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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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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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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Tips To Prevent Back Pain At Work

by Administrator 14. July 2014 12:41

Back pain is a condition which can happen due to a number of different circumstances and triggers. It has been observed that work-related activities and poor conditions at work places contribute heavily to cases of back pain. Keeping a few things in mind and exercising some caution can protect you from developing back pain due to workplace habits. Here are a few tips which might come in handy to prevent back pain.

The place in your office that is the most likely to contribute to your back pain is your workstation. Start a careful examination of your workstation and try to find out components and arrangements which are likely to be the root cause of back pain later. It is imperative to have a good quality office chair which offers enough support to the back. You should pay careful attention to the height and placement of items of regular use like keyboard, mouse, paper tray and filing cabinets and ensure that you do not have to strain or reach out to far to access these items.

Try to avoid being seated in the same position for long durations. Remaining in one position for long duration of time can contribute to back pain. You should change your position as often as you practically can. Also, make sure that you intersperse your work duration with frequent small breaks, to relax your muscles and reduce tension.

Study your posture closely and find out the problem areas. Make sure that you are sitting up straight and there is adequate lumbar support provided by your furniture. Also, ensure that your computer monitor is placed at an optimal height and angle so as not to make you turn or strain your neck abnormally for you to look at it. If your work involves typing, get wrist support and keep your keyboard and mouse close so as not to have to reach out for them. If your work involves repetitive action, make sure you take frequent breaks in between to prevent the onset of repetitive stress injury which is one of the root causes of back pain at work.

For more tips on preventing back pain, consult Dr Guess at 4780 North Josey Lane, Carrollton, TX 75010. You can request an appointment with the spine specialist by calling at (972) 492-1334.

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Pregnancy And Low Back Pain: Orthopedic Carrollton

by Administrator 21. April 2014 08:23

Pregnancy is a very significant stage in any female’s life. It comes with its own set of problems and conditions that need to be properly monitored and taken care of. One such problem that many pregnant women complain of is pain in the lower back. This can be a very trying phase and hence it is important to understand what causes it, and how a spine specialist in Carrollton can help you in correcting it.

During pregnancy, the body undergoes a lot of changes. The uterus is constantly expanding and many hormonal changes happen within the body. As a result, the center of gravity of the body shifts. This in turn puts considerable pressure on the abdominal muscles. The posture gets affected and hence leads to strains and pain in the lower back.

Hormonal changes also contribute to back pain during pregnancy. These are responsible for loosening of the joints and ligaments that connect the pelvic bones to the spine. Consequently, this causes pain in the back while sitting for long periods of time or participating in activities such as walking.

Lower back pain in women can be categorized as lumbar back pain and posterior pelvic pain. Generally, many pregnant women complain of symptoms of both kinds of pain. The sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy makes low back pain symptoms all the more prominent in many women.

Following are some possible ways of treating low back pain in pregnant women:

  • Contrary to popular notion, it is important to understand that exercise is important to strengthen the back muscles, more so during pregnancy. Rest for prolonged periods can actually harm the back rather than do any good to it.
  • Though swimming, walking, and stretching exercises are a common way to combat back pain during pregnancy some changes might be required in the way that these are performed. Guidelines need to be borne in mind before you exercise when pregnant.
  • It is recommended that you should not get up too quickly after exercising. In addition, it is also advisable not to lie flat on the back while exercising. The routine to be implemented for exercise during pregnancy also varies; it cannot be as rigorous as the conventional exercising routine.
  • Body mechanics and positioning are also important for pregnant women. You could also try certain relaxation techniques such as hot water bottles or a massage to ease the soreness and pain in the back.

 Other than exercise, you could also go in for improving your posture. This considerably helps in reducing back pain. For proper guidance on treatment, you can get in touch with a spine specialist in Carrollton.

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