MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Those suffering from back or neck pain in Westchester and Putnam Counties, should know they're not alone -- more than 80 percent of Americans experience spine discomfort at some point. Incredibly common but excruciatingly painful, what causes this potentially life-altering discomfort?
According to Michael Silverman, director of Northern Westchester Hospital Rehabilitation Services, the first step in alleviating pain is identifying the cause. "The more you know about a patient's case, the easier it is to treat," he said. In many cases, pain develops due to most Americans' sedentary lifestyle.
"We’re made to stand, but unfortunately many of us sit," said Silverman. "When we sit at an office, often for 8-10 hours a day, we're flexed at the knee, hip and ankle, which is an unnatural position." Even when people do go for a walk, many don't allow their back and spine to fully decompress. "Everywhere you look, people are looking down at their cell phones, flexed at their neck and hunched over," he said. "We weren’t doing that 25 years ago."
This prolonged bending and flexing can cause serious spinal problems, which can evolve into chronic pain over time. To help educate and inform the public on the various causes and treatments of back pain, Northern Westchester Hospital is hosting a back pain seminar this November.
"People have many types of aches and pains, so we wanted to take it to the next step," said Silverman. "We're really looking to talk about different ways to treat people suffering from neck and back pain and provide education on the various causes of pain."
As part of the symposium, Northern Westchester Hospital will welcome a sports medicine physician who will give a behind-the-scenes look at our amazing spinal structure and why it’s prone to injury. A physical therapist will explore injury prevention strategies. In addition, two neurosurgeons will discuss specific causes of neck and lower back pain and outline treatment interventions available. "We're really looking to create a community education event," said Silverman.
The end goal is to help guests leave with a better understanding of their spines, and realize what contributes to overall back health. "Knowledge is power, and the more you know the better you can take control of your situation," said Silverman. "We’re giving people the opportunity to do that."
The event will be held on Wed., Nov. 8 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the 1st Floor Conference Center at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco.
The seminar is free, but registration is required. Visit Northern Westchester Hospital's website to register or learn more.