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In this article, Raleigh Neuro discusses why many patients fail in New Year’s Resolutions and delay getting help for issues like back pain and neck pain. From typical New Year trends like vowing to lose weight or quit smoking, to more specific goals like doing more yoga or addressing back pain that’s been bothering you, many people tend to start the New Year with grand ambitions, and often succeed at first.  The truth is, it’s not the start that presents a problem, but actually carrying through on resolutions for the entire year, and for one reason or another, the majority of us fail.

Sadly, only about 8-12% of people in the U.S. actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions for the whole year.  In many cases, people don’t succeed as a result of lofty goals, excuses, distractions or some combination of factors.  On top of failing to meet the goals you set out from the start, this shortcoming can have some truly negative implications across the board.  If you’re trying to lose weight—as about one-third of all people making resolutions claim is their primary goal—you put yourself at risk for future health complications and may also damage your sense of willpower in the process.  As another example, if you’re suffering from lingering back or neck pain and don’t do anything about it, the pain can progress further and cause you even more serious problems down the road.

At Raleigh Neuro, we understand how difficult it can be to make a resolution and actually stick with it, given the busy lifestyles and regular distractions many of us deal with everyday.  At the same time, we see many patients with severe back or neck pain that put off having surgery and now face difficult complications that could have been avoided if treatment was sought out earlier.  This is why we urge anyone experiencing these types of pain to make it a resolution—if you haven’t already planned on it—to address these issues in 2016, and to do so sooner rather than later.

To help you maintain your New Year’s resolutions in 2016, whether they involve addressing spinal pain or not, Raleigh Neuro suggests adhering to the following:

  • Try to only set realistic, specific goals that you honestly believe are feasible; once these are goals established, write them down and check them regularly
  • If you’re beginning a new training program, start slowly and gradually ease your way into it rather than going full speed ahead from the start
  • Remember that no weight-loss program is complete with exercise alone; good nutrition is also incredibly important, so be sure to include a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, and minimal processed foods and sugars
  • Pick exercise(s) you find to be most enjoyable that increase the demand for oxygen for a true cardiovascular workout
  • Consider getting adequate sleep every night as another possible resolution; having proper sleeping habits will make it easier to accomplish other goals
  • If you’ve been experiencing back or neck pain, see a medical professional for an evaluation and appropriate treatment; in many cases patients will improve with some basic remedies, but this is not always the case

For some patients, surgery will be needed; this may be the case for conditions like herniated disc or spinal stenosis, especially if it has progressed too far without proper treatment, and for certain types of people; surgery is also recommended when other treatments have failed to alleviate pain

The New Year truly should be an opportunity for a new start, and if back or neck pain are bothering you, now should be the time for you to address it.  At Raleigh Neuro in Raleigh, NC, we encourage you to make it a resolution to treat any neck or back pain you may be having, and if that means having surgery, it’s best to have it done sooner rather than later.  We are experts in the field of neurosurgery, and can help you determine the best course of action for the pain you’re dealing with. Contact us at 919-785-3400 for more information or to schedule an appointment.