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    Identifying Solutions for Low Back Pain

    Last updated 4 years ago

    When you begin to experience back pain, you are looking for relief that is immediate, effective and long-lasting. To become pain-free as soon as possible, talk to your spine doctor to identify the treatment options that soothe symptoms and target the source of your pain. Because each patient is different and each case unique, working with a specialist can help you reach an accurate diagnosis more quickly and implement a tailored treatment plan.

    • The first step towards effective treatment is an accurate diagnosis. This WebMD guide to back pain testing outlines the many methods your doctor can use to identify the exact cause and nature of your pain.
    • Once your physician has identified the source of your pain, you can begin to review your back pain treatment options together. More aggressive than conservative treatments but less invasive than traditional surgery is minimally-invasive spine surgery, a procedure that has changed how neurosurgeons operate. 
    • While back pain can feel unbearable, some patients may not feel ready for a procedure like spinal surgery. To learn more about the differences between surgery and more conservative options, refer to this Mayo Clinic guide on when to consider back surgery.

    For an expert and caring spine specialist, make an appointment with Kraus Back and Neck Institute today. The founder of KBNI, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. Please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.

    The Basics of Back Pain: Sitting at Work

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Your back pain may be keeping you away from work, but have you ever considered that your job may actually be the source of your pain? Your job description need not include manual labor for your work to negatively impact your spine health; in fact, simply sitting in a chair can lead to pain, discomfort and misalignment. In the video below, learn how your office job could be hurting your back and what you can do to bolster your spine’s strength and flexibility

    To learn more about preventing spinal injury at work, make an appointment with Kraus Back and Neck Institute today. The founder of KBNI, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. Please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.

    Tips for Preventing Spinal Injury

    Last updated 4 years ago

    One of the most common sources of back pain, a spinal injury can happen to individuals of all types, with the likelihood of experiencing one increasing with age. Protecting your spine health and preventing injury, though, can often be accomplished with some straightforward lifestyle changes. For more recommendations on living pain-free, talk to your spine doctor and learn more below:

    • See a Specialist at Early Signs of Back Pain: If you have a weakened back due to minor injury or aging, talk to your spine care specialist in order to prevent further, more painful damage. Seeking medical care early in the onset of pain can prevent disease progression, aid in an earlier diagnosis, and lead to a more effective treatment.  
    • Employ Proper Lifting Technique: Lifting heavy objects in poor position can strain the back muscles and lead to injury. Improper lifting technique can also lead to disc herniation, which can cause prolonged pain and discomfort. Ask your physician about the proper lifting technique to protect your spine and prevent serious injury.
    • Get Regular Exercise: The benefits of exercise for the spine are two-fold. First, exercise helps to strengthen the deep muscles that support the spine so that the delicate structures of the vertebrae, discs, and nerves remain protected. Secondly, regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight so that your spine does not have to support the pressure of extra body weight.
    • Maintain Proper Posture: Whether you’re sitting, standing or lying down, good posture is beneficial for both an attractive carriage and a healthy spine. In all positions, work to maintain a neutral spine; slouching or bending the back unnecessarily can cause injury resulting from sudden movements or impact.

    For more spine injury prevention tips, make an appointment with Kraus Back and Neck Institute today. The founder of KBNI, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. Please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.

    The Different Approaches to Back Pain Treatment

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Just as there is no single cause of back pain, neither is there one particular treatment that works for all patients. When you see your spine specialist about back pain, he or she may recommend a variety of treatments targeted to your particular condition, its symptoms and its severity. At Kraus Back and Neck Institute, we evaluate each patient individually to provide personalized care and customized treatment plans. Whether your pain stems from an accident or aging, your treatment options may include some of the following.

    Putting Patients First

    While there are a few common sources of back pain, treatment options are not one-size-fits-all. For some patients, lifestyle changes or going to physical therapy can relieve discomfort while others may require surgery to physically correct certain spine conditions. Only after a comprehensive evaluation of your condition can your doctor reach an accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment plan. When seeking medical care, look for a neurosurgeon or spine specialist that puts patients first and identifies your unique needs and goals.

    Surgery or Conservative Treatment

    In many cases of back pain, a neurosurgeon will recommend starting with more conservative means of treatment. If pain management, medication, and other conservative back pain treatments do not successfully relieve back pain, though, he or she may ask you to consider spinal surgery. With the advanced technologies and techniques used today, spine surgery can be performed with minimal invasion, less pain, and reduced recovery time to help patients relieve and recover from back pain more quickly.

    To learn more about your treatment options for back pain, make an appointment with Kraus Back and Neck Institute today. The founder of KBNI, Dr. Gary Kraus is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. Please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.

    What is a Neurosurgeon?

    Last updated 4 years ago

    A neurosurgeon is a physician that specializes in the treatment of diseases and conditions related to the nervous system. The nervous system is an all-inclusive term that encompasses the spine and spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and the brain. Neurosurgeons complete four years of college, four years of medical school, and then undertake a residency in neurosurgery lasting six to seven years. Some neurosurgeons then choose to undergo additional fellowship training in a subspecialty of the field, gaining additional experience in specific areas such as spine surgery, vascular and skull base neurosurgery, epilepsy surgery, surgery for pain, and non-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery.

    Dr. Kraus’ fellowship in neurovascular-skull base surgery was completed at the prestigious Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. In his capacity as a neurosurgeon, Dr. Gary Kraus treats conditions that occur in the following areas:

    • brain (aneurysms, hemorrhages, tumors (benign and malignant))
    • cervical spine (disks, trauma, tumors)
    • thoracic spine (disks, trauma, tumors)
    • lumbar spine (disks, trauma, tumors)
    • sacral spine (trauma, tumors)
    • peripheral nerves (compressions, lacerations)
    • carpal tunnel
    • ulnar nerves
    • brachial plexus
    • lumbosacral plexus

    Neurosurgeons such as Dr. Kraus are extremely meticulous, conscientious, and passionate about their work. Many seek certification by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons (ABNS). To obtain ABNS certification the physician must undertake an educational program that, when completed, employs comprehensive written and oral examinations to assess the individual’s knowledge, skills and experience. Satisfactory completion of this process is intended to assure the public of the surgeon’s capacity to provide quality neurosurgical care.

    The founder of Kraus Back and Neck Institute, Dr. Gary Kraus, MD is a leading Houston neurosurgeon specializing in spine health, spine surgery, and non-surgical spine treatments. For more information, please visit us online or call us today at (888) 816-8954 to schedule a consultation.

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