Month: June 2016

Visiting Scotland

Scotland pic

UCLA School of Medicine Alumni Paul McDonough, MD is a spine surgeon in Abilene, Texas. Prior to his work in Abilene, Dr. Paul McDonough worked as a missionary in Scotland for two years. Dr. McDonough enjoys going on trips with his family, and especially enjoyed the chance to take them to Scotland and show them sights that were familiar to him. Even for those who have never been to Scotland before, there are many sights and adventures, which make it a unique and rewarding vacation spot.

Scotland has a variety of outdoor activities, ranging from cycling to hiking to golf. For active visitors, a bike tour may be the best way to see and experience the Scottish countryside. The mild climate coupled with a large offering of cycle-friendly accommodations make it relatively easy to bring or rent a bike and cycle the trails and roads, many of which are family friendly.

For those who don’t wish to bike, but still want to actively explore the country, hiking is another alternative. Scotland’s Great Trails are a network of trails, which combined form more than 1,700 miles worth of walking! Each trail in the network is at least 25 miles long, and can range up to 200 miles long. Of course, casual hikers do not need to be discouraged, as there are also sections of trail that are perfect for a day’s hike. All paths are well-maintained and managed to ensure each hiker’s safety.

In addition to Scotland’s beautiful countryside, the city of Edinburgh is particularly interesting. Edinburgh is considered the biggest tourist stop in Scotland, and with good reason. The city and surrounding area offer a mix of old and new attractions, from castles to museums and historical sites.

No matter how a visitor chooses to tour Scotland, and there are a wide range of options. Visitors will find Scotland to be an out of the ordinary, fascinating vacation.

The Battle of Hastings

British Isles
British Isles


A spine surgeon by profession, Paul W. McDonough, MD, enjoys listening to lectures and reading about history in his free time. Dr. Paul McDonough pursues a particular personal interest in the history of the British Isles.

On October 14, 1066, William the Conqueror faced off against King Harold of England and his Saxon armies. William, the duke of Normandy, had come to England to claim the throne that he believed to be rightfully his.

William’s cousin, Edward the Confessor, had been ruler of England. Being childless, he had promised to leave the throne to William, but on his deathbed he named English nobleman Harold Godwine as his successor. William waited only eight months to bring 7,000 cavalry and troops on 1,000 ships across the Channel to England.

At the time, King Harold and his troops had traveled to Yorkshire to face a challenge from the king’s brother, Tostig. William landed in England facing no opposition and immediately traveled to Hastings. The king’s troops returned south and arrived west of Hastings on the 13th of October.

William and his troops attacked the following day. The victor remained uncertain until late afternoon, when the Normans broke the Saxon line. Legend has it that the battle ended when a member of the Norman armies pierced King Harold’s eye with an arrow, thus ending his life and bringing about the end of Anglo-Saxon rule in England.

Relieving Back Pain through Exercise and Alignment

Dr Paul McDonough MD pic
Dr Paul McDonough MD

As fellowship-trained spine surgeon, Paul W. McDonough, MD, treats a variety of conditions that cause back and neck pain through Orthopaedic Associates of Abilene. Dr. Paul McDonough upholds a commitment to helping his patients minimize their discomfort through healthy body mechanics.

Approximately 80 percent of people living in the United States will experience back pain at least once in their lives. Such pain may arise as a result of injury or simply from the stresses of daily living. In either case, good alignment habits can play a role in minimizing discomfort and promoting long-term back health. Individuals both with and without back pain should take care to stand or sit with the shoulders over the hips, as any curving forward or leaning back can affect spinal curvature.

Exercise also plays a key role in minimizing back pain, even for those with injuries. Experts recommend activities that are not overly strenuous, but that mobilize the spine without causing pain. Working on the core muscles can help to strengthen the torso and reduce pressure on the back, while increasing flexibility can serve to reduce tightness and balance the way the body carries weight.