Back Pain Prevention Tips

by Administrator 16. January 2017 10:58

The spine is made up of 33 small bones divided into cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions. Its major function is to protect the muscles and nerves as well as provide stiffness to the upper body. Any misalignment or deformity of the vertebrae may lead to pain and discomfort. The symptoms may radiate from the back to other parts of the body like shoulders, legs or hips. Back pain may occur due to several reasons, poor posture and excess weight being the most common of all. Other factors contributing to back pain include muscle tear, muscle spasms, Herniated Disc and spinal injuries. Pregnant women, elderly and people having sitting jobs are more susceptible to experience back pain.

Tips To Prevent Back Pain

  • Excess weight may shift body’s center of gravity which puts additional strain on the back, leading to pain. Exercising regularly can help to keep the body in shape and muscles in an active state.
  • Sleep sideways than lying flat on the back. Sleeping in this position increases blood circulation and does not put pressure on the back. It is a highly recommended position for pregnant women.
  • Bad posture may strain the muscles as well as put pressure on the spine which may constrict the blood vessels and nerves. Therefore, you should maintain proper posture while sitting, standing and walking to keep the spinal curves in their natural shape
  • Quit smoking as it reduces blood flow to the spinal region and increases the risk of back pain.
  • Improper lifting of  heavy objects may strain the lower back muscles which hinders movement and causes pain
  • Wear good fit shoes with flat cushioned soles which provide proper arch support and distribute weight evenly while walking.
  • Increase the intake of calcium and vitamin D to prevent age related degeneration of spinal vertebrae, thereby reducing the risk of back pain.
  • Keep a pillow under your knee in case you sleep on your back as it reduces stress on the spine and maintains natural curve of your body.
  • Do not over stretch your body during workouts. Gradually increase the intensity of physical activity to avoid sprains and strains.
  • Use support at the waist level for example a cushion while sitting, which will help you to sit straight
  • Perform core muscle strengthening exercises. regularly They make abdominal and side muscles stronger which help the spine to bend from the front and maintain its natural curvature
  • Frequent travelers must carry a lumbar support pillow to support their lower back and try carrying heavy luggage in bags having wheels rather carrying them on back.

OrthoTexas, Frisco provides complete treatment for acute and chronic back pain. To schedule an appointment with our spine specialists, you can call at (214) 618 - 5502.

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Stiff Neck: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 24. December 2016 09:01

The cervical spine consists of bones, cervical vertebrae and muscles. Due to overuse or maintaining a poor posture for prolonged periods, the muscles in the neck may become stiff and painful. This may result in limited motion and severe discomfort. The symptoms may last from a few weeks to months depending upon the severity and lifestyle of the patient. In some cases, the pain may radiate to arms, upper back and shoulders.

Causes

  • Slouching in the chair while sitting
  • Keeping the head hung forward while staring at a computer screen
  • Sleeping in an improper position
  • Using a pillow that is either too hard or soft
  • Neck injury due to an automobile accident
  • Falling from a height
  • Conditions like Osteoarthritis, Herniated Disc or Bone spurs
  • Infection in the cervical spine

Symptoms

  • Pain and stiffness in the neck
  • Headache
  • Inflammation in the neck and shoulder muscles
  • Bruising due to an injury
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness in the neck muscles

Diagnosis

The doctor may ask the patient to describe the extent of pain and its location. The patient may explain if he is experiencing pain in the shoulders, arms or the upper back. The patient’s daily schedule may be noted such as if he uses a computer for prolonged periods, or suffered a neck injury.
A physical exam may help the doctor to check for muscle spasms. He may palpate the neck as well as shoulder and ask the patient to move the head to examine the range of motion.
A cervical X-Ray or an MRI scan may be conducted to detect fracture, bone spurs, slip disc or damaged muscles.

Treatment

Non Surgical Treatment

  • Rest: The patient may be advised to refrain from any type of activities that may lead to pain and stiffness. These may include sports or heavy-weight lifting.
  • Exercises: The doctor may suggest some stretching as well as strengthening exercises that help to condition the muscles, improve flexibility and allow smooth movement of the neck.
  • Medication: NSAIDs and pain relieving medicines may be prescribed. Certain topical medications may be recommended to relieve pain. Steroid injections may be administered in severe cases.
  • Cervical Pillows: They may help to realign the spine, support the neck and improve the symptoms of Stiff Neck.

Discectomy: The procedure involves removal of a damaged disc from the cervical spine. To fill the gap and regain stability of the neck, the doctor may perform spinal fusion or insert an artificial disc. In case the pain is caused due to a bone spur, it may be surgically removed to provide relief.

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Upper Back Pain: Orthopedic Treatment In Frisco, TX

by Administrator 27. November 2016 09:39

Upper Back or Thoracic Spine is the region between the neck and the lower back which helps to maintain stability. It also provides a protective covering to the internal organs of the chest. The range of motion is limited in this part because it is attached to the rib cage. Upper back pain is commonly associated with headache, stiff neck and shoulders.

Causes  

  • Maintaining poor posture for long periods
  • Injury or trauma to the upper back
  • Being overweight
  • Sitting in front of computer for several hours
  • Little or no exercise
  • Improper lifting technique
  • Weak and fatigued muscles
  • Carrying heavy back pack while walking

Symptoms

  • Painful and inflamed muscles
  • Stiff neck and shoulders
  • Numb and tender spots in shoulder blades
  • Headache and muscle spasms
  • In severe cases, weakness in arms or legs
  • Limited range of motion

Diagnosis

  • Physical examination: The doctor may diagnose the condition by conducting a physical examination of the spine. He may ask the patient about any injuries sustained that could be causing the pain. Certain blood tests may be conducted to rule out other possible reasons of the condition.
  • Advanced tests: An X-Ray, CT scan and MRI test may be recommended by the doctor to examine the bone alignment and determine the underlying cause of pain.

Treatment

Non-surgical treatment

  • Ice and heat therapy: Applying ice on the affected area can help to relax the muscles and relieve pain. Heat therapy can also be beneficial in reducing discomfort.  
  • Stretching: Practicing certain exercises as recommended by the doctor can help to improve blood circulation and reduce stiffness in the muscles. These exercises can also strengthen the spine muscles.
  • Rest: Sudden trigger of upper back pain can be improved by taking rest for a few days. Maintaining proper posture while sleeping may help to relieve the stressed muscles.
  • Medication: The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain. Muscle relaxants may also be given to treat spasms. Cortisone injections may be administered in case of severe pain.

Surgical treatment

Surgery may be recommended if non-surgical treatment fails to provide relief. The surgeon may use bone grafts, screws, rods and plates to join two vertebrate in the upper back. This can help to provide stability to the spine.

For effective treatment of upper back pain, visit the spine specialists at OrthoTexas, Frisco. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeons, call at (214) 618 – 5502.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Kyphosis

by Administrator 26. October 2016 08:42

The spinal cord constitutes cylinder-shaped bones called vertebrae. It provides support and balance to the head and helps to maintain the body’s posture.  In case of Kyphosis, these vertebrae become wedge-shaped and thus lead to deformity such as a Hunch Back or Extreme Curvature. The symptoms of Kyphosis may remain constant over a course of time and may slowly progress to severe complications in some rare cases.

Causes

Listed below are some of the major causes that are responsible:

  • Osteoporosis. It is a bone-thinning disorder that largely affects the older generation. It may lead to crushing/fractures of the vertebrae.
  • Birth Defects. If the spinal cord of a fetus doesn’t fully develop in the womb, it is likely to have deformed vertebrae, causing Kyphosis.
  • Scheuermann’s Disease. This affects growing children, specifically boys before puberty. By the time the child grows completely, the rounding or hunch back may become worse.
  • Disk degeneration. The spinal cord consists of disks that act as a cushion between the vertebrae. As age progresses, these disks may shrink and dry out, thus worsening the condition.
  • Disorders and Syndromes. Children affected by certain disorders, for example Cerebral Palsy may also get affected by Kyphosis.
  • Injury. In certain cases when the spine gets injured or fractured, the spinal cord may get misaligned following the treatment.  
  • Cancer and its treatments.  Spinal cancer and cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy may weaken tge vertebra thus increasing chances of fractures.

Symptoms

  • Poor posture. This is by far the most common symptom of Kyphosis. A hump or a hunch appears on the back.
  • Pain and stiffness. Poor posture may be accompanied by back pain, stiffness and fatigue in the muscles.
  • Weakness. In severe cases, the spinal cord may become weak and the patient may experience loss of sensation and bowl/bladder control.
  • Loss of appetite. Due to extreme curvature of the spine, the pressure on the abdomen may increase, leading to reduced appetite.

Diagnosis

The doctor may first examine the curve of the spine, ask about the patient’s family history of Kyphosis and other back and/or neck problems, and the strength and flexibility of the limbs may be assessed. Based on the findings, following tests may be suggested:

  • X-Ray. This helps to reveal the type of Kyphosis the doctor might be dealing with.
  • MRI. It may be recommended in case the X-Ray reveals injured or compressed nerves.
  • Additional tests. Severely affected patients may experience chest pain or shortness of breath. Thus, evaluation of heart and lungs may be required.

Treatment

  • Physical therapy. The doctor may suggest a number of physical exercises to strengthen the muscles.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines. These medications help relieve inflammation and pain.
  • Braces. Children are recommended to wear races to help support the spinal cord.
  • Surgery. Surgery is opted when the symptoms develop from mild to severe.

For effective treatment of Kyphosis, visit the spine specialists at OrthoTexas, Frisco. You can request an appointment with the surgeons by calling at (214) 618 – 5502.

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Back Spasm: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 25. October 2016 07:20

Back Spasm refers to a sudden and involuntary tightening of a muscle in response to strain, weakness or overuse. The condition may range from mild discomfort to severe pain which makes walking a difficult task. It commonly occurs in people of all age groups, irrespective of the gender.

Causes:

  • Muscle and back injury
  • Nerve irritation
  • Nerve compression
  • Medical conditions such as Hypocalcaemia, Sciatica, and Osteoarthritis etc.
  • Lack of proper hydration.
  • Overuse or stress in the spinal column.
  • Infection in any part of the spine

Symptoms:

  • Backache
  • Hip pain
  • Curvature of the spine resulting in lack of stability or balance
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in the back and thighs
  • Pain at the back of the head, in some cases
  • Muscle weakness or strain
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Shoulder or arm pain

Diagnosis:

A doctor may examine the patient’s medical history along with the symptoms. Factors like the severity of the pain and the frequency of its occurrence are focused upon. A physical examination may be conducted and the spine and limbs are properly analyzed. An X-ray may be performed to look for signs of Arthritis or fracture. An MRI or CT scan may also help in inspecting the muscles and other soft tissues properly along with identifying possible problems with the blood supply to the affected area.

Treatment:

  • Muscle relaxants: There are prescribed medication that give a relaxing effect to the body. They are given in cases of acute pain on a short-term basis.
  • Cold therapy: Applying ice wrapped in a cloth to the affected area or any other cold pack would help in relieving inflammation and pain considerably.
  • Reduced stress on back: Spasms can be treated through appropriate amount of rest. This can be done by laying on the back in bed with upper body supported at a slight incline and pillow under the knees or sitting at an incline in a reclining chair with legs supported and knees slightly bent.
  • Walking a lot: Walking is a great cure to spasms. This can include several short walks for a particular time duration around the house followed by increased walk intensity, as tolerated. Prolonged inactivity will stiffen the muscles and will lead to more pain. Walking is gentle on the back and promotes blood flow enabling speedy recovery.
  • Heating pads and heat therapy: Applying a heating pad to the affected area is also a good method in soothing pain and inflammation.
  • Surgical intervention: It may be required if the condition is caused due to some underlying anatomical disorder, degeneration of the spine, spinal fractures or damage to the discs.

The spine surgeons at OrthoTexas, Frisco offer complete treatment of Back Spasm. To request an appointment, call at (214) 618 – 5502.

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Low Back Pain: Orthopedic Treatment In Frisco

by Administrator 21. September 2016 14:47

Lower back pain is a common ailment which generally affects people between 35 and 60 years of age due to various extrinsic and intrinsic factors. However, people in the younger age group may also be affected. Lower back pain can be limited to a particular portion in the spine or may radiate to other parts of the body, particularly the extremities. It can be physically limiting and should be given timely medical attention.

Causes

  • Poor posture
  • Sitting or standing for too long
  • Herniated Disc
  • Injury or trauma to the spinal cord
  • Degenerative Disc Disease which can damage the intervertebral discs and create instability in the lower spine
  • Strain caused to the ligaments or tendons due to overuse injury or weight lifting
  • Sudden increase in intensity of physical work/exercise
  • Stress caused due to sports injuries or strenuous physical activities
  • Mental or psychological stress can lead to backache
  • Isthmic Spondylolisthesis which involves slipping of a vertebrae in the lower back and consequent compression of the disc or nerve roots below it
  • Arthritis
  • Infrequent or excessive movement of the sacroiliac joint which connects the base of the spine (lower back) to each side of the hip joint
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Compression fractures of the spine

Symptoms

  • Persistent dull ache to a sudden sharp pain in the lower back
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty in walking, bending or lying down
  • The lower back may feel tender and sore when touched
  • Stopping an activity or changing the position may provide relief from pain
  • Pain may radiate into the hips and legs
  • Numbness and tingling sensation may be felt in the back or legs
  • Change in gait

Diagnosis

  • The movements and activities that aggravate pain may be analyzed
  • Assessment of the medical history and past injuries
  • Tests to evaluate the loss of motion and sensation
  • X-ray imaging to study the bone structure damage
  • MRI or CT scan to evaluate the damage to nerves and soft tissue structures
  • Myelogram test ay be recommended in some cases

Treatment

  • In most cases, the back pain may subside with conservative methods of treatment within 4-6 weeks. In the other cases, surgical intervention may be required.
  • Taking rest for a few days may reduce the stress on the spine as well as help the muscles and tissues recover
  • Heat and ice therapy may be recommended by the doctor to reduce pain and inflammation. They can be used in conjunction or alternately, as advised by the spine specialist
  • Prescription of pain killers or anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Light intensity exercises can be performed as to improve mobility and flexibility
  • Severe cases may require injecting steroids into the spine
  • Surgical fusion of the vertebrae to improve spine flexibility
  • Removal of damaged parts of the bone and soft tissue
  • A soft removable back brace can be worn for added support

The spine specialists at OrthoTexas, Frisco provide surgical and non-surgical treatment for low back pain. Patients in Frisco, TX can call at (214) 618 – 5502 to schedule an appointment with the doctors.

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Spinal Decompression Surgery In Frisco, TX

by Administrator 23. August 2016 14:20

Spinal decompression can be defined as a set of procedures performed to treat nerve compression anywhere along the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine. The nerves in the spinal cord are responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and body organs. Abnormal spine alignment, Osteoarthritis, Herniated Disc, spine injury, bone spurs etc. can put pressure on the spinal canal and compress the nerves passing through it. Spinal decompression involves reducing pressure from the nerves to relieve the pain, inflammation and other associated symptoms of the condition.

When Is Spinal Decompression Surgery Recommended?

  • Patients with the following symptoms may be advised to undergo spinal decompression surgery:
  • Pain and weakness in the leg or foot
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in the leg
  • Leg pain is severe than back pain
  • Difficulty walking, standing or bearing body weight
  • Non-surgical treatment failed to relieve the symptoms

Spinal Decompression Techniques:

The spine surgeon may use any of the following procedures to perform spinal decompression surgery:

Laminotomy or Laminectomy 

The procedure involves partial or complete removal of the lamina that forms a covering of the spinal cord. This is done to increase the space within the spinal canal and relieve the pinched nerve.

Laminaplasty

It is mainly performed to treat a pinched nerve in the cervical spine. The surgeon may cut the lamina on either side to create more space for the spinal cord and nerves.

Foraminotomy or Foraminectomy

In these, the spine surgeon may remove a bone or soft tissue to expand the nerve root openings. The surgery may be recommended if the nerve compression is caused due to Herniated Disc.

Discectomy

It involves removing a part of the disc to eliminate pressure from the adjacent nerves and nerve roots.

How Spinal Decompression Surgery Is Performed?

Spinal decompression surgery is generally performed under general anesthesia and the patient may be made to lie on his stomach. The surgeon may make an incision over the affected vertebrae in the back as well as move aside the muscles and soft tissues to view the lamina. Next, he may use special instruments to cut or remove lamina, bone spurs and soft tissues to expand the spinal canal as well as decompress the nerve roots.

The spine surgeons at OrthoTexas, Frisco specialize in performing spinal decompression surgery to treat Pinched Nerve. To schedule an appointment with the spine surgeons, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502 or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Suite 180, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Spinal Instability: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 26. July 2016 11:45

The spine is composed of vertebral bones and intervertebral discs held together by spinal muscles. Spine bears most of the body weight and is prone to instability and dislocations. Almost all the injuries or medical conditions of the spine may lead to its instability. Most commonly involved is the lower spine area. Spinal Instability occurs when the vertebrae move abnormally over each other, either due to a dislocated disc or constriction of intervertebral space. This abnormal rubbing causes the bone to degenerate and form bone spurs, which is the main cause of the pain.

Causes:

  • Excessive flexion of the spine
  • Over extension of the spine
  • Intervertebral disc herniation
  • Degenerative disorders like Osteoarthritis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Scoliosis
  • Loosened or spastic para-spinal muscles
  • Infectious conditions like Pott’s disease etc.
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Trauma such as accidents
  • Fractures
  • Spinal deformity

Sign and Symptoms:

  • Pain in the back that may radiate to the lower limbs
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in the legs
  • Weakness of the back muscles and legs
  • Recurrent spasm of para-spinal muscles
  • Restricted range of movement
  • Difficult or painful spinal movements

Diagnosis:

  • Diagnosis is usually based on the medical history of patient and details of physical examination.
  • Radiological investigations may include:
  • X-rays are preliminary investigation performed to check for any disc prolapse or bone deformity.
  • CT-Scan and MRI may reveal the level of disc herniation, extent of infection of spine or any bone deformity.

Treatment:

Non-surgical treatment:

  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory medications
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed in case the condition is a result of an underlying infectious cause.
  • Physiotherapy may be recommended to strengthen the muscles and ligaments in the spine
  • Immobilization or complete bed rest may be advised by the doctor to relieve the pain and avoid any further aggravation of the symptoms.

Surgical treatment:

  • Most patients may respond to the conservative method of treatment. However, in cases of recurrent instability and severe symptoms, surgical treatment may be required. The doctor may perform a spinal fusion or Discectomy to treat the condition. Herniated Disc may be repaired and the pressure on the spinal nerves may be released.
  • Rehabilitation: The patient may be advised to take complete rest for a few days after the surgery. The doctor may suggest avoiding lifting heavy weights, bending down and other activities that may put pressure on the spine. Back strengthening exercises may be recommended to promote a faster and healthier recovery. 

For diagnosis and treatment of Spinal Instability, contact OrthoTexas, Frisco. To schedule an appointment with the spine specialists, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502.

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Sciatica: Orthopedic Treatment In Frisco, TX

by Administrator 21. June 2016 09:11

Sciatica refers to pain in the lower extremity (that includes hip, thigh, leg, ankle and foot) caused due to irritation of the sciatic nerve. The pain originates from the lower back area and may radiate down to the buttock and the large sciatic nerve at the back of each leg. In most cases, the condition affects only one side of the body.

Causes

  • Medical conditions such as Lumbar Herniated Disc, Pinched Nerve, Spondylolisthesis, Degenerative Disc Disease etc.
  • Nerve compression due to a Spinal Tumor
  • Infection in or around the lumbar spine
  • Carrying the weight of the fetus during pregnancy may cause irritation of the sciatic nerve
  • Muscle spasms
  • Being overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Wearing high heels
  • Sleeping on too soft mattress

Symptoms

  • Severe pain along the path of sciatic nerve, i.e. from the lower back to the leg
  • Pain may aggravate while coughing or sneezing
  • Burning sensation or inflammation in the lower limb
  • Weakness, numbness or tingling sensation in the foot
  • Difficulty standing up from a sitting position

Diagnosis

The spine specialist may ask the patient to walk on the toes, lift the leg while lying down or stand from a squatting position. This may help to check the reflexes and muscle strength. Imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI, CT scan or EMG may be conducted to identify the underlying medical condition that may be causing pain in the sciatic nerve.

Treatment

  • For acute Sciatica, application of heat pads or ice packs may be helpful in relieving pain
  • Muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to provide relief from discomfort
  • In case of severe pain, the spine specialist may also recommend administering an epidural injection for immediate relief
  • Once the pain subsides, physiotherapy may help to improve flexibility and strengthen the back muscles.
  • Surgery may be required if the patient is experiencing severe pain, loss of bowel/bladder control or if the condition does not respond to conservative treatment. The spine surgeon may remove the bone spur or Herniated Disc to release compression from the sciatic nerve.

The spine specialists at OrthoTexas, Frisco provide comprehensive treatment for Sciatica. Patients can call at (214) 618 – 5502 to schedule an appointment or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Suite 180, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Orthopedic Frisco For Spinal Cord Compression

by Administrator 24. May 2016 17:37

The human spine is made up of nerves, intervertebral discs and small bones called vertebrae; which are supported by a group of muscles as well as ligaments. Damage to any of these parts may result in compression of the spine. This condition is referred to as the Spinal Cord Compression. It can affect any part of the spine – cervical, thoracic or the lumbar area. The condition most commonly afflicts people above the age of 50 years as the spine tends to gradually degenerate due to ageing.

Causes

  • Fracture in the vertebrae
  • Tumor within the spine
  • Abscess
  • Rupturing of intervertebral disc
  • Swelling due to an injury to the spinal cord
  • Blood clots in and around the spinal column
  • Lifting weights or bending in the wrong position may
  • Scoliosis- faulty alignment of the spine
  • Certain infections in the spine may also lead to compression

Symptoms

  • Pain in the neck, back, legs and buttocks
  • Numbness
  • Weakness in the legs, thighs or hands
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Sexual disabilities
  • Development of a limp or foot drop
  • Stiffness
  • Inability to coordinate body movement
  • Cramping
  • Difficulty in walking, standing or getting up from a sitting position

Diagnosis

  • Evaluation of the patient’s medical history and symptoms
  • MRI and CT scans may help to assess damage caused to the nerves, soft tissues and other structures in the spine
  • Myelogram may be conducted to get a better view of the spinal column
  • X-ray imaging may be recommended by the doctor to detect any misalignment of the spine and growth of bone spurs
  • Electromyography (EMG) in which electric currents are used to test muscle activity

Treatment

  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory medicines and pain killers
  • Steroids may be injected directly into the spine in case of severe pain
  • Application of ice or heat packs may help to relieve pain
  • Some patients may benefit from physical therapy which involves strengthening the back muscles
  • Surgical fusion of the vertebrae
  • Surgical removal of bone spurs to relieve pressure
  • Some surgical procedures are conducted to create space between the vertebrae
  • Weight loss may be recommended in case the excessive weight is putting pressure on the back
  • Wearing a soft removable brace or neck collar may help to support the back and relieve the symptoms of Spinal Cord Compression

For diagnosis and treatment of Spinal Cord Compression, visit OrthoTexas, Frisco. To schedule an appointment with our spine specialists, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502.

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