Tag: Lower Back Pain

Optimal Treatments for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

As an orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Paul W. McDonough performs procedures on the thoracic, cervical, and lumbar sections of the spine, in addition to advising patients on possible courses of care. In many cases, Paul McDonough, MD, has found that physical therapy can serve as an effective precursor or alternative to surgery for patients. For instance, lumbar spinal stenosis can often be treated with physical therapy.

A condition that causes lower back pain, lumbar spinal stenosis occurs when part of the lower spine narrows. Typically, the degeneration of parts of the spine, such as the facet joints of discs, causes this narrowing. A patient with lumbar spinal stenosis may experience discomfort in the upper thigh or buttocks and pain when walking, standing, or leaning back.

Surgery can alleviate pressure on nerves that cause the pain associated with this condition. However, a research study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that patients who underwent surgery and patients who completed a physical therapy program had similar outcomes. Since surgery can pose a higher risk to patient health, physical therapy or other more conservative treatment approaches are a safer first step to address lumbar spinal stenosis. Surgery can be considered after other therapies have failed.

Prevention of Lower Back Pain in Golfers

Dr Paul McDonough MD pic
Dr Paul McDonough MD
Image: fixmyspine.net

Paul W. McDonough, MD, provides surgical intervention for neck and back pain. As a spine surgeon with Texas’s Orthopedic Associates of Abilene. In his free time, Dr. Paul McDonough enjoys playing golf.

Many golfers, both professional and amateur, suffer from low back pain. It often stems from a swing technique that places undue stress on the spine, back muscles, and facet joints. Golfers can help prevent this excess stress by improving mobility in the middle back and hips, as this can relieve some of the load and torque on the lower back.

The middle back has more natural rotation ability, and maximizing rotation there can help a golfer to reduce the need to rotate the less flexible lumbar spine. Stretches such as seated twists can be extremely beneficial, and hip exercises like clamshells, lunges, and stair work can strengthen the hips and support rotation from below.

Golfers can also keep their lower backs stable by establishing a strong standing balance, in which the feet are shoulder-width apart and the knees are bent. This engages the gluteus muscles and the quadriceps, while allowing the pelvis to move forward. The golfer then bends slightly forward from the hips and stands on the balls of the feet.