Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Common Mistakes in Weight Lifting Cause Back Pain

Based in Abilene, Paul W. McDonough, MD, employs minimally invasive techniques in serving the needs of spine surgery patients across Texas’ Big Country. Paul McDonough, MD, engages personally with patients in helping them understand the basics of back pain and what can be done to prevent it occurrence. 

One common place where back issues begin is in the gym, with weightlifters who employ improper techniques ultimately paying the consequences. With deadlifting, lower back pain is relatively common and often begins from not engaging the latissimus dorsi (lats), which represent the largest muscles in the back. 

Offering the upper back and spine stability, the lats should be engaged in a way that generates tension before each lift. The way to ensure proper lateral tension is to pretend that a sponge or an orange is being squeezed in the armpit. Failure to do this can lead to a back that rounds as force is transferred from lower body to upper body. The end result is significant back strain and pain. 

A related mistake involves not bending the knees far enough, which leads to bending at the waist. This can not only impact the back, but also prevent a proper “wedge” position that provides maximum lifting power.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tips for Protecting Your Back While Sitting

Paul McDonough, MD, sees patients with a variety of spine problems at his practice in Abilene, Texas. In his practice, Dr. Paul McDonough performs evaluations and recommends treatment and appropriate follow-up care so patients can go on to live active, healthy lives.

For many individuals who deal with back pain or who are recovering from back surgery, many daily activities can result in discomfort. This includes sitting down to work at a desk. In fact, sitting can often be more uncomfortable than standing, since it places more pressure on the spine. However, a number of simple approaches can help keep pain at bay while sitting and promote continued spinal health.

One tip offered by experts is to use a chair that provides support to the lower and middle portions of the back. The spine should be neutral, and the knees should bend at a right angle. While many expensive ergonomic options exist, more affordable chairs can also offer the appropriate amount of support. In addition, if you are looking at a screen, make sure to place it at eye level.

Finally, stepping away from the desk to stand and move around can make a big difference. Consider setting a timer to ensure that you take breaks at least every 45 minutes or so.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The 2016 and 2017 Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra Season

Dr. Paul McDonough is a spine specialist with the Orthopedic Associates of Abilene, located in Abilene, Texas. As a specialist, Paul McDonough, MD, concentrates solely on surgery of the spine. Dr. McDonough has become invested in the community of Abilene since his arrival in 2001, and now volunteers with the local Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra has been a part of the community for over fifty years, and works to enrich the cultural atmosphere of Abilene and the surrounding areas. Volunteers can be members of the Philharmonic Guild, which can also include their families and children, or can assist with other aspects, such as transportation and housing visiting musicians.

With the help of volunteers, the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra is able to reach students and members of the community with enriching and educational musical performances. The orchestra’s 2016-2017 season will open in September. On Saturday, September 17th, the season will begin with a concert by pianist Adam Wodnicki, solely featuring compositions by Beethoven. Throughout the season, other concerts will include a program inspired by Shakespeare and fairytales, a special jazz style Christmas concert, and a concert featuring works of the composer Brahms. The season will end on May 6th, 2017, with an event for the entire family, entitled Movie Music: Cowboys, Pirates, and Adventurers. This special performance will include scores from movies, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones.

More information about the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra and the concerts they perform can be found on www.abilenephilharmonic.org.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

PRESTIGE Cervical Disc Replacement - A Treatment Alternative


Paul W. McDonough, MD, has practiced as a spine surgeon in Abilene, Texas, since 2001. Dr. Paul McDonough offers patients access to a number of advanced disc replacement and implant technologies, including the PRESTIGE Cervical Disc.

The PRESTIGE Cervical Disc offers relief from the symptoms of degenerative disc disease in the neck. This condition occurs when trauma, disease, or the aging process causes the cervical discs to dry up and lose volume, thus placing extra pressure on the surrounding vertebrae and nerves. Damaged discs also run the risk of rupturing, which adds additional pressure to the nerve roots and causes pain, weakness, or numbness.

For patients with cervical disc disease, surgery can serve as a way to keep vertebrae from rubbing against one another when the disc between has become damaged. Traditionally, surgery has involved fusing the vertebrae in question so that they cannot shift position, though this approach severely limits the patient's range of motion. The PRESTIGE Cervical Disc offers the alternative of an articulating disc replacement, which allows the vertebrae to continue to move without causing structural damage.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Reasons to Pick Up a Biography

First in his surgery class and winner of the Longmire Medal during his time at UCLA, Paul W. McDonough, MD, is an Abilene, Texas, spine surgeon who specializes in lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spinal surgery. Dr. Paul McDonough is an avid reader of biographies in his spare time.

When choosing your next read, consider picking up a biography. Biographies feature real people doing real things and often cover inspirational stories of overcoming challenges and making a difference. These stories can inspire and uplift, and they promote self-discovery. As readers interact with stories of others, it helps to build empathy through the reader’s viewing of the world from a different perspective. Some tales feature unsavory characters, which also provides a cautionary narrative of what not to do.

Within the context of a real-life story, history comes alive. Key events in history become actual moments that affect the character in real ways, helping the reader to better remember and digest historic information.

Biographies can appeal to a broad range of reader interests from history or culinary arts to current fashion trends or politics.