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Keep Your Back Healthy This Winter Season

Published: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 10:03 a.m. CDT

MK Orthopaedics is pleased to welcome to our practice, Dr. Rebecca Kuo, M.D., J.D. a specialist in surgical and non-surgical treatments of the spine.

•    She received her BA at Dartmouth College. •    She completed her residency at Rush University in Chicago. •    She completed her spinal surgery fellowship at the University of Texas in Houston.

Dr. Kuo treats the entire spine from scoliosis to spinal stenosis in children and adults. Whether it be neck pain, back pain or chronic pain to acute nerve pain, Dr. Kuo has been trained to utilize a wide array of surgical procedures including minimally invasive techniques to speed recovery time for her patients.

It is not surprising that many people suffer from muscle fatigue, low back strain, vertebral disc damage and even spinal fractures during the winter season.  Shoveling snow, carrying all those heavy packages, hauling that fresh cut Christmas Tree (or the one you've left up way too long) it's no wonder some of these injuries result from excessive stress to spinal structures and others by slip and fall accidents - OUCH!

Some tips for a happy healthy back this season!

•    Select the right shovel - plastic is better than metal - smaller is better than larger. •    Warm up your muscles - stretch that back - lift with your legs - push that snow when you can. •    Pace yourself - take a break and enjoy a nice hot cup of hot chocolate! •    Recruit your friends and family to help carry in those heavy packages of gifts and goodies. •    Get plenty of rest - it is so important to rest your body and your mind during this hectic part of the year.  You will enjoy this time with family and friends so much more with a healthy spine and a healthy mind!

Acute back pain is the most common pain that is diagnosed. When someone strains their ligaments, tendons or muscles it is usually caused by weakness of the back. The best prevention to support your back pain is to stay in shape. Keeping the muscles that support the spine strong, which are your abdominal muscles and back muscles. Maintaining proper weight is very important because if you don't, that can cause stress to your back

Treatment of acute back pain:

•    Brief rest 2-3 days. Studies show if you lay in bed too long your body goes into de-condition mode; your muscles get weak and back pain gets worse. •    Physical Therapy •    Take anti-inflammatory according to directions.

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