Institute Team?
The Southwest Spine Institute Team is headed by Dr. Sethuraman, a
fellowship-trained spine surgeon from the Mayo Clinic, who solely has
performed more than 300 surgeries annually prior to joining the DFW
community, treating problems resulting from degeneration of the cervical and
lumbar discs, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spinal deformity, trauma,
When to Seek a Spinal Evaluation
The spine can be affected by arthritis, degenerative wear and tear
problems affecting the joints and disks, as well as a variety of other
abnormalities that cause pain, numbness and weakness. Problems in the low
back or lumbar spine can affect the leg and foot, while problems in the
cervical spine of the neck can affect the arms and hands.
Modern spinal care is very complex. To determine if surgery is needed,
patients should seek out highly trained experts such as the fellowship-
trained specialists of the Southwest Spine Institute Team. They are experts
at determining how to effectively treat spine related problems.
|Education and Training
Fellowship: Spine Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rocheter MN
Residency: Orthopaedic Surgery, Thomas Jefferson
University Hospital, Philadelphia PA
Internship: General Surgery, Thomas Jefferson
University Hospital, Philadelphia PA
Graduate: Doctor of Medicine, Medical College of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA
Undergraduate, Bachelor of Arts, Rutgers College,
New Brunswick NJ
Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Certified 7/13/2007
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
North American Spine Society
Association for Ethical Spine Surgeons
Mayo Clinic Alumni Association
Thomas Jefferson University Alumni Association