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September 14, 2022 Uncategorized

Lower back discomfort can result from several issues. It can result from an injury, poor posture, or an underlying medical condition. Regardless of the cause, there are some things you can do to ease the pain and keep it from getting worse. The right treatment for you will depend on whether a traumatic injury caused your pain (e.g., when lifting or twisting) or natural wear and tear due to physical activity, aging, and arthritis. Some patients notice a difference when they take over-the-counter medication, while others suffering more chronic pain can only benefit from minimally invasive spine surgery.
Whether you hurt your back playing a sport or bending over to pick something up, we know how nagging lower back pain can get and have compiled some useful tips for combatting this issue. As you read on, please keep in mind that most home remedies are not a suitable substitute for professional medical care.

Ice and Heat Treatments

Ice and heat are ancient treatments that continue to do the job in the face of many modern innovations. We advise patients who are hesitant to try over-the-counter or prescription painkillers to seek relief using alternating ice and heat treatments. Warm baths also go a long way in relaxing aching and inflamed back muscles.
Applying ice to your painful lower back will bring immediate pain relief while reducing any inflammation caused by injury or poor posture. It would help if you wrapped an ice pack using a thin towel to insulate your skin and then hold the ice pack against the painful spot several times a day for about twenty minutes. After several days, switch to similarly using a heating pad to relax your lower back muscles and improve blood flow to the area.

Sleep Right!

Even though sleep gives the back time off from its job of carrying our upper body weight, some patients awake to find their lower back pain worse than when they dozed off. Lower back pain can be traced to a patient’s sleeping habits, posture, and mattress quality. Back pain tends to create a vicious cycle that keeps you up at night due to the pain, only for the pain to get worse due to sleep deprivation. When you catch some Zs, ensure you do not settle into a poor sleeping position that will exacerbate your back pain.
Lie on your side and place a pillow between your knees to maintain your spine in a neutral position. Sleeping with your spine in a neutral position is a surefire way to relieve the strain your back undergoes when supporting the weight of your upper body. It is advisable to sleep on a firm and comfortable mattress. Consider investing in a bed that properly distributes your body weight and offers your spine and back some much-needed relief.

Maintain Good Posture

Our teachers and parents stress the importance of good posture throughout childhood. Unfortunately, adults are not reminded often enough not to slouch or slump over their keyboards. Poor posture is guaranteed to increase your back pain because it causes improper spinal alignment that may cause pinching of certain nerves, which in turn sets your lower back on fire.
Whether standing, sitting, or walking, maintain an upright posture with relaxed shoulders. Office workers should ensure they use ergonomic chairs that support their weight evenly. Our patients have reported a degree of relief when placing an additional backrest or makeshift backrest (e.g., a rolled towel) between their lower back and seat. After improving your sitting posture, put your feet flat on the floor and position your computer (or book) at the center of your desk so you can work without leaning in and straining your back.

Get Moving

At face value, it may sound ridiculous (or even cruel) to recommend exercise for lower back pain. However, science came in a long time ago. No more bed rest for aching backs. Lying still is amongst the worst options for you. Resting a sore back will likely increase your back pain and cause other complications. It is important to note that not all exercise is appropriate for lower back pain. You should take it easy and engage in basic activities like walking, swimming, and yoga. The goal behind training for lower back pain is not to work up a sweat but rather to stretch and improve blood flow to the affected areas. Please consult your doctor, physical therapist, or personal trainer before undertaking vigorous exercise while suffering back pain. The last thing you want to do is make it worse.

Physical Therapy

Most people erroneously assume that physical therapy is a preserve for patients who have suffered grievous bodily harm and need help reacquiring mobility skills. We find that physical therapy is a very effective way of treating back pain and preventing the injury from getting worse over time.
Your physical therapists will show you how to keep your spine aligned and strain off your back when sitting, standing, and moving. Ask your therapist for special exercises that will strengthen and engage your core muscles. A strong core is a secret to preventing future back pain by increasing your strength, insurance, and flexibility over time.

Regular Professional Massage Sessions

While most clients are skeptical about the effectiveness of a massage once you walk away from the massage table, it has been proven that consecutive weekly massages for ten weeks reduce pain and increase mobility for patients suffering from back pain. These benefits existed for over six months before beginning to decline gradually. If you haven’t already, book a licensed massage specialist for a weekly back massage that will relieve spinal structural problems, thus reducing pain and restoring mobility. Do not hire unlicensed massage therapists because they may do more harm than good in the long run.

Nerve Stimulation

Nerve stimulation is a new kid on the block regarding back pain treatment options. The research is still being concluded on the effectiveness of certain treatments to stimulate your nerves to reduce lower back pain. We only recommend this method and other unconventional therapies (like TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) and acupuncture) to patients who have not received the desired relief from conservative medical treatments. Nerve stimulation blocks incoming pain signals from reaching the nerves using mild electric pulses.
Research is being conducted on treatments stimulating nerves to reduce chronic back pain. Your doctor may consider adding acupuncture to your treatment plan if you aren’t finding relief with more conservative care. Another method your doctor might suggest is (TENS), during which mild electric pulses are delivered to the nerves to block incoming pain signals.

Get Expert Help for your Lower Back Discomfort Today

Matters of health should never be taken lightly. If you’re experiencing lower back pain, don’t wait to get help. Visit us at to learn more about your options for managing lower back discomfort before it evolves and becomes chronic.

Dr. Juris Shibayama,
300 StoneCrest Boulevard #300 Smyrna Tennessee 37167,
615 267 6600

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April 7, 2022 Uncategorized

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a surgical procedure conducted on your spine to solve problems you may have with your back. Surgeons usually make a small incision about 1 – 2 inches long on your lower back during the surgical procedure. They then use specialized equipment (tubular retractor and a special operating microscope) to access your spine.
The tubular retractor is used to gently push aside your tissues and muscles, creating enough space for the spine surgeon to access the problem area on your spine. The special operating microscope provides your surgeon with real-time x-ray images of your back and spine.
On the other hand, traditional spine surgery is a surgical procedure where the surgeon has to make a 5 – 6 inches long incision on your lower back to access your spine. The surgeon then moves your muscles and soft tissues aside to access the diseased area and fix it. The process may involve the removal of some of your tissues.

How Is A Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery More Beneficial than Traditional Spine Surgery?

The main difference between minimally invasive spine surgery and traditional spine surgery is the impact each surgical procedure has on a patient’s body and health. MISS was created mainly to solve some of the health issues caused by traditional spine surgery. Below are some of the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery.

  1. The amount of blood loss during the procedure is low.
  2. There is a reduced risk of injury to your muscles and other parts of your spine.
  3. Reduced recovery time and shorter hospital stays.
  4. Since back muscles are rarely overstretched during minimally invasive spine surgeries, the risk of postoperative disabilities is reduced.
  5. There is less pain due to little to no cutting of the muscles and surrounding soft tissues.
  6. There is a low risk of infection since the surgical incision made is small.
  7. Less pain after the operation means patients don’t have to rely heavily on pain medication

Conditions Treated Using Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery is used to correct problems with your back. And since not all back problems can be fixed using surgery, your physician will only recommend spine surgery when it’s necessary. Below are some of the medical conditions that require MISS to fix.

  • Spine infections
  • Herniated disc
  • Deformities like scoliosis
  • Spondylolysis (defect in your lower vertebrae)
  • Tumor removal from your spine
  • Spinal stenosis (a narrow spinal canal)
  • Fractured vertebra

Complications Associated With Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Like any other surgical procedure, there are several complications you’re likely to face after a MISS procedure. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you and your physician carefully explore measures you can take to avoid these complications before the procedure. Below is a list of these complications.

  1. Possible allergic reactions to local or general anesthesia.
  2. Unexpected excessive blood loss – You should expect some blood loss during the procedure.
  3. Development of infection – You should receive antibiotics prior to, during, and after the procedure to lower infection risk.
  4. Possible blood vessel or nerve damage – Under the knife of an experienced surgeon, these complications are rare.
  5. Formation of blood clots in your legs – This is another rare complication that’s likely to cause health problems for you if the clots reach your heart.
  6. Pain – Some patients have reported experiencing pain in the area around the bone graft site.

How To Prepare For Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

The best way to prepare for a MISS procedure is to ask for the help of your healthcare provider. If you’re taking any medication, whether prescribed by a doctor or over-the-counter medication, you should inform your physician. You might be required to stop taking some medicines before the procedure. A good example of drugs you’ll need to stop taking before the procedure is blood thinners.
If you’re a smoker, you’ll need to quit smoking, even if it’s for a few days. Smoking affects the amount of time you need to heal completely. And if you’d like to quit smoking completely, you can ask your physician for help. You should also inform your physician if you experience any changes in your health condition.
Before your procedure, your healthcare provider may be required to conduct X-rays, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of your back.
Your healthcare provider will also recommend that you avoid eating or drinking after midnight of the night before your MISS procedure.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Recovery time varies from one patient to another and depends on the type of MISS procedure the patient underwent. However, in general, some patients leave the hospital on the same day as their surgery and others stay for 1 or 2 days.
The stay time in a hospital is significantly shorter when compared to patients who’ve undergone open surgery. Traditional spine surgery patients stay in the hospital for about 3 to 5 days.
To help you speed up your recovery and help your body recover its strength, your health care provider might recommend physical therapy for you. However, physical therapy depends on the MISS procedure you underwent and the physical condition of your body. Your physician can also recommend specific exercises to help you return to your daily routine as fast as possible. You will also need to follow all the instructions your physician gives you carefully.
The possibility of you resuming your daily activities will depend on your physical condition and recovery speed. Only your health care provider can give you the go-ahead to resume your normal life.
Since the first minimally invasive spine surgery procedure was first performed in the 1980s, the field has been rapidly evolving as technological advancements continue. And as a patient, you need to experience the best care under the hands of experienced spine surgeons. Therefore, if you have any questions about the MISS procedure, don’t hesitate to call us. Or you can visit our website and learn more

Dr. Juris Shibayama,
300 StoneCrest Boulevard #300 Smyrna Tennessee 37167,
615 267 6600

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January 11, 2022 Uncategorized

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a form of spinal surgery in which the surgeon uses minimally invasive tools and techniques to access the spine. The approach is designed to reduce risks and complications. In the United States, it is performed by anesthesiologists, general surgeons, and orthopedic surgeons with advanced training in spinal surgery. It is an alternative to open spinal surgery. As a result, minimally invasive surgery is growing in popularity.

This growth stems from new technology, the development of minimally invasive spinal surgery techniques, and improved search for the lowest surgical risks. In fact, the minimally invasive spine surgery technique has several advantages over conventional open spinal surgery to achieve excellent clinical results and functional recovery.

The main benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery are as follows.

Smaller injury to the neurovascular bundle

With minimally invasive surgery, the neurovascular bundle is spared. The neurovascular bundle is a cluster of nerve fibers (the nerves) and blood vessels that travel together through the spine and are responsible for maintaining control of basic bodily functions such as breathing, digestion, and circulation. Because of this, perioperative neurological complications are rare in minimally invasive procedures, especially when compared to open spinal surgery.

Easier recovery process

With minimally invasive spine surgery, a single incision is made as opposed to multiple incisions made during conventional open procedures. In addition, the presence of a spinal block decreases pain during recovery and increases patient comfort by immobilizing adjacent tissue. The more nerve roots and spinal nerves that can be accessed in one operation, the faster the patient can recover after surgery. Therefore, minimally invasive spinal surgery has a shorter recovery time than conventional open spine surgery because there are fewer surgical wounds or portals of entry in the body that take longer to heal or close.

Less tissue trauma

The surgeon does not have to retract muscle or bone as much as with an open technique with the minimally invasive approach. As a result, there is less tissue trauma during surgery, and patients recover faster. In fact, minimally invasive spine surgery reduces the surgical time and the recovery time from a week to three weeks. Meanwhile, minimally invasive spinal surgery reduces postoperative pain, which is one of the most important clinical complications after spine surgery.

Less blood loss and transfusion

Compared to an open procedure, minimally invasive surgery reduces blood loss during the operation and the requirement for blood transfusion. This is because less tissue trauma during the procedure leads to less bleeding. The average amount of blood loss in minimally invasive spine surgery is none or low, which is less than the open procedure.

In fact, minimally invasive spinal surgery uses a single-use vascular closure system, and wound packing with minimum surgical incisions helps to minimize hematoma accumulation. In addition, with minimally invasive surgery, the thoracic or abdominal cavity is not opened. This means less air and fewer blood clots in the chest. Compared to open surgery, minimally invasive spinal surgery results in fewer transfusions.

Less morbidity

Minimally invasive spine surgery has a lower incidence of postoperative complications than open spinal surgery does. In addition, the short hospital stay reduces the likelihood of complications after the operation, and patients can return home sooner. Therefore, minimally invasive spine surgery is associated with fewer complications and less cost, resulting in better quality for everyone concerned.

Less pain management

During the minimally invasive surgery, less pain medication is needed. Usually, only a topical anesthetic is used during the entire surgery. Pain and pain medications may still be needed after the surgical procedure, but minimally invasive spine surgery can be much less stressful for patients than open spinal surgery. In fact, minimally invasive spine surgery is the safest and most comfortable form of spinal surgery because patients don’t have to endure a lot of pain.

Shorter hospital stay

Because a minimally invasive procedure is performed in two or three days rather than over several days, patients have fewer complications and shorter recovery times. This is especially beneficial for those who have been injured in a car accident, a fall, or a sports injury. In fact, minimally invasive spine surgery reduces patients’ hospital stay by about 35% compared to open spinal surgery. In addition, minimally invasive spine surgery can significantly shorten the patient’s stay in the hospital following surgery by reducing the need for postoperative diagnostic tests, like CT scans or MRI.

Lower infection rates

Open surgery is more likely to result in open wounds or cuts, all of which provide ample opportunity for bacteria to infect the patient. Minimally invasive spine surgery greatly reduces the number of cuts, thereby reducing bacteria’s chance to infect the surgery site. In addition, the smaller incisions used in minimally invasive surgery reduce the risk of post-op complications so that patients can recover more quickly after surgery.

Less scarring

The actual surgical incisions caused by minimally invasive spine surgery can be completely hidden for some patients. In most cases, scars from minimally invasive procedures fade away within two months of surgery. As for open spinal surgery, there are still visible scars on the patients’ back. In addition, because of the smaller and numerous incisions, there is less bleeding and swelling, reducing scarring.

Can be performed at an outpatient surgery center

Minimally invasive spine surgery can typically be performed in an outpatient setting. This is a major benefit for patients because it eliminates the need to stay in the hospital overnight. In addition, patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery in an outpatient setting can often go home the same day as their procedure.

Minimally invasive surgery has been clinically effective for treating several spinal disorders, including degenerative diseases such as disc herniation and compression fractures. Minimally invasive surgery is likely to continue to grow in importance in spine surgery due to increased recognition of early degenerative changes in the cervical and lumbar spines that can be treated with minimally invasive techniques. You can visit to learn more about minimally invasive spine surgery.

Dr. Juris Shibayama, 300 StoneCrest Boulevard #300 Smyrna Tennessee 37167, 615 267 6600

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September 22, 2021 Uncategorized

There are many types of spine surgery, and the decision to seek a specific treatment largely depends on the condition you have. Most professionals recommend trying non-surgical treatments first, especially if the required surgical procedure is complex and has a prolonged healing period. If you proceed with spinal surgery, you must adhere to some dos and don’ts to ensure a quick and thorough recovery. But first, what does spinal surgery really entail?

Spine Surgery To Treat Leg Pain

If you experience severe pain in the leg, also known as radiculopathy, you may have a pinched nerve to thank for it. When you have leg pain, medical professionals usually recommend 4 to 6 weeks of conservative treatment. If the pain does subside within this time frame, they may recommend an MRI scan or similar imaging study to determine the presence of nerve pinching and its cause.
Most back surgery procedures for a pinched nerve are minimally invasive and can take one to three weeks to fully recover. We may recommend lumbar decompression spine surgery or injections to take pressure off the pinched nerve when you come to us. Decompression spine surgery has an impressive success rate, with most patients experiencing significant pain relief afterward.

Spine Surgery For Low Back Pain

Spine surgery in Nashville, TN is used to treat low back pain is usually more complex than other types of back surgery and carries a longer healing time. Also, it is crucial to note that the success rate for surgery for low back pain is lower than that for leg pain. Fusion surgery may be recommended after conservative treatment of 6 to 12 months without significant pain relief.

Recovery After Spine Surgery

Patients often experience symptoms for years before seeking medical help and may overlook the pain because it progresses very slowly. Symptoms of lower back pain and leg pain in persons older than 55 years usually stem from osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis which causes the spinal canal to narrow and destabilizes a vertebral segment. Basically, the pain caused by these back conditions is aggravated by walking and can be improved with sitting. A professional may recommend lumbar decompression with spine fusion or without if a patient’s low back pain progresses so much that it impedes their ability to function.
It can take anywhere between three to twelve months to fully recover from spine fusion surgery. Depending on your condition, some spinal surgeries have a pain relief success rate of up to 90%. People suffering from persistent low back pain may also be able to receive artificial disc surgery or total disc replacement as a treatment option.

Emergency Spine Surgery

Most spine surgeries to treat severe leg pain or low back pain are not necessarily an emergency. However, some symptoms indicate a more serious medical condition and may necessitate emergency medical attention. They include:

  • Severe, persistent back and abdominal pain, which could be a sign of an abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Sudden bladder or bowel incontinence (the inability to hold waste), or both. Also, persistent weakness in the legs. These could be symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome, a condition where nerves at the end of the spinal cord swell due to extreme pressure.

If you or a loved one exhibits any of the symptoms above, it would be best to seek immediate medical assistance.

Dos and Don’ts After Spine Surgery

The thought of undergoing spine surgery may be quite intimidating. However, you will find that many pain complications can be relieved or treated successfully with minimally invasive surgical procedures with short recovery periods. Whether you undergo a straightforward procedure like laser spinal surgery or a more complex treatment such as spinal fusion, taking special care afterward to ensure recovery and prevent injury is crucial.

Dos During Spine Surgery Recovery

  • Be patient with yourself

You must manage your expectations regarding what your body can and cannot do after your surgery. For instance, you may not be able to perform basic cleaning right after the procedure, and you shouldn’t try to. Instead, you should get lots of sleep at night and try to move about regularly but cautiously during the day to promote gradual healing.

  • Follow doctor’s orders to the latter

When it comes to your health, the doctor knows best. As such, it would be in your best interest to follow all doctor’s orders including prescribed medication and medical equipment such as back or neck braces. These braces aid in supporting and stabilizing your body as you recover. Without them, you may put unnecessary strain on your spine and impede recovery.

  • Ask for help

We recommend seeking help with errands and meal preparation after spine surgery, whether you live alone or with someone else. You can even hire a private healthcare provider if you need more assistance.

Don’ts After Spine Surgery

  • Don’t bend over

Professionals recommend that you refrain from bending over for at least several weeks after your spine surgery. As such, you may need to place items you often need within arm’s reach to avoid straining your back. Flip-flops come in handy as an alternative to shoes that need tying, and you can buy an easy-to-use “grabber” to help too.

  • No Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant that can trigger a bad mood and make your recovery more difficult. Also, alcohol can react with your medication, causing adverse body reactions.


  • No Exercise

Save for gentle movements recommended by your doctor, you should refrain from any exercise or strenuous activities that might affect your recovery or lead to injury.
While spine surgery is an effective treatment for low back and leg pain, it is not always the answer. If you or your loved one has any spinal issues, book an appointment with us at

Dr. Juris Shibayama
300 StoneCrest Boulevard #300
Smyrna Tennessee 37167
615 267 6600

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April 5, 2020 NewsUncategorized

Telemedicine Appointments

Dr. Shibayama is now offering telemedicine consults for evaluation of spine disorders which may require surgery.  If your provider is not available or you just don’t want to travel to your spine surgeon’s office, Dr. Shibayama can see you virtually via telemedicine.

You can be safe at home and save travel time to and from the office.  No longer will you have to sit in the waiting room of his office for your appointment.  You can just relax at home with your mobile device or computer ready to receive your telemedicine visit with Dr. Shibayama.

Telemedicine consults are available to anyone, anywhere in the United States and even the world. Even if you are already established with another spine surgeon, Dr. Shibayama is available for a visit for any issues you may be having.

If surgery is recommended, the number of visits to the office and hospital can be reduced to the bare minimum to keep you as safe as possible at home while preparing and/or recovering from surgery.

If you have been told you need spine surgery, our office is happy to conduct a brief telemedicine visit with you to review your condition and any associated imaging, such as an MRI, to help reassure you that spine surgery is necessary and to provide you with any alternative options including minimally invasive surgical solutions.

Schedule a Virtual Visit

Scheduling a virtual visit is easy.

  1. Call to Schedule an Appointment 615 – 267 – 6600
  2. Explain your request for a virtual visit
  3. Dr. Shibayama and his staff will schedule a convenient date and time for your Virtual Visit

orthopedic spine surgeon

In Short Words

Dr. Juris Shibayama is an orthopedic surgeon in Smyrna, Tennessee and is affiliated TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center. He received his medical degree from University of Illinois College of Medicine. He did his orthopedic residency training at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. He then completed a one year fellowship dedicated exclusively to spine surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. He has been in practice 13 years.

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