Chronic Back Pain: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 24. April 2017 10:19

A disease or injury involving the back bone can lead to back pain. Chronic back pain can occur as a result of some problem in the back or any other part of the body. When the pain persists over a period of time or does not seem to fade away, it is termed as chronic back pain. It is painful and uncomfortable but usually not serious or life-threatening.

Causes

  • Stress or injury involving the back muscles
  • Obesity, that can put burden on back muscles
  • Trauma or accident that injures the backbone
  • Osteoporosis or thinning of backbone
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Disease or injury in the spinal nerves
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Lifting objects improperly
  • Ruptured or bulging disks
  • Abnormal curvature of the spine
  • Bad sleeping or sitting posture

Symptoms

  • Pain in the back
  • Pain can radiate to legs and buttocks
  • Inflammation in the back
  • Persistent pain that does not get better with sitting or lying
  • Pain and stiffness in the trunk, neck, shoulders, knees and elbows
  • Trouble in bending or twisting
  • Feeling extremely tired even after long hours of sleep
  • Tenderness at several points in the back
  • The back might become sore
  • Stiffness in thigh and back muscles

Diagnosis

  • The spine specialist will note down the complete medical history of the patient and also ask questions regarding the prominent symptoms
  • A thorough examination of the back and spine muscles is conducted to check for pain and muscle tenderness
  • Imaging tests such as X-Ray, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or CT scan might be ordered by the doctor if the back pain is caused by some serious problem in the vertebrae or spinal nerves
  • Blood tests and urine tests can also be conducted for detailed diagnosis
  • Nerve conduction studies can be performed by the doctor to determine the extent of damage done to nerves and muscles
  • Sometimes, a bone scan is also performed

Treatment

Non-surgical treatment

  • Bed rest is advised for a limited number of days to reduce pain and discomfort
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) might be recommended by the doctor to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Muscle relaxants can also aid in reducing the discomfort to a certain extent
  • Hot or cold compresses might prove to be helpful depending on the condition of the patient
  • Strength and flexibility exercises are recommended for improving the functioning of back and abdominal muscles

Surgical treatment

  • Surgery is generally not required for patients of chronic back pain
  • A surgical procedure such as diskectomy or fusion is performed if the patient suffers from a herniated disk

For complete treatment of Chronic Back Pain or any other spinal condition, visit Dr. Guess in Carrollton, TX. To schedule an appointment, feel free to call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Stiff Neck: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 27. March 2017 07:10

Difficulty in moving and turning the neck in either side can be termed as a Stiff Neck. In this condition, if a person wants to look sideways, he will have to move his complete body to that side. Stiff Neck condition is common and is not age specific.

Causes

  • Sleeping with an awkward neck position
  • A sudden blow to the neck, which pushes it to one side
  • Frequent side to side turning  of the head while swimming
  • Slouching while looking on a computer monitor
  • Excessive stress or anxiety
  • Abnormal positioning of the neck, for e.g. while holding a phone
  • Conditions like Cervical Herniated Disc, Degenerative Disc, Osteoarthritis etc.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the neck , which may radiate to shoulders and arms
  • Headache and nausea
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty in coordinating leg movement while walking
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Mood swings

Diagnosis

The doctor will examine, how far a patient can move his head in either direction. Certain imaging tests may be suggested to evaluate the cause of neck pain and stiffness.

  • X-rays – This test may reveal the areas where nerves and spinal cord may be pinched by bone spurs or any other degenerative changes.
  • CT Scan And MRI Scan – These tests may give detailed images about the damage caused to soft tissues.

Treatment

This condition can be treated with conservative mode of treatment:

  • Rest – The doctor may advise the patients to take rest for about 2 days. This may help damaged tissues to heal and also relieve the symptoms. For instance, a swimmer may avoid practising strokes that involved rapid turning of the head.
  • Heat Or Cold Therapy – Heat therapy may be suggested by the doctor to stimulate blood flow in the neck muscles. On the other hand, using ice packs may be recommended to alleviate inflammation and pain.
  • Medication – Patients may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medicines and painkillers to reduce bruising and affliction.
  • Exercises – Various muscle strengthening exercises may be suggested to the patients for increasing neck’s range of motion and relieving tenderness.
  • Traction – Weights, pulleys or an air bladder may be used by doctors to stretch patient’s neck. This may reduce pain and free a pinched nerve that might be causing neck stiffness.
  • Immobilization - For rapid healing of the damaged tissues, the doctor may ask the patients to wear neck collars. They provide support and take off the pressure from the neck muscles.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of Stiff Neck, consult Dr. Guess, a board certified spine surgeon in Carrollton, TX. To schedule an appointment with the surgeon call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Whiplash: Orthopedic Treatment In Carrollton

by Administrator 26. October 2016 08:28

Whiplash is a condition in which neck strain occurs due to sudden movement or jerk to the head. As a result, the tendons and ligaments in the neck stretch and tear, causing pain. It may lead to prolonged period of partial disability, if not treated on time.

Causes:

  • Auto accidents: Rear-end collisions may lead to direct blow to the head resulting in neck injury.
  • Contact sports: Collisions caused while playing contact sports such as football, rugby or boxing can also affect the neck.
  • Other activities: Sudden jerk in the head during activities like horse riding or cycling can also injure the neck.

Symptoms:

  • Pain in the neck along with stiffness
  • Low range of motion 
  • Headaches (Specifically at the base of the skull)
  • Tingling or numbness in arms
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances

Diagnosis:

An orthopedic doctor may perform a physical examination of the neck to check the symptoms. An X-ray may be conducted to rule out fracture or any other injury. Other imaging tests such as CT scans and MRI may help to assess any damage or inflammation in the soft tissues, spinal cord or nerves.

Treatment:

  • RICE Therapy: The doctor may recommend RICE therapy to relieve pain and promote healing. The therapy includes rest, ice, compression and elevation of the affected area.
  • Medication: The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines to combat pain.
  • Injection: For chronic and severe neck pain, cortisone injections may be administered by the doctor.
  • Orthotic Devices: Wearing a neck brace or foam collar may help to control the motion of the neck and provide stability.
  • Physical Therapy: Specific exercises as recommended by the doctor may help to build strength and flexibility in the neck. Practicing good posture may help in speedy recovery as it prevents neck muscles straining.

Recovery:

The recovery depends on the severity of Whiplash and varies from individual to individual. Most cases resolve in a few days while others may take several weeks or even longer.

For complete treatment of Whiplash, consult Dr. Guess in Carrollton, TX.  To schedule an appointment you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Back Pain In Women: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 25. April 2016 12:02

Back pain is the most common medical condition affecting both men and women. However, females may experience the problem of backache more frequently and severely, particularly in lower back - the lumbosacral region. The condition may also involve pain in the shoulders, arms and legs depending on the part of the spine affected.

Causes:

  • Age group: Females above the age of 30 years are more likely to experience back pain. This may be due to the loss of calcium from the bones after the 30s in females.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy adds approximately 11 kg of weight in 9 months of its course which puts the pressure on the lumbar spine leading to back pain.
  • Menstruation: The menstrual cycle may be accompanied with lower backache, commonly forming part of Dysmenorrhea.
  • Strain: Over/improper usage or stretching of the back muscles, particularly in the lower back, may cause spasmodic pain. Bad posture contributes maximum to this cause.
  • Soft tissue injury: This may be a result of a fall or stretching of muscles. It may be acute (less than 3 month duration) or chronic (more than 3 month duration).
  • Bone density: This may decrease with age as bones may start to lose calcium. Other reasons for low bone density may include spine infections, fractures or deformities. Lesser the bone density, more will be the pressure on the spine which may lead to backache.
  • Osteoporosis: It is a condition in which the bones undergo gradual degeneration, causing bone thinning.
  • Degenerative conditions: This includes conditions like Spondylosis and Degenerative Arthritis (Osteoarthritis). These changes mainly occur because as with increasing age the water and protein content of the body undergoes changes which results in weak, fragile bones.
  • Disc Prolapse: This is most common with the posterior intervertebral discs. Postural defects and increasing age may cause the disc to bulge out of its normal position putting an intense pressure on the nerve and leading to sharp pain.
  • Nerve irritation: This may be due to disc prolapse or traumatic injury causing disc to herniate. It may be a result of heavy weight lifting and bad postures.
  • Traumatic Injuries: This include fracture of the spine vertebrae. These may occur either due to accidents, or due to weak, fragile osteoporotic bone where a minimal stress may result in breakage of bone. Such fractures are most common in elderly in sacrum region of spine.

Symptoms:

  • Pain: It is the most common presentation. However, the intensity, frequency and area affected may differ completely depending on the cause associated. It may vary from radiating, severe pain (typically in traumatic and degenerative injuries) to mild, non-radiating pain (experienced in pregnancy or due to bad posture)
  • Stiffness, discomfort and tiredness.

Treatment:

Depending upon the cause, severity, and frequency of the symptoms, the doctor may recommend following modes of treatment.

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs or Analgesics may be prescribed to patients with mild backache or for temporary relief of the symptoms.
  • Surgical Procedures: Surgery may be needed for back pain caused due to Herniated Disc, tumor, fracture etc.
  • Exercise: It may help to strengthen the back muscles and prevent backache due to bad posture or strain.
  • Physiotherapy: It may be helpful in releasing pressure and improving flexibility of the spine.

Dr. Guess, a leading spine surgeon in Carrollton, TX, provides effective treatment for acute and chronic back pain. To schedule an appointment, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Neck Sprain: Orthopedic Treatment In Carrollton

by Administrator 23. November 2015 13:12

Neck is the most sensitive part of the spine made up of seven bones connected to each other by ligaments and muscles. Stretching or tearing of any of these ligaments due to sudden movement such as hard fall or vehicle collision etc. is termed as neck sprain. The condition is caused due to excessive pressure on neck.

Neck sprains are classified in the following grades according to the extent of the damage:

  • Grade 1- Stretching along with micro- tearing of the ligaments.
  • Grade 2- It occurs when partial tearing of the ligaments occurs.
  • Grade 3- Complete tearing of ligaments leads to grade 3 neck sprain.

Causes:

  • Trauma
  • Sudden twisting movement of the spine
  • Poor posture
  • Lifting heavy weights
  • A car accident
  • Sports injuries during football, swimming etc.
  • Occupations that involves prolonged sitting.

Symptoms:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Pain at the back of neck that worsens with movement
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain at the back of head.
  • Numbness or weakness in the arm
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling
  • Ringing sensation in the ears

Diagnosis:

An orthopedic doctor may conduct a physical examination and may inquire about the patient’s medical history to provide correct diagnosis. The stability of the neck may be checked to look for any nerve damage. Certain imaging tests such as X-Rays, MRI or CT scan may be conducted to determine the severity of the condition.

Treatment:

  • Medication: The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling in the neck. Muscle relaxants or topical ointments can also be recommended to ease spasms.
  • Rest: Adequate rest may be recommended to decrease discomfort and allow the ligaments to heal. Strenuous activities such as lifting heavy weights must be avoided.
  • Ice and Heat Therapies: Applying ice at frequent intervals may be suggested to provide relief from inflammation and tenderness. Heat therapy can also help to reduce soreness and provide relaxation to the stiff muscles.
  • Physical Therapy: Certain exercises may be suggested by a physical therapist to restore strength and flexibility to the neck muscles.
  • Supportive devices:  Wearing a soft collar around the neck can also help in supporting the head and relieve pressure on the ligaments, thereby, boosting the recovery process. 

Prevention:

  • Wearing safety equipment and using proper techniques while playing sports can help in preventing neck sprains.
  • Warm up exercises should be performed in order to prevent jerking movements.
  • Sleeping or sitting in correct posture can also avert the chances of neck sprain.
  • Wearing seatbelts while driving can help in avoiding sudden impact to the neck.

For treatment of neck sprain, consult Dr. Guess in Carrollton, TX. To schedule an appointment with the spine surgeon, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Back Pain In Elderly: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 26. October 2015 12:18

Back pain is a common health condition in older adults. With increasing age, the joints in the spine start to degenerate, causing back pain and other spine conditions. If left untreated, the pain may become chronic and diminish the quality of life. Thus, one must get the pain diagnosed by a spine specialist in order to prevent the condition from worsening.

Causes

  • Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Arthritis
  • Back muscle strain
  • Lifting a heavy object
  • Twisting
  • Any sudden movement
  • Sciatica or nerve root pain
  • Tumor or a bone disorder
  • Pressure from structures near the spine
  • Infection
  • Disc herniation
  • Overweight

Symptoms

  • Sharp pain that aggravates by extended activity
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Numbness
  • Pain in the morning or evening
  • Tenderness
  • Tingling that radiates from back to the legs

Diagnosis

The doctor may carry out physical examination and ask about the medical history to find out the exact cause of the condition. He may perform certain imaging tests such as X-ray, CT-scan, Bone scan, MRI, etc. to confirm certain conditions.

Treatment

  • Medication: To treat back pain, the physician may prescribe some non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Hot And Cold Packs: Hot and cold therapy may be suggested by the doctor to provide relief from pain. Ice packs can also help in relieving pain and swelling.
  • Rest: The patient may be advised to take adequate amount of rest or discontinue any activity that strains the back and causes pain.
  • Braces: Using braces can provide support to the back and help in the recovery process.
  • Physical Therapy: The physician may recommend the patient to start an exercise program that includes stretching, weight lifting, and cardiovascular exercises. It can help in providing strength and flexibility to the muscles. 

Surgery:

In severe cases, any of the following surgical procedure may be recommended.

  • Fusion: The orthopedic surgeon may use bone graft to fuse the vertebrae. The spinal bones are bound together by using metal plates, screws, rods or cage. In case the disk is affected, the patient may need disk replacement surgery.
  • Discectomy: In this procedure, a part of the disc is removed if it is damaged or pressing other nerve.
  • Artificial Disk: This procedure involves insertion of an artificial disk, thereby replacing the cushion between the two vertebrae.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of back pain in the elderly, consult Dr. Guess. To schedule an appointment with the spine specialist in Carrollton, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334 or visit the clinic at 4780 North Josey Lane, Carrollton, Texas 75010.

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Low Back Pain Risk Factors

by Administrator 24. September 2015 12:12

The area below the ribcage is known as the lumbar region or the lower back. Various orthopedic conditions affecting the bony lumbar spine, vertebral discs, spinal ligaments and nerves, etc. may cause pain in the lower back. Although the condition can be caused due to various reasons, there are various factors which may increase the probability of low back pain.

Risk Factors:

  • Age: Middle aged people are more prone to lower back pain. As age increases, the discs in the lower back begin to lose fluid and undergo gradual degeneration. This increases the risk of suffering from low back pain.
  • Genetics: People having a family history of low back pain are more likely to suffer from the condition. Also, congenital bone deformity or degenerative condition can also lead to pain.
  • Occupational Hazards: Jobs that require prolonged sitting or standing may also increase the risk of having lumbar pain. Occupations involving repetitive lifting and bending activities such as construction worker, nurse, etc. may also cause the condition.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle:  People who lead an inactive lifestyle, without any physical activity are predisposed to low back pain.  Due to lack of exercise, the back muscles may become weak and lose flexibility, thus, causing pain.
  • Excess Weight: Obesity is often a cause for many cases of low back pain. As the lumbar back bears a large part of the entire body weight, obesity can increase the stress on muscles and other joints which can lead to pain.
  • Poor Posture: Poor posture or improper alignment of the spinal vertebrae may contribute to low back pain as it can cause undue stress on certain areas of the back.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women are more susceptible to low back pain.  The extra weight of the baby puts pressure on the lower back and pelvic region, leading to pain.
  • Sports: Sports activities such as skiing, snowboarding, gymnastics, wrestling, football, rugby etc.  can cause injuries to the back structures. High impact activities, such as endurance running, may also pose a risk factor for the condition.
  • Stress: People undergoing prolonged stress are also predisposed to low back pain. When people are stressed, they inadvertently tense up their back muscles, which ultimately cause pain.
  • Smoking: Smoking poses a higher risk of developing lower back pain. It obstructs the proper supply of oxygen to discs.

For treatment of acute or chronic low back pain, visit Dr. Guess. To schedule an appointment with the spine specialist in Carrollton, TX, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Back Pain Prevention: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 23. July 2015 12:51

Back pain is a common problem suffered by people of all ages. However, with increasing age people become more prone to suffering from back pain due to the weakening of the spine. Back pain can range from mild to severe and not taking proper medial assistance and treatment can worsen the situation. The condition may result due to strenuous activities, injuries, trauma, repeated use, wrong posture, etc. In order to keep your back healthy and pain free, you must observe some precautions and maintain a healthy routine.

Here are some lifestyle changes that you can adopt to prevent back pain:

  • Exercise: To keep the back muscles strong and flexible, it is essential that you do regular exercise. This can include walking, swimming, jogging, etc. If you work at a computer or a desk for long hours, make sure you stretch your body after regular intervals. Working out to develop your core muscles will help you avoid many back problems.
  • Maintain A Good Posture: Bad posture is one of the major causes of bad back. Stand upright when you walk and avoid slouching. Your workstation should be ergonomic and provide proper support to the back.
  • Avoid Smoking: Smoking causes damage to the spine and should be avoided to prevent back pain.
  • Maintain Healthy Weight: Overweight people are more susceptible to back pain, as excessive weight strains the back and can lead to severe spinal issues.
  • Lift Properly: Most people suffer from back problems due to improper lifting. You must ensure that your feet are as apart as your shoulders while lifting something heavy. You must also wear the proper equipment when lifting in the gym or exercising.
  • Avoid High Heels: Lower back pain is a common condition among women who regularly wear high heels or uncomfortable shoes. Wearing high heels exerts pressure on the back and thus one should prefer wearing flat or sports shoes to prevent any discomfort.
  • Improve Sleeping Posture: Sleeping in the wrong posture often leads to misalignment of the spine, strain on the ligament, muscles and tendons. By using right mattresses, an orthopedic pillow and sleeping in the right posture, you can avoid back troubles.
  • Avoid Risks And Injuries: Riding a bike or driving a vehicle can be quite strenuous for the back, so it is essential that you take regular breaks and stretch your back.

By following the above-mentioned tips, you can prevent back pain.

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Low Back Pain Prevention: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 19. June 2015 04:38

Low back pain is a common problem and can be characterized by symptoms like muscle ache in the lower back, limited range of motion, less flexibility and inability to stand straight. The causes of low back pain include muscle strain, ruptured disc, skeletal irregularities and medical conditions like Arthritis etc.

Here are some tips that can help in prevention of lower back pain:

  • Exercises: Exercising regularly can help in strengthening the muscles of the lower back. It can help in increasing flexibility in the muscles by keeping them in motion. Exercising can also help in decreasing muscle tension.
  • Weight management: Being overweight causes strain on the lower back muscles and leads to pain and stiffness.
  • Sleeping position: Paying attention to the sleeping position can help in reducing the risk of lower back pain. Sleeping on the back can overstrain the muscles of lower back. Therefore, it is advisable to sleep on the sides and not on the back or stomach. Using the right mattresses can also help in providing support to the muscles and reduce pressure on the back.  Putting a pillow under the knees while sleeping can also help in providing support to the back and prevent lower back pain.
  • Proper posture: Maintaining proper posture while sitting and standing can reduce tension in muscles of lower back. Paying attention to the type of chair and comfort that it provides can help in prevention of sprains and strains in muscles of the lower back. Standing upright and keeping the spinal cord in a straight position can remove pressure from the back muscles.
  • Careful lifting: Taking precautions while lifting heavy things can reduce the chances of sprains and strains in the lower back. It is suggested not to bend the back while lifting heavy objects. Instead, bending the knees and squatting can be helpful to avoid putting pressure on the back.
  • Proper shoes: Wearing proper fitted shoes can help in reducing pressure from the muscles of the lower back. High heels can shift the center of the weight and lead to overstraining the heels which can create tension the lower back. It is advised to wear flat or low heeled shoes that provide proper support in order to prevent back pain.

These tips can help in the prevention of back pain. However, in cases of lower back pain, it is advised to consult an orthopedic doctor for proper treatment and diagnosis.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Degenerative Disc Disease

by Administrator 21. May 2015 08:07

Degenerative Disc Disease refers to the degeneration of one or more intervertebral discs of the spine. The discs are cushion paddings between the vertebrae of the spine acting as shock absorbers, which allow the spine to flex, twist and bend. With increasing age the discs can start losing elasticity and flexibility. Degenerative Disc Disease can occur throughout the spine but is more prone to the lumbar and the cervical region.

Causes

  • Aging
  • Trauma and injuries leading to Herniated Disc
  • Falling
  • Repetitive actions putting pressure on the spine
  • Loss of fluid in the discs
  • Cracks in the annulus or the outer layer of the disc
  • Bone spurs or osteophytes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Symptoms

  • Pain in the lower back, neck and leg that limits routine activities
  • Pain in thighs while walking
  • Tingling sensation
  • Pain in upper spine that goes in arms, shoulders, and hands
  • Weakness in the knees

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose Degenerative Disc Disease, the orthopedic doctor may conduct a physical examination. He may ask the medical history and look for tenderness, numbness in the nerves or any changes in the reflexes. The doctor may also check the possibility of fractures, tumors and infections. The doctor can prescribe certain imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, CT scan, etc. to diagnose the exact cause and devise a treatment plan.

Treatment

Non-surgical treatment

  • Ice or heat packs: The doctor may recommend applying ice or heat packs to the affected area.
  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory medications can be prescribed as they offer relief from pain and reduce swelling.
  • Limit activities: The orthopedic surgeon may advise you to modify activities to avoid aggravating the problem.
  • Physical therapy: The patient may be recommend to undergo physiotherapy under the guidance of a professional. He may get relief from the strengthening and stretching exercises.

Surgical treatment

In case, the condition is severe and the non-surgical methods fail to provide any relief, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgical treatment. The options include Anterior Cervical Discectomy with fusion, Intervertebral Disc Arthroplasty, Intervertebral Disc Annuloplasty, etc. During surgery, the vertebrae of the spine are fused together to stabilize the spine. The spinal fusion is performed using rods and screws in the spine and the adjacent bone graft.

Surgery is followed by post-surgical care and rehabilitation. It is advised that the patient visit the orthopedic surgeon regularly for follow check ups.

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