Tag Archives: Back pain

Dr. Donahoe explains lumbar laminectomy and how the best results come from removing the pressure on “pinched nerves” in the neck or back.

Lumbar Laminectomy


Have you been diagnosed with spinal stenosis? Do you have difficulty walking any long distances without experiencing leg pain? Patients who have not improved after conservative treatment may benefit from surgery. During surgery, the bone spurs and arthritis are removed that place pressure on nerves that affect the legs and buttock region. Dr. Donahoe specializes in lumbar laminectomy surgery and would be happy to evaluate your MRI. Like most spine surgeons, the best results come from removing the pressure on “pinched nerves” in the neck or back.



Dr. Donahoe explains how low back and leg pain from a herniated disc or pinched nerve can be relieved by a Microdiscectomy-Lumbar procedure.


Dr. Donahoe explains how low back and leg pain from a herniated disc or pinched nerve can be relieved by a Microdiscectomy-Lumbar procedure.

Low back and leg pain can be caused by a herniated disc or “pinched nerve”.  Like most spine surgeons, Dr. Donahoe gets the best surgical results from relieving pain caused by nerve compression. Patients who have not improved with medication and physical therapy may be candidates for a minimally invasion procedure done in our same day surgery center.  Using a microscope during the procedure, Dr. Donahoe removes bone spurs and the herniated disc to alleviate compression of the spinal nerves.  Patients go home the same day and experience pain relief in the leg from “pinched nerves”.



Microdisectomy: Relief for Herniated Discs

Microdiscectomy: Relief for Herniated Discs

Microdisectomy: Relief for Herniated Discs

Do you or someone you know have a herniated or bulging disc? A minimally invasive procedure called Microdiscectomy could provide relief for pain caused by a lumbar herniated disc.

Herniated discs occur when the soft center of a spinal disc pushes through the tougher exterior casing. The herniated disc can press on the nerves near the spinal disc, resulting in pain. Herniated discs can affect any part of the spine, but are most frequently associated with the lower part (lumbar) of the spine.

Symptoms of herniated discs in the lower back are:
• Pain that radiates to the legs and feet – called Sciatica
• Tingling or numbness in the feet
• Muscle weakness

Herniated discs are one of the most common causes of back, neck, or leg pain (Sciatica). There are a variety of treatment options, both non-surgical and surgical. However, when non-surgical treatment no longer offers the desired results, Microdiscectomy could be an option.

Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure used by AOC’s Spine Team. The procedure removes the herniated or protruding portion of the disc, often using an operating microscope. Microdiscectomy spine surgery can relieve neural impingement by creating more room for the nerves to heal. This minimally invasive approach, with small incision site, offers the benefit of pain relief and faster recovery time.

Our skilled specialists understand lower back pain can limit mobility and the ability to perform life’s simplest activities. AOC has helped hundreds of patients find relief from back pain. Make an appointment today to consult with our fellowship, board certified AOC Spine Team of Dr. Donahoe and Dr. Revels for non-surgical and surgical treatment options. Call the Spine Line at 251-410-3604 or visit alortho.com to schedule your appointment.

Spinal Stenosis: Diagnosis and Treatment

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis: Diagnosis and Treatment

Our spine is made up of 33 bones. These bones and the discs between them are the passage for the spinal cord and nerves. The spinal cord connects the nerves of the body to the brain. But when the passageway starts to narrow, a condition called Spinal Stenosis can occur.

Stenosis can affect any part of the spine, thus narrowed area in the bones of the neck is called cervical stenosis and in the lower back is called lumbar stenosis.

When there is pressure on nerves inside the narrowed spinal canal, pain in the legs and low back can occur especially when walking. Pain may improve when leaning forward and bent at the waist like leaning over a shopping cart or a cane.

Due to the fact that stenosis may pinch the nerves that control muscle power and sensation in the legs, symptoms need to be observed as:
– Frequent falling, clumsiness
– Pain and difficulty when walking
– Numbness, tingling, hot or cold feelings in the legs

When non-surgical treatment is no longer an option, the fellowship trained, board-certified AOC Spine Team of Dr. Donahoe and Dr. Revels are skilled specialists who understand the dynamics of the spine and the importance of giving their patients an excellent quality of life.

Laminectomy, one procedure that is used by the Spine Team, actually creates space by removing the back part of the vertebra that covers your spinal canal. Also known to some as decompression surgery, laminectomy enlarges your spinal canal to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

Practicing good spinal and joint health is key to reducing back problems. However, due to genetics, poor posture, degenerative disc disease, age and diseases like arthritis, sometimes problems just can’t be avoided.

The Spine Team at AOC is here for your questions and health care needs. Just call 251-410-3600 or visit our website at www.alortho.com

Avoid Holiday - Back Pain

4 Ways to Avoid Holiday Back Pain

Avoid Holiday - Back Pain

The holidays are here, and for many of us that means traveling to see friends and family. Whether you’re flying, driving or catching a train, you are going to be sitting for a prolonged period of time. Keep your travels comfortable and you back pain-free with these four tips:

Pack it light
Over-packing is easy to do, but it comes with a price – strain on muscles and joints. Avoid unnecessary pain during your travels by planning out what to pack and using luggage equipped with wheels. Depending on your trip, smaller bags may be a better option.

Lumbar support
Seats in planes, cars and trains don’t provide ample support for the lower back or neck. Make your seat more comfortable by using a lumbar support pillow. If you don’t have one, you can roll up a blanket, sweater or jacket.

Get your blood flowing
Light movement and stretching are the best ways to avoid spine stiffness. If you can, get up and move around every 30, or so minutes. Stretching and moving is also beneficial to circulation as blood brings important nutrients and oxygen to the structures of the back.

Check your posture
This can not be said enough, sit up straight! Slouching, slumping and hunching can all place unnecessary stress on your spine. Proper sitting posture: align your back with your seat, rest your head on the headrest and place your feet flat on the floor.

If traveling does a number on your back, make an appointment to visit one of AOC’s spine specialists.

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Try Yoga for Back Pain Relief

Try Yoga for Back Pain Relief

Try Yoga for Back Pain Relief

Do you have an achy breaky back? Improve your spine health and try yoga! Yoga has been shown to improve chronic back pain and occasional soreness. According to Everyday Health Fitness expert, Jennifer Bayliss, engaging in certain yoga positions can lengthen the spine, stretch and strengthen muscles in the spine and help realign the back to proper alignment.

You don’t have to be super fit to participate in yoga; this ancient practice is for anyone of all shapes and sizes. Yoga promotes a healthy lifestyle, so before you shrug it off, here are five Yoga positions you can try to improve your back health:

downward facing dog

Downward-Facing Dog: This classic pose targets the large muscles in you lower back that help you stand and lift objects. Start by placing your hands and knees on the floor. Then pressing back, raise your knees from the floor and lift your tailbone upward. Hold this position for about 5 to 10 breaths then repeat as desired.

Child Pose

Child’s pose: This de-stressor pose is a great stretch for elongating the spine. Start on all fours; stretch your arms out in front of you, the sit back on your gluten making sure you come to rest just above your heels. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breaths and repeat as many times as desired.

Triangle Pose

Triangle pose: This pose is great for strengthening the muscles in the spine and legs. Start this pose by standing straight with your feet together. Then take your left foot and lunge it back about three feet; make sure to point your left foot is at a 45 degree angle. Next, turn your chest to the side, touch the ground with your right arm and stretch your left arm to the sky. Make sure you keep your feet straight. Hold the position for 5 breaths then alternate sides and repeat the steps.

Upward Facing Bend

Upward Forward Bend: This pose is great for releasing tension in the shoulders while stretching the spine. Start this pose by standing straight, shoulder width apart. Keep your knees loose, hinge at your waist and bend forward reaching for the floor. *It is important to remember that you don’t have to touch the floor, stop wherever you can reach. Hold the position for 5 breaths then repeat the steps.

Upward Facing Dog

Upward-Facing Dog: This pose will engage your spine as well as open your chest. Start this pose by laying flat on the floor with your palms facedown near your ribs. Then with legs together, press the tops of your feet unto the floor and use the strength of your back to lift your chest upward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths then repeat.

Now you know the poses and the steps, go improve your back! If you suffer from serious back pain and would like to speak with a physician about options, please make an appointment.

* Do not try these poses by yourself; get a partner to assist you.
*If you suffer from severe back pain, trying yoga is not recommend.

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Avoid the Pain on Vacation

6 Ways to Avoid Pain on Vacation

Avoid the Pain on Vacation

You have been counting down the seconds to your vacation. Got your suitcase packed. Hotel is booked, everything seems ready but what about the journey? Have you made plans for how to prevent aches and pains that come along with prolonged sitting?  Whether you’re flying or driving, sitting for hours in a confined space can be uncomfortable. Before you jump in the car or board your flight, keep these tips in mind.

Auto Travel 

1. Avoid leg numbness:

Avoid Leg numbness

After sitting for a long period of time, blood begins to pool in our legs and ankles. Prevent this by doing what are called “ankle pumps.” Just like pressing a gas pedal, ankle pumps move the feet in an up and down motion, which can help blood circulate from your legs back to your heart. This is a great exercise to help prevent swelling in feet.

 2. Take advantage of rest stops: 

Rest Stops

When you’re traveling take every opportunity to stretch your legs. Allowing you body to stretch will promote good circulation after an extended period of sitting.

 3. Posture Matters:

Posture Matters

Good posture is an overstated tip, but the truth is maintaining good posture, while traveling, can help prevent back pain. Use a lumbar pillow while you’re driving to prevent lower back pain.


Air travel

 4. Be Comfortable:

Be Comfortable

Dress comfortable for your travels, seating is usually snug so you’re going to want to make yourself as cozy as possible. Tip: Wear socks with plastic treads on the bottom, they provide traction and double as slippers.

 5. Be kind to your back:

Be Kind to your back

Bring a neck pillow. As much as it pains you to lug it around the airport, you will not be sorry you brought it with you. Make sure you maintain good posture as well, it will help alleviate lower back pain.

 6. Keep Moving:

Keep Moving

Force yourself to get up and move around the cabin, Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clot) is a serious health threat for those on long flights. Take every advantage to keep the blood circulating from your feet back to your heart. If you have a layover, don’t sit, walk around the airport until time to board.

Be proactive while you’re traveling to keep those nagging pains at bay.

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