5 Tips for a Succesful Move When You Already Have Back Pain or a Spine Injury

If you or someone you love is moving and has already had a back or spine condition the process of moving can have serious consequences to your spine health. Extra precaution and planning are key to preventing more damage to your spine, back or neck during this stressful and exhaustive process.

It is estimated that approximately 43 million Americans will move this year with over half of those moves occurring in the months of June, July and August. Almost all people that have relocated complain of back pain during or after the process of moving has been completed. If you are planning a move during this peak season it will be even more important to plan ahead as the resources of help available will be tight and the weight of poor planning for your move will literally fall on your back!

The following tips may not only help you avoid additional injury to your back, spine or neck but could actually save you money and alleviate additional stress on the entire family.

Proper lifting protocols for back and spine safety
  1. Use Proper Lifting Protocols
    To make sure you prevent further injury, you’ll want to be sure to follow the fundamentals of heavy lifting, which include keeping your spine alignment as neutral as possible during the process. When picking heavy loads up off the ground, bend at your knees—not your waist and power lift up through your legs keeping your spine straight in alignment. Also, be aware to engage your abdominal muscles for further support of your spine. Carry heavy loads close to your body to maintain balance, and don’t twist your body lifting or carrying. If you do have to twist or turn, do so with your hips first, not your feet
  2. Give yourself enough time to properly prepare for your move.
    Most people will underestimate the time needed to prepare for a move, thus leaving a tremendous amount of physical work to be done at the last minute with little or no extra help from outside sources. Most professional moving consultants suggest you start your moving preparation 8 weeks in advance of your move.
  3. Don’t overpack your boxes
    Moving boxes are each designed to hold a certain amount of weight, and exceeding that can lead to additional strain or injury on your back, spine, and neck. It may be tempting to stuff a large box full of items, however, you should consider the weight of the items in the box and correlate those to the box sizes. Small boxes are great for heavy items such as books, while large boxes should be used for lighter bulk items such as clothes, pillows, and light fragile items such as lampshades.
  4. Delegate the heavy lifting to someone else
    It is important to realize that investing in movers to help you do the heavy lifting is an investment in your health. If you are on a budget you may want to rent a truck yourself but hire people to pack and to move your objects. This will lower the cost and give you more time to have a truck on your property but spare you the chance of risking further injury to your back or spine.
  5. Consult with your doctor
    If you are under the care of a spine physician it is a good idea to check with your doctor and to let him or her know that you are about to embark on this major life event. Your back or spine physician may have special instructions for you in consideration of your particular back or spine condition.

Moving is not only emotionally difficult, but your body can also undergo a lot of stress with minor and more severe injuries a possibility. If you already have a back or spine condition the move and stress can cause much further damage. Be sure to take the time to insure the health of your spine so you can enjoy your new home and new adventure!

About Joseph Spine

Joseph Spine is an advanced center for spine, scoliosis and minimally invasive spine surgery. Founded by Dr. Samuel A. Joseph, a fellowship trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon. His practice includes the specialized, conservative, and surgical care of patients. Treatment includes therapeutic injections, disc replacement surgery, minimally invasive techniques, and complex reconstruction of adult and pediatric spinal disorders. Dr. Joseph is also among a select group of surgeons to offer cutting-edge regenerative injection (stem cell) therapy.

Joseph Spine Participates in “Walk for Wishes” to Support Southern Florida’s Make-A-Wish Foundation

This past weekend, employees from Joseph Spine joined fellow businesses and volunteers to “Walk for Wishes” in support of Make-a-Wish Southern Florida’s 6th annual walk at Raymond James Stadium.

Walk for Wishes celebrates thousands of wishes that have already been granted while raising funds for future wishes. The event is powered by wish families, volunteers, donors and friends, and participants help to bring the life-changing impact of a wish to children battling life-threatening medical conditions in the Tampa Bay area and surrounding communities in Southern Florida. In the United States and its territories, a wish is granted every 34 minutes.

More than 980 participants, including 81 teams, made the Walk For Wishes an impactful morning. 21 wish kids participated, and many of them started their own teams to raise funds to help grant more wishes. In all, everyone came together to raise enough funds to grant 16 heartfelt wishes for kids like 14-year-old Corin who battled leukemia. Her wish was to go on a Mediterranean cruise with her family. 

Corin needed an escape from the grueling treatments and always wanted to get a passport. During her voyage, she visited three countries and five cities. Normally during a cruise, a passport isn’t stamped but for Corin, Make-A-Wish found a way! There were so many special moments but Corin’s favorites were visiting the Coliseum in Rome and touching the Mediterranean Sea in Cassis, France. Corin said, “This wish gave me a lot of joy in the middle of my treatment and has made a huge impact on my life.”


Tampa Bay Spine Surgeons Travel to the Dominican Republic to Offer Hope to Patients with Debilitating Spine Conditions

1 Mar 2019 Spine News

Butterfly Foundation Spinal Mission Trip

The Butterfly Foundation’s spinal deformity mission trip changes the lives of 23 young patients as volunteers and generous donors dedicate their time not only provide surgical treatment for patients, but also to train local physicians in surgical procedures that can continue to serve the people of the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Samuel Joseph and Dr. Andrew Moulton, along with a dedicated team of volunteers traveled to the Dominican Republic over Valentine’s week to save the lives of children and young adults with severe spinal deformities.

The volunteers had a grueling schedule which included 4 to 5 surgeries daily for the week, along with patient screenings and lectures to orthopedic residents. The team performed 23 scoliosis and kyphosis cases and stated he was seeing one of the most severe cases they had ever come across. Dr. Samuel Joseph, founder of Joseph Spine of Tampa and neurosurgeon Dr. Salvatore Zavarella from New York performed the most severe case.  The patient was suffering extreme kyphosis. This patient was actually a somewhat rare instance of the team taking on an adult case, 36 year old female that said to her husband less than 12 hours post op when looking in the mirror sitting up, “I feel like a super model”.

“We have seen this hundreds of times before, she is now the butterfly escaping the bound up cocoon and with thrive,” Dr. Moulton.

Before and after surgery extreme case of kyphosis. Surgery performed by Dr. Samuel Joseph, founder of Joseph Spine of Tampa and neurosurgeon Dr. Salvatore Zavarella from New York.

Although the days were long the team was energized by the work they were doing and the gratitude of their young patients. 


“It felt amazing to have a direct effect on a child’s life and not only improve their appearance but improve their quality of life and life expectancy,” stated Dr. Joseph.  “Thinking about how many people this child will then affect in their life makes you really take a step back and be humbled by what we as a team are so fortunate and blessed to be able to do.”

Many of these young patients travel great distances to receive surgery. Most of the patients have been long suffering from adolescent or congenital scoliosis or in need of kyphosis correction. These young patients are heroes themselves, braving the travel and unfamiliarity with their surgeons. The surgeons and other volunteers take extra time with these children to help them cope with the upcoming days.


“Meeting strangers and allowing them to perform dangerous and painful surgery was a great leap of faith,” Dr. Moulton.

Many of these cases were quite severe. Dr. Joseph, founder of Joseph Spine in Tampa, performed an eight hour surgery, along with neurosurgeon Dr. Salvatore Zavarella from New York. The patient was somewhat of a rare instance of an adult with a severe kyphosis case. The patient had lived with this severe deformity since childhood and it had devastating social consequences for her throughout her life.  She stood up the day after surgery holding Dr. Joseph and looked straight forward without craning her pelvis and neck essentially for the first time in her life.

The Butterfly Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the sharing of spine surgery technology, expertise and care to patients and to teaching spinal deformity surgery in developing countries. Local physicians work alongside establish deformity corrective surgeons such as Dr. Joseph and Dr. Moulton as they perform live-saving surgeries, while promoting the advancement of spine deformity treatment technology by training local surgeons.

The Butterfly Foundation was founded by Dr. Moulton in 2003. He was inspired to start the foundation as he realized the mission trips could only provide help to a small percentage of the population. In order to make a real difference for the population it was necessary to train local surgeons. 

“Teach a man to fish and he feeds his community for a lifetime is our motto,” states Dr. Moulton.

Dr. Moulton explains how the name “Butterfly Foundation” was chosen. 


“Because of society’s attitudes toward their deformity, we saw how these kids would come in, bundled up, socially withdrawn, embarrassed, even outcast. Once they have their surgeries and heal, they stand up straight, they run, and they jump and play. There’s such a profound joy to see them move so freely, without pain. Their transformation reminded us of how a butterfly is born and the name stuck.”

Robotic Assisted Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

In this blog post Dr. Joseph will review how minimally invasive spine surgery using Mazor X robotic technology can help people who are diagnosed with serious spine problems or complications that have not responded to medication, physical therapy or spinal injections.

Bringing State of the Art Spine Technology to Tampa Bay

Joseph Spine brings this state-of-the-art technology to our patients and offers a transformative leap forward in spinal surgery. Mazor X maximizes surgical predictability and allows surgeons to achieve greater precision for optimal patient benefit.

As with other robotic surgical devices, Mazor X does not perform actual surgeries. Instead it provides surgeons with information and anatomical images of the patient’s spine. In the operating room using Mazor X robotic-assisted technology, the blueprint guides surgeons through the operation with more accuracy and efficiency.
Mazor X incudes three integrated processes – Planning, Guidance, Verification – to assure greater predictability and precision during your procedure.

Mazor X Surgical Assurance Platform

The Core of the Surgical Assurance Platform is an innovative set of planning and guidance tools indicated for implant and instrument positioning in spine surgery.

Stage 1 – Planning Robotic Assisted Spine Surgery

The Mazor X system’s 3D planning software is used to create a comprehensive surgical plan as part of a total patient treatment strategy.

A pre-op CT scan of the patient is uploaded to the Mazor X software for planning and then two fluoro shots are taken intra-operatively to register.
A Mazor X Scan & Plan procedure utilizes an intra-op 3D imaging system, such as Medtronic’s O-arm, eliminating the need for a intra-op CT.

Stage 2 – Operate with Mazor X

The Mazor X Surgical System is attached to both the OR bed and the patient. With the surgeon in full control, the Surgical Arm guides the tools according to the surgical plan.
The Surgical Arm’s reach and range of motion allows for posterior instrumentation from a variety of different trajectories. Minimally-invasive spine surgery using Mazor X robotic technology can help people who are diagnosed with serious spine problems or complications that have not responded to medication, physical therapy or spinal injections.

Conditions include:

  • Vertebral fractures
  • Traumatic spine injury
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal weakness or instability
  • “Slipped disc” (Spondylolisthesis)
  • Narrowing of spinal canal (Stenosis)
  • Adult degenerative spinal deformity (Scoliosis, kyphosis)
  • Revision Surgeries

Patients with these conditions often suffer with debilitating symptoms like:

  • Low back pain
  • Leg pain
  • Sciatica
  • Uneven legs, hips or shoulders
  • Abnormal gait
  • Breathing difficulties when the rib cage puts pressure on the lungs
  • The benefits of robotic spine surgery

Compared to traditional spine surgery, Mazor X robotic technology can:

  •  Increase surgical accuracy and help preserve surrounding healthy tissue
  • Allow surgeons to more accurately place hardware during the procedure, thus lowering the risk of complications
  • Reduce the risk of exposure to radiation from imaging scans
  • Improve recovery time due to less time in the operating room and while under anesthesia
  • Reduce pain after the surgery for a quicker return to daily activities

To learn more about Mazor X or to schedule an appointment, contact our office or request an appointment online at JosephSpine.com.

Dr. Andrew Moulton Joins Joseph Spine Advanced Center for Spine Care

Joseph Spine is pleased to announce that Dr. Andrew Moulton has joined our practice and will be seeing patients primarily at Joseph Spine’s Advanced Center for Spine, Scoliosis, and Minimally Invasive Spine Centers in Safety Harbor and St. Petersburg locations.

“As our business grows, and to better serve the Tampa Bay area, we felt the need to add another advanced spine care surgeon to our practice to ensure the best spine care and convenience to our patients,” said Dr. Samuel Joseph, founder of Joseph Spine. “Dr. Moulton provides a great blend of expertise and knowledge in advanced spine care, along with a strong passion to provide community outreach to spine patients in need, locally, nationally and internationally, which is a high priority for Joseph Spine.”

Dr. Moulton received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and completed his medical degree at SUNY Downstate School of Medicine in Brooklyn, New York. He did his Residency at SUNY Downstate Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He did his Spine Surgery Fellowship at the Hospital for Joint Disease.

Dr. Moulton has been involved in a number of humanitarian efforts. He is president and co-founder of the Butterfly Foundation, a nonprofit organization that brings spine surgery teams from the U.S. to the Dominican Republic to teach local surgeons the latest techniques in spine surgery.

Dr. Moulton has published numerous papers in professional journals and was involved in two biomechanical studies involving the spine. He is also fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese.

About the Butterfly Foundation

The Butterfly Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on teaching spinal deformity surgery in developing countries. The primary site has been the Dominican Republic, with similar projects annually in Chile, Jamaica, Malawi, and Vietnam. The first trip to the Dominican Republic was in March 2003. The pattern for following trips includes and established deformity surgeon working alongside a local surgeon as well as didactic lectures and saw-bone workshops. Teams consist of academic spinal deformity surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, OR techs, perfusionists, and neurophysiologists. Local “fellows” have been selected at each site for focused training.

About Joseph Spine

Joseph Spine is the advanced center for spine, scoliosis and minimally invasive spine surgery. Founded by Dr. Samuel A. Joseph, Jr., a fellowship trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon. His practice includes the specialized, conservative, and surgical care of patients. Treatment includes therapeutic injections, physical therapy, pain management, stem cell therapy,  disc replacement surgery, minimally invasive techniques, including robotic-assisted surgery, and complex reconstruction of adult and pediatric spinal disorders. Dr. Joseph is among a select group of surgeons to offer cutting-edge regenerative injection (stem cell) therapy and robotic-assisted surgery for patients to provide the most advanced minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS) available globally.

Joseph Spine is dedicated to offering humanitarian spine services internationally in the form of education, awareness, and surgery. Please visit JosephSpine.com for more information.

Joseph Spine Founding Year Anniversary

3 Jan 2018 Spine News

We are celebrating our one year anniversary at Joseph Spine, PA of Tampa. Looking back over the year we reflect on spine technology and advanced spine medicine to our patients. We also want to thank our patients, colleagues, and community for a year of great support.

Some of the things we celebrated were the first stem cell procedures for the spine, acquiring the Mazor X, robotic spine surgery and Dr. Samuel Joseph being selected as the spine surgeon for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We look forward to continuing advanced spine care, as well as participate in the Make A Wish and the Butterfly Foundations.

Stem Cell Therapy New Hope for Spine Patients 

Regenerative Injective Therapy (RIT) using stem cells is a cutting-edge new procedure that triggers the body’s natural healing mechanisms, relieving pain and often curing the cause. The emerging field of regenerative medicine features stem cell-based therapies using autologous platelet rich plasma/fat/bone marrow which are at the forefront of sports and regenerative medicine worldwide. RIT offers a promising new option for treating those who suffer from chronic back pain.

Read More

3 Simple Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain

When experiencing low back pain, the natural response may be to take it easy and sit on the couch. This could possibly be the worst thing you can do to help relieve back pain. A regular routine of lower back exercises may help patients avoid stiffness and weakness, minimize the recurrence of lower back pain, and lessen the severity and extent of possible future episodes of low back pain.

Read More

Dr. Joseph, Spine Surgeon Tampa, Offers New Generation of Spine Medicine And New Hope For Patients

Tampa, FL April 7, 2017 – Dr. Samuel Joseph offers the latest technological treatment advances for Spine Care making Joseph Spine Advanced Center for Spine, Scoliosis, and Minimally Invasive Surgery, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary spine care program designed to create better outcomes for patients regionally, nationally and internationally.

Dr. Joseph’s practice includes the specialized, conservative, and surgical care of patients. Treatment includes therapeutic injections, disc replacement surgery, minimally invasive techniques, and complex reconstruction of adult and pediatric spinal disorders.

He is among a select group of surgeons to offer cutting edge regenerative injection therapy (RIT), a procedure that harnesses the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Joseph Spine utilizes Lipogems® for stem cell therapy.

Dr. Joseph has used his training and experience to become a leader nationwide on revision surgery for patients who have experienced failed surgery in the past.

Teaching Engagements

Dr. Joseph is active in teaching his minimally invasive techniques, complex scoliosis procedures and revision strategies to surgeons across the United States, as well as internationally, including China, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Switzerland.

Dr. Joseph has published numerous articles in neurosurgical and orthopedic spine journals. His research on scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, and spinal surgery in the elderly has been presented at many international meetings including the International Meeting for Advanced Spinal Techniques.

Philanthropic Endeavors

Dr. Joseph and his family are active members of the Tampa Bay community. They have taken a special interest in the Make a Wish Foundation and its goal of granting wishes and making life better for kids with life-threatening medical conditions. He also lends his time to the Butterfly Foundation, which brings deformity focused spine surgeons and comprehensive teams to developing countries to teach local spine surgeons through didactics, workshops, and surgery on local patients.

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