Blog

Frequently Asked Questions: What is a bulging/ruptured/herniated disk?

October 16th, 2012

Blog

Frequently Asked Questions: What is a bulging/ruptured/herniated disk?

The disks in your spine are your “shock absorbers” between the bones (vertebras). With forces too strong for the disk to support, such as, lifting an object that is too heavy or lifting it improperly, tears in the disk or a herniation of the disk may occur. A herniated disk is also called a bulging, protruding or “slipped” disk which may cause specific pain patterns from the back into the buttocks, hips, and/or legs. The ways in which a herniated disc causes different pain patterns and problems with your back is related to the location of the herniated disc along your spine, and also to the anatomy of your spinal column. If the injured disk is in the low back, it may produce pain, numbness, or weakness in the lower back, leg, or foot. If the injured disk is in […]

Read more

Frequently Asked Questions: What is sciatica?

October 11th, 2012

Blog

Frequently Asked Questions: What is sciatica?

In the low back, nerves join to form the sciatic nerve, which runs down into the leg and controls the leg muscles. Sciatica is the descriptive term for when pain runs from your back or buttocks down your leg and even into your foot. It is a condition caused by either compression or trauma of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is made worse when you cough or if someone lifts your leg up while you are lying down. Symptoms may begin abruptly or gradually, are usually irritated by movement, and often grow worse at night. Sciatica implies that there is an irritation of your nerve root in the lower part of your spine. In some instances, this could be due to a ruptured or herniated disc in your lower back. Sciatica: What is it and how is it treated? Written by […]

Read more

Frequently Asked Questions: What is degenerative disk disease?

October 11th, 2012

Blog

Frequently Asked Questions: What is degenerative disk disease?

Degenerative disk disease is a gradual or rapid deterioration of the chemical composition and physical properties of the disc space. It can occur anywhere in the spine: low back (lumbar), mid-back (thoracic), or neck (cervical). Under the age of 30, these disks are normally soft, and they act as cushions for the vertebrae. With age, the material in these lumbar disks becomes less flexible and the disks begin to erode, losing some of their height. As their thickness decreases, their ability to act as a cushion lessens. The less dense cushion now alters the position of the vertebrae and the ligaments that connect them. In some cases, the loss of density can even cause the vertebra to shift their positions. As the vertebrae shift and affect the other bones, the nerves can get caught or pinched and muscle spasms can […]

Read more

An Introduction to Back Pain: Part 3

October 3rd, 2012

Blog

An Introduction to Back Pain: Part 3

This is the third in a 3-part series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Written by Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D. We hope you have been enjoying the series about low back pain and it’s causes and origins. Part 1 covered myofascial pain, part 2 covered facetogenic pain, and this week’s topic is the often misunderstood discogenic pain. I hope you find this series informative and helpful! Low back pain is an exceptionally common condition in which an estimated half to three-quarters of the adult population will experience at least one memorable episode of back pain per year and up to 1 in 10 will develop chronic back pain. Acute back pain, which resolves within weeks, is typically attributed to the soft connective tissues. Once pain goes beyond three months, it is considered chronic and the physiology of […]

Read more

September 25th, 2012

Blog

An Introduction to Back Pain: Part 2

This is the second in a 3-part series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Written by Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D. We hope you read last week’s post about low back pain in which we covered myofascial pain. There are several causes of back pain and this week we look at another cause. Low back pain is an exceptionally common condition in which an estimated half to three-quarters of the adult population will experience at least one memorable episode of back pain per year and up to 1 in 10 will develop chronic back pain. Acute back pain, which resolves within weeks, is typically attributed to the soft connective tissues. Once pain goes beyond three months, it is considered chronic and the physiology of this pain can become quite complex. Chronic back pain is typically attributed to traumatic […]

Read more

September 18th, 2012

Blog

An Introduction to Back Pain

This is the first in a 3-part series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Written by Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D. Low back pain is an exceptionally common condition in which an estimated half to three-quarters of the adult population will experience at least one memorable episode of back pain per year and up to 1 in 10 will develop chronic back pain. Acute back pain, which resolves within weeks, is typically attributed to the soft connective tissues. Once pain goes beyond three months, it is considered chronic and the physiology of this pain can become quite complex. Chronic back pain is typically attributed to traumatic or degenerative conditions, and may include a variety of physiologic, psychological, and social influences. Most patients with chronic back pain will respond to conservative treatments as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapies, and therapeutic […]

Read more

Summer Heat, Maintaining Workouts & Keeping Your Back Healthy

July 11th, 2012

Blog

Summer Heat, Maintaining Workouts & Keeping Your Back Healthy

Written by Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D. We are definitely feeling the heat here in North Texas and this hot weather is here to stay for the next few months. That is no excuse, however, for us not to keep up with exercise and core strengthening. While the heat may limit a lot of outdoor activities, some of the best exercises for your low back and spine can be accomplished indoors or in the pool. When it comes to training in a gym, there are some basic principles to keep in mind to avoid aggravating back injuries. In general, it is best to keep your exercises low impact and avoid excess strain on the low back. For instance, jogging can be a high impact activity on the spine and joints. We typically recommend walking on the treadmill at an incline, […]

Read more

Emerging Technologies in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

May 2nd, 2012

Blog

Emerging Technologies in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Written by Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D., FAANS Spine surgery is a rapidly evolving field as more traditional large open spine surgeries continue to give way to minimally invasive spine (MIS) surgical techniques. These minimally invasive approaches can be equally effective while being much less disruptive to the spine’s supporting tissues. The safe and effective practice of these techniques requires extensive training and knowledge of the spine and relies heavily on technological advancements. Of particular importance to MIS techniques is the equipment used for intra-operative visualization and structural localization. MIS surgery is typically performed through small portals that pass through muscle without destroying it. The ability to work through these portals involves the use of microscopes and endoscopes to visualize the spinal structures and these scopes continue to improve with hi-definition and 3-D technologies. Visualization of the intricate anatomy of the […]

Read more

Cheerleading, Gymnastics & Back Pain

March 14th, 2012

Blog

Cheerleading, Gymnastics & Back Pain

Written by Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D. Cheerleading and gymnastics are exceptionally physically demanding sports for young athletes and can actually be quite dangerous. Injuries are very common as the body is subject to forces and loads that are far beyond normal physiologic stress. On top of this, athletes are constantly pushing the limits with their tricks and stunts and the risk level is ever increasing. Cheerleading and gymnastics require a strong core, proper mechanics and teamwork to mitigate risk and attempt to limit injuries to the spine. Unfortunately, cheerleaders and gymnasts suffer injuries at an alarming rate. Many injuries are strains and sprains which may be short-lived and recoverable, but equally common are more concerning injuries that can cause serious acute and chronic damage to the spine. We commonly see these young athletes in our clinic for injuries ranging […]

Read more

Dr. Musacchio on Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

January 19th, 2012

Blog

Dr. Musacchio on Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Written by Michael J. Musacchio, Jr., M.D. . [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxRAhz0jWCw&w=560&h=315] Minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS) is best described as a method of performing spine surgery through small incisions with less muscle disruption, shorter recovery times, and with maximal preservation of normal spinal anatomy. While the term “MIS” is used very liberally these days, the MIS techniques really took off in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with the introduction of tubular retractors and the use of endoscopes and microscopes. Through tubes the width of a finger, MIS surgeons can gain access to spinal pathology (i.e. disc herniations, bone spurs) while minimizing the cutting, stripping, and cauterization of muscles and ligaments which are vital to the preservation of spinal function and the prevention of future problems. I began my neurosurgical training in a residency program at Rush University in Chicago. The […]

Read more

Stem Cell
Therapy

Center for Spine Care offers stem cell therapy as a conservative treatment to promote natural healing for back or neck pain. Utilizing mesenchymal stem cells, this new method is used to treat patients with neck and back pain caused from degenerative disc disease.