How Prolotherapy Can Relieve Chronic Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulders, Hips and Knees

When you’ve been dealing with chronic pain in your back, neck, shoulders, hips or knees and over-the-counter pain relievers don’t do the trick, your body may be telling you that a more prominent problem exists that requires the diagnosis of a medical professional.

No one should have to live with chronic or acute pain. Whether as a result of a sports injury or as a result of daily life activity, chronic and acute pain has many causes from disc ruptures in the spine to minor ligament tears in your shoulder or knees. While surgery might be top-of-mind, new advancements in spine and sports medicine have uncovered many minimally invasive techniques to relieve patients of chronic pain without the costly and physically demanding requirements of surgery.

One form of minimally invasive therapy that has quickly gained popularity in the medical community is prolotherapy, an injection procedure that stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms to repair chronically damaged connective tissues such as ligaments and tendons.

Prolotherapy has been in practice as early as 1950 when Dr. George S. Hackett began performing injections of irritant solutions in an effort to repair joints and hernias, and has historically been used to treat professional athletes. By injecting an irritant such as dextrose, a form of sugar that the body uses for energy, into the affected area, an inflammatory response is produced that triggers the body’s natural repair process to strengthen the existing tissue and enhance the growth of new tissue in the area.

An out-patient procedure that generally takes no more than 30 minutes to an hour to perform, prolotherapy has been proven to create a noticeable reduction in pain and increased range of motion within the span of a few weeks. Because it uses natural substances, the side effects and risks associated are extremely low.

If chronic or acute pain has plagued your daily life, call me to find out if prolotherapy or other minimally invasive methods can alleviate your pain to get you back to enjoying life. Call me today at (713) 590-2700 or visit our website at www.TheSpineAndSportsCenter.com for more information.

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Treating leg pain and back pain caused by a herniated disc

Back pain and leg pain can be caused by a number of factors, the most common of which is a herniated disc. In fact, it is more likely that a person will have a herniated disc in his or her lifetime, than not. Approximately 80% of Americans will have back pain at least once in their lifetime and more than 67% of Americans will have herniated discs even without back pain. Typically, the symptoms for this type of back injury include a feeling of pain from the back and buttocks down to the leg. Many patients associate this pain with their sciatic nerve. Other symptoms might include a numbness and tingling sensation in their leg as well as weakness.

Back pain from a herniated disc is most commonly the result of hereditary genes but other causes include lifting too much weight or consistent slouching of the spine. In these instances, the spinal disc may come under stress and protrude backwards, causing the disc to push against the nerve root, signaling the brain as pain. If the patient feels a sense of weakness in the leg, this is typically more cause for more concern and immediate action is recommended.

The good news is that 80% of people will have resolution in their herniated discs in about 6-8 weeks, without the need for surgery. Treatment for those patients include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and spinal injections.

Physical therapy to treat patients with back pain caused by a herniated disc involves working to push the disc back into place and centralize the pain to the back and away from the leg. This type of physical therapy is performed by spine-trained physical therapists who utilize the McKenzie method, a type of treatment that emphasizes education and active patient involvement to decrease pain quickly and restore function and independence, minimizing the number of visits to the clinic.

Anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation around the nerve and ease back pain. Lastly, another alternative approach to surgery to help with the symptoms is a spinal injection. Spinal injections are out-patient procedures that involve a fluoroscopically-guided injection of a steroid solution to the site of pathology, which helps to decrease inflammation around the disc that is pushing on the nerve root.

If the herniated disc does not heal on its own or with the help of the above treatments, the final option is surgery to remove the part of the disc that is pushing on the nerve. At the Spine and Sports Center, we perform minimally invasive surgical procedures with a short recovery time of about a week.

Chronic back pain negatively affects a person’s quality of life and should be addressed and diagnosed as soon as possible to eliminate the possibility of other more serious injuries. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, call us today to schedule an appointment to determine the safest, most cost-efficient options for you.

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Is Back Pain Ruining Your Summer Activites?

With the gorgeous Texas Summer officially upon us, it’s hard to resist enjoying a round of golf on the green, an easy jog around Memorial Park, or a competitive game of tennis.

Unfortunately, injuries occasionally happen which put a damper on a summer plans. While reaching for the bottle of aspirin from the medicine cabinet might alleviate the pain temporarily, sometimes the problem is a bit more persistent and requires a visit to your doctor to determine the severity of your injury.

In my many years of experience practicing medicine and rehabilitation specializing in spine and sports medicine, the most common fear expressed by my patients  when visiting a doctor is the diagnosis of surgery.

Oftentimes, patients with a painful injury will visit their primary care physician (PCP) first, only to be referred to a specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon or other type of doctor, who may or may not recommend surgery to fix the cause of the pain. In some cases, the specialist will determine that a more thorough diagnosis is needed before putting the patient “under the knife.”

While the practice of conservative spine and sports medicine is still gaining awareness among medical professionals, PCPs and specialists are beginning to turn more and more to the expertise of physical medicine doctors to determine whether or not a patient should incur surgery as a solution to their injury.

My practice at The Spine and Sports Center is dedicated to accurately diagnosing the cause of a patient’s pain and first determining if minimally invasive methods or physical therapy might be a solution to their ailment before turning to surgery, which can be both costly and physical demanding.

If you suffer from acute or chronic pain in the back, neck, shoulders, knees or hips, call me first to determine if a minimally invasive solution will work for you. We’ll give you an accurate diagnosis for the cause of your pain and set you on the right path to recovery. The only thing you have to lose is more time off the golf course! Call me today at (713) 590-2700 or visit our website at www.TheSpineAndSportsCenter.com for more information.

 

 

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Dr. Benny speaks to local community

Who: Meadow Neighborhood

When: Tuesday, January 08, 2013 7:00p

Dr. Benny speaks to local communityI was given the opportunity to meet with the Meadowlands Neighborhood Community and share about what I do as a specialist in the musculoskeletal system and the spine this past Tuesday – and despite the rain – there was a great turn out! It is always a pleasure to be able to educate the community about conservative, minimally invasive treatment options available at The Spine and Sports Center. There were some excellent questions asked by the community, one in particular – will I need to do physical therapy for the rest of my life?

The goal in physical therapy is to, among other things; work on muscle strengthening, stretching, and biomechanical changes. Physical therapy is also intended to teach about lifestyle changes with posture and ultimately a Home exercise program. These are things that in the end you should be able to do on your own, and do what you are taught on a regular basis. People often time think if you go to therapy and complete your therapy, now you do not have to do any of the things that you are taught. Usually that results in symptoms returning. The best plan is to continue with those things that you have been taught and prevent those symptoms from recurring.

Have you found it difficult to continue your exercise regimen at home? What has prevented you from doing so? I would love to help encourage you to stick with your program!

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