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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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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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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Carrollton Spine Specialist For Lumbar Pain

by Administrator 21. April 2015 12:39

The lower back consists of interconnected and overlapping elements such as tendons, muscles, soft tissues, highly sensitive nerves and nerve roots, small and complex joints along with spinal discs. Lumbar Pain can be caused due to a problem with any of these structures. Lower back pain ranges from mild to severe and can interfere with routine activities. It is a common condition, which can be very painful and must be treated after proper diagnosis.

Causes

  • Specific movements such as bending or lifting a heavy object
  • Aging causes degenerative changes in the spine, which makes it prone to back pain
  • Over-activity that leads to muscle soreness, over stretching of ligaments and muscle fibers
  • Disk injury such as disk tear and disk herniation
  • Disk degeneration
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Scoliosis

Symptoms

  • Sharp pain that worsens with lifting and bending
  • Inability to walk or stand for long hours
  • Pain extends into the buttock and outer hip area
  • Numbness
  • Tingling sensation
  • Weakness

Diagnosis

The orthopedic doctor may examine your back after thorough discussion of your symptoms and medical history. The surgeon may ask you to bend forward, backward and side-by-side to look for limitations in the spine. The orthopedic surgeon can also recommend some imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI, CT Scan to confirm the diagnosis and devise a treatment plan.

Treatment

Lumber pain is usually treated orthopedically through medication, physical therapy or surgery. The surgeon often prescribes certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce pain and inflammation. Besides medication, the doctor can also recommend physiotherapy, which includes modalities such as ice, massage, heat, electrical stimulation and ultrasound. During therapy, you may need to do some stretching and strengthening exercises that will help you restore motion and strength in your lower back and relieve pain. You may be prescribed to wear braces that increase comfort and take part in exercise based programs such as yoga, pilates, etc.

However if you do not find relief with these non-surgical methods, you may have to undergo surgery. During the surgical procedure the vertebrae are fused together so that they can heal as a single bone. In severe cases, disk replacement is the only solution, in which, the disk is removed and replaced with artificial parts.

After surgery, you may have to complete a rehabilitation process that will help you return to your normal routine by strengthening your muscles and ligaments.

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Back Pain: Orthopedic Treatment In Carrollton, TX

by Administrator 20. March 2015 06:21

Back pain is one of the most common problems that compel people to visit an orthopedic center. Although many people suffer from back pain at some point in their life, the reasons and causes often vary.

Causes of Back Pain

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Injury or accident
  • Illness such as cancer, kidney infection, tumor, etc
  • Paget’s disease
  • Sprains
  • Overuse of muscles
  • Ruptured herniated disc
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Stress on the back muscles

Diagnosis

Besides physically examining the backbone, the orthopedic surgeon also recommends imaging tests to find out the exact condition of the spine and the extent of damage. Results of X-ray, MRI, bone scan or CT Scan assist the surgeon in determining the course of treatment to be followed.

Treatment

In most of the cases, the back pain improves with minimal treatment. However, if the pain persists, the doctor recommends rest, cold and heat treatments, posture training, stress management and spinal manipulation. They stress on relaxation exercises, weight loss and meditation. However in severe cases, the orthopedic surgeon recommends surgery.

During initial treatment, the doctor prescribes certain pain relieving medicines and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to the patient. Physical therapy is also effective in treating mild back pain. Physical therapy includes heat, ice, massage, electric stimulation and ultrasound. Cardiovascular exercises, weight lifting and stretching exercise are also recommended to strengthen the back muscles and get relief from pain. Some patients can be prescribed braces that are wrapped around back and stomach. In severe cases of back pain, the patient has to rely on surgical treatments. The orthopedic surgeon fuses the vertebrae to make it a single, solid bone. This process is called Spinal Fusion and is recommended if the patient has spinal instability, severe degeneration or Scoliosis. The surgeon uses a bone graft to fuse the vertebrae. He may use rods, screws or a cage to stabilize the spine during the healing process. In more severe cases disk replacement is performed.

Prevention

Here are a few tips to prevent back pain:

  • To make the abdomen muscles flexible and strong, you need to perform exercises regularly. This could include walking, jogging, swimming, and any specific exercises recommended by your physiotherapist or personal trainer.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to avoid stress on the back.
  • Make changes to your posture to avoid any problems in future.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol.

For back pain treatment in Carrollton, TX, visit Dr. James Allen Guess, a renowned back pain specialist. To schedule an sppointment wiith the doctor, call at (972) 492 - 1334.

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Sports Injuries To The Spine

by Administrator 23. February 2015 10:49

The spine is a complex structure composed of vertebrae, nerves, tissues and ligaments. It helps to provide stability and balance to the body. Sports injuries to the spine can occur either as a result of accidents on the field, improper training, not wearing protective gear or overuse of the muscles. These injuries can either be acute or chronic and can affect the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine.

Given below are the common sports related injuries to the spine:

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains to the spinal muscles or ligaments are very common injuries while playing sports. They mainly occur due to improper use of sports techniques, wrong exercises, and no warm up, poor body stamina or excessive muscle stretching. Treatment may include taking proper rest, applying ice pack at the affected area, refraining from participating in sports activities for some time, medications and physical therapy.

Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolysis occurs when there is a defect in the joining of the spinal vertebrae. Spondylolisthesis is an orthopedic condition involving a displacement of one vertebra in the spine over another. These injuries are commonly seen in sportspersons requiring stretching or twisting movements of the spine, such as gymnasts. The athlete suffers from acute pain in the back which increases increases while trying to bend or turn. Treatment options for Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis may include anti-inflammatory medications, stretching and range of motion exercises and wearing braces to support the back.

Stinger

Stinger is a sports injury to the nerves in the cervical spine and commonly occurs during sports collision and contact sports. The athlete may experience a stinging pain that radiates from the shoulder to the arm. Treatment options for stinger mainly include taking rest, applying heat or ice, avoiding activities that strain the arm, anti-inflammatory medications, wearing a sling or brace to support the arm and shoulder.

Scheuermann's Disease

The pain associated with Scheuermann's Disease is usually felt in the middle back. Also known as juvenile kyphosis, in this condition the athlete starts to develop a hunched back that appears like an arch when bending forward. The condition can be treated with extension exercises or wearing support braces. However if the condition is severe the surgeon may recommend surgery.

For complete diagnosis and treatment for sports injuries to the spine, visit Dr. Guess in Carrollton, TX. To schedule an appointment with the spine specialist, you can call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Herniated Disk

by Administrator 14. May 2014 10:38

Herniated Disk, also called as slipped disk, is a condition when the outer ring of the inter-vertebral disc of the spine is torn. This injury causes the nucleus pulposus to protrude outwards and leads to immense pain and discomfort, and can happen with slightest of pressure. A protrusion of the outer layer of the anulus fibrosus is generally the pre-requisite to a Herniated Disk and is a common back related problem often observed in athletes, bodybuilders and people who are above the middle-age mark.

Causes:

  • Degeneration, the age related depletion of the spinal disks
  • Lifting heavy objects with using the back muscles
  • Twisting while lifting
  • Fall or blow to the back

Symptoms:

  • Pain in the side of the body
  • Pain in the leg and hip of one side and numbness in the other
  • Numbness in the calf and sole
  • Pain that gets worse when you stand, sit, sleep, bend, sneeze, etc.
  • Weakness in certain body parts

Treatment:
If the pain and general discomfort is bearable the spine surgeon shall recommend non surgical modes of treatment. This includes taking the following steps:

  • Bed rest - The patient is advised to avoid using his back muscles. Activities like standing and walking are to be avoided.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine - The pain associated with this condition can be excruciating and spine specialists often prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine to avoid swelling on the back.

A spine surgeon will recommend surgery only after persistent attempts over a long period of time have not resulted in sufficient relief from the pain. Surgery is the last step and is often followed by a recovery time including rest and medications.

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