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Essential Guide to Winter Exercise

October 11th, 2018

Winter can be the most challenging time of year to exercise, not just because of the cold weather, but also family commitments and holidays.

The following tips and tricks can help you beat the winter weather and continue your exercise. It's all about knowing how to deal with winter conditions, knowing how to dress for extremely cold weather, and being aware of the dangers of winter weather.

Prepare Your Body for Exercising in Winter Conditions

  • Be more flexible when and where you exercise. Weather conditions may not cooperate with a fixed schedule or location. Plan alternative locations and times.
  • Be prepared to face earlier nights by carrying the right equipment, such as a flashlight or lighted headband.
  • Warm up! Get your blood flowing with simple calisthenics and range-of-motion exercises first before heading outside.
  • When running on snow or ice, don't worry about speed or going too slow. Getting in a comfortable rhythm is good enough for moderate exercise and safe, secure footing.
  • Avoid running in areas that may have black ice or hazards you may not see. Run on packed snow for better traction and consider purchasing trail running shoes instead of your regular shoes. Better yet, consider using a treadmill when conditions are hazardous and icy.
  • Exercise with a partner to help you stay focused on maintaining your fitness plan during the tough winter season.

Dressing for Success

  • Wear wool clothing on your body to retain more heat. When your exercise is vigorous, look at multiple layers of performance wear with wicking fabric to help move sweat away from your body and stay warm and relatively dry.
  • For your hands, wear a pair of mittens with a nylon shell or glove liners.
  • Cover as much of your face as you are able to without impairing your view. Balaclavas are knit masks that cover your nose and ears and they are perfect for exercising in winter weather. Variations include knit cowls and breathable face masks that cover less and are adjustable to maintain comfort.

Dangers You May Face

Dressing properly and warming up before exercising in cold winter weather is just the first step. There are still winter dangers that you should be aware of:

  • Hypothermia: This condition occurs when a person is not adequately dressed for the cold weather or exposed to extreme temperatures for a sustained amount of time. Hypothermia may be accelerated during heavy rains or snow storms that leach heat from the body. Symptoms include shivering, numbness, and disorientation.
  • Frostbite: A condition that usually occurs on windy and wet days combined with freezing temperatures. When the temperature falls below -18 degrees Fahrenheit, you may get frostbite on exposed skin within 30 minutes.
  • Stumbles and Falls: In winter twilight and darkness, it's harder to see obstacles or uneven pavement. A stumble will more likely lead to falling down in these conditions. Fallen sticks and branches are another hazard. Leaves are too, as they can obscure curbs or potholes. When they layer up, they can get slippery. Choose your steps carefully and be patient. It's better to walk safely through a potential danger spot than to limp home with skinned knees, scraped palms and bruised pride.
  • Traffic: It seems much easier to run afoul of cars in autumn and winter than in the summer. The slanting rays of a winter sunset seem to aim directly for the eyes of motorists. Be sure you are seen and be ready to step away from the road and out of danger from approaching vehicles. Once it's dark, you're better off wearing reflective gear - hats, vests, shoes, running tights, and jackets with safety reflective spots and stripes are all available at sporting goods stores and web sites. A flashlight or head lamp will help you be seen by motorists as well as enable you to see the road better.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


How Yoga Techniques Can Improve Spine Health

October 6th, 2018

How Yoga Techniques Can Improve Spine Health

The spine is one of the largest and most complex structures of the musculoskeletal system. It is responsible for moving the body, maintaining posture, and protecting the spinal cord. A spinal injury or anatomical abnormality may cause spine pain that affects a patient's ability to perform movements and activities essential for day-to-day living. Patients who are interested in improving or maintaining their spine health may consider yoga a great way to do so.

Yoga Techniques Can Improve Spine Health

Yoga is an ancient discipline used to improve physical and mental health. People who participate in yoga perform a variety of physical and mental exercises throughout a 30-60-minute session. When yoga is performed under the supervision of a trained and qualified yoga instructor, it can be extremely beneficial to spine health for the following reasons:

Yoga Strengthens the Muscles and Soft Tissues of the Spine

During yoga, a series of poses are performed to strengthen muscle groups that support the spine, including the following:

  1. The abdominals. A group of muscles located on the front part of the body between the ribs and pelvis. The abdominals are important to spine health because they support the trunk.
  2. The lower back muscles. A large group of muscles that support the lumbar (lower) region of the spine and help move, twist, and bend the trunk.
  3. The upper back muscles. Muscles that promote and maintain an upright and erect posture and enable various upper body movements
  4. The neck muscles. Muscles that support and move the neck and skull.

Yoga poses are unique because they are a form of isometric exercise. Contrary to dynamic exercises in which the body moves, isometric exercises are performed by contracting muscle groups while holding the body in a static position. Isometric exercises are beneficial because they are generally easier and safer to perform.

Yoga Stretches the Muscles and Soft Tissues of the Spine

Yoga poses also involve stretching. Typically, muscle groups are stretched for ten to sixty seconds while a pose is held. The benefits of stretching include the following:

  • Increased range of motion
  • Increased blood flow to muscles
  • Improved ability to remove toxins from muscles
  • Decreased pain and inflammation

Additionally, stretching promotes muscle relaxation and a general feeling of physical and mental wellness.

Yoga Teaches Awareness and Relaxation Techniques

Breathing and meditation exercises that are performed during yoga sessions teach patients how to become aware of their posture. This is important to spine health because it allows patients to easily recognize and fix posture problems. Additionally, it teaches patients how to recognize and reduce pain by relaxing the mind and body.

How to Get Started

Patients interested in starting a yoga program for spine health are encouraged to find a specialized yoga instructor. Patients who have a pre-existing spine condition that may limit their ability to perform yoga should be seen by an orthopedic specialist before starting a program. Additionally, patients who are concerned about their overall spine health should also be seen to determine if yoga is right for them. To arrange an appointment with one of our spine specialists, please feel free to contact our office.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Why Does My Back Seem to Hurt More as Cold Weather Comes?

October 1st, 2018

I dread the cold weather - it makes my back pain worse!

What is it about the approach of winter that seems to aggravate aches and pains, especially neck and back pain? This effect is somewhat controversial in scholarly literature on medicine, but for some people it’s inescapable and excruciating. Controversial it may be, but the condition does have a medical name: cold allodynia. While for many people who experience it the problem may be associated with such systemic maladies as fibromyalgia, those who suffer back pain often feel worse as the days shorten and the calendar tips toward winter.

Even if we don’t experience it ourselves, most of us have heard of people whose chronic joint pain seems to predict changes in the weather based on how their joints are feeling. People with fibromyalgia report that cold, damp weather makes their symptoms more painful. Osteoarthritis patients complain of swelling or warmth that worsens as cold weather comes on.

Warm it up

One way to ward off the unpleasantness and pain of cold weather is to take advantage of heat therapy by making it a part of your daily routine. Here’s how:

  • Apply Heat. A warm towel, heating pad or over-the-counter heat pack or wrap, applied for a few minutes to the affected area, can be very helpful
  • Swim. Put in some leisurely laps in a heated pool, or soak in a warm whirlpool or bath
  • Work it out. Join a water exercise program, to combine warmth with low-stress exercise
  • Come out of your cave. As tempting as it may be to hide from the cold, inactivity can worsen pain. Walk outdoors, or if you must stay in, try a treadmill or elliptical trainer. Some shopping malls and community centers have indoor walking programs so you can get out for some exercise but still keep away from winter weather.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Stuffed Mushrooms

September 19th, 2018

Recipes: Stuffed Mushrooms

Winter brings a string of food-centered holidays, and lots more occasions for friends and family to gather for parties, tailgate picnics and office luncheons, where finger food is the fare. All these give you opportunities to create and serve a tasty, seasonal appetizer.

Stuffed Mushrooms are popular, and there are thousands of stuffing recipes, ranging from classic to exotic flavors, to all-vegetable and even Vegan varieties.

Here are two recipes in the classic flavor category, one a bit lower in fat.

Spinach and cheese stuffed mushrooms

Minutes to Prepare: 20
Minutes to Cook: 20
Number of Servings: 6

Ingredients

6 large stuffing mushrooms
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach
1/2 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp coriander
dash of salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°.

Clean and hollow out six large mushroom caps and arrange them in an 8 x 8 baking pan. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet at medium temp. Add the onions and garlic, sauté about 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Stir in the spinach, mixing well. Stir in the Parmesan chees and mix well. Add the Cheddar cheese, reduce the heat to low, and mix well. Add paprika, coriander, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, and spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps. Bake the stuffed mushrooms, approximately 20 minutes or until the mushrooms reach the desired texture.

Lower Fat Stuffed Mushrooms

Minutes to Prepare: 20
Minutes to Cook: 20
Number of Servings: 6 or more

Ingredients

1 tablespoon margarine or butter substitute
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup fat-free cottage cheese
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
24 button mushroom caps
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons grated reduced-fat Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°.

Melt margarine in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in cottage cheese and Worcestershire sauce, mix well until the cheese melts. Remove from heat; stir in breadcrumbs to make a thick mixture. Spoon mixture evenly into mushroom caps. Place the mushroom caps in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle paprika evenly over the mushrooms. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Holidays and Heartburn

September 13th, 2018

Holidays & Heartburn

Patients who suffer from heartburn: By following the advice presented in this post, you can enjoy the foods and drinks you love this holiday season.

Holidays and Heartburn

The first step to prevent or treat heartburn is to understand what it is. While most people know that heartburn and overeating or overdrinking go hand and hand, they do not know why. To find out, it is necessary to go over some related anatomy and symptoms.

Heartburn Related Anatomy

The esophagus is a long hollow tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a band of muscle that is found at the bottom of the esophagus. When food is chewed and then swallowed, the following occurs:

  1. The food travels down the esophagus until it reaches the LES
  2. The LES relaxes and widens so the food can pass into the stomach
  3. The LES contracts and tightens so the food and stomach contents can not enter the esophagus.

Patients who suffer from heartburn do so because their LES does not contract properly and allows stomach acid to enter the esophagus. When this happens, a burning pain is felt in the chest. Accompanying this pain may be any or any combination of the following symptoms:

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Problems with swallowing
  • Coughing
  • A sore throat
  • An acidic taste in the throat
  • Hoarseness

Heartburn and its accompanying symptoms may be extremely uncomfortable for many patients. Luckily, there are many easy and effective preventative and treatment measures.

Preventative Measures

Rather than having a “DO NOT EAT THESE FOODS and DO NOT DRINK THESE DRINKS!” approach to preventing heartburn, patients are encouraged to increase their knowledge and understanding of what foods and drinks may cause heartburn and then curb their holiday eating patterns to avoid overindulgence. The three most common culprits of heartburn are the following:

  1. Caffeinated beverages and acidic juices. Including coffee, tea, soda, and orange and grapefruit juice.
  2. Alcoholic beverages. Including beer, wine, and liquor.
  3. Fatty foods. Including foods that are fried or coated in oil.

Foods that are spicy may trigger heartburn for some patients. If one of the above-mentioned foods or drinks triggers heartburn, patients should moderate their intake of it or substitute it with a great tasting less acidic option. Also, patients should try to avoid smoking and sleeping with their head at the same level as their feet. Many patients are able to prevent heartburn by simply raising the head of their bed either mechanically or by placing a few books under the legs of the bed frame.

Treatment Measures

Should patients experience heartburn this holiday season, there are many medications that can be used to treat it. They typically fall into the following three categories:

  1. Anti-acids. Medications that neutralize stomach acid.
  2. H-2 blockers. Medications that reduce acid production.
  3. Proton pump inhibitors. Medications that block acid production.

Because there are many brands associated with these medications and they come in both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription forms, it is always a good idea for patients to discuss their symptoms with a physician before choosing a medication.

When to Seek a Professional Opinion

If heartburn and its accompanying symptoms can not be prevented or controlled with the advice presented in this article, patients should make an appointment with a gastrointestinal specialist. Our office representatives can be reached at any time between the hours of 8am-5pm.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Is My Weight Causing Back Problems?

September 7th, 2018
Personal trainer helping a woman exercise

Patients who have a back problem are encouraged to honestly evaluate their weight. Losing weight can help avoid back, hip and knee troubles - ask your doctor how.

While there is no research evidence to substantiate the claim that being overweight can cause back problems, physicians and patients agree that there is a relationship between the two. The following are five reasons why:

  1. Being overweight may alter spine anatomy. The thirty-three vertebrae of the spine are perfectly shaped and aligned to support the body and protect the spinal cord. Excess weight may cause the spine to tilt and loose its curvature and support.
  2. Being overweight may increase the risk of injury. Excess weight places added stress and strain on the muscles and connective tissues of the spine. Forceful twisting, turning, or lifting may result in injury.
  3. Being overweight may change the position of the pelvis. Added weight to the stomach area may pull the pelvis forward and stress or alter the shape of the lumbar (lower back) vertebrae.
  4. Being overweight may make exercising difficult. Exercising improves posture and stretches and strengthens the muscles of the spine.
  5. when patients with back problems loose weight, they generally experience some form of symptom relief. Every pound lost equates to less of a load placed on the spine. Day-to-day movements and activities become easier and exercise becomes tolerable.

Simple Ways to Help You Evaluate Your Weight

Measure your waist

Weight loss is recommended for women with a waist measurement of over 35-inches and men with a waist measurement of over 40-inches.

Evaluate your lifestyle

People that live a sedentary lifestyle are typically overweight. Specific behaviors/lifestyle choices that may cause weight gain include:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Working in a stressful environment
  • Not exercising

Watching an excessive amount of television and spending long hours on the computer may also play a role in weight gain.

Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI = Weight in kilograms/height in meters2

A BMI of over 30 is considered obese and a BMI between 25-29.9 is considered overweight. Muscular patients may have a high BMI, but not be considered overweight. A waist measurement may be used as the determining factor in such a situation.

What to Do If You Are Overweight

Starting a diet and exercise routine is a quick, easy way to start losing weight to improve your back problem. If you are unable to exercise or if symptoms get worse when you exercise, an appointment with an orthopedic spine specialist should be made.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Alternative Treatments for Back Pain

September 1st, 2018
Alternative Treatments for Back Pain

Back pain is a common distressing medical condition that can affect an individual’s quality of life. There are a variety of different treatment options available to patients with back pain. Most of these include physical therapy and medical treatment. Surgical treatment options are also available, but may not be for everyone.

For individuals who do not wish to undergo surgical treatments or medical therapy, alternative and complementary treatments are now available. In this article, we shall take a brief look at these different treatments.

Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic treatment involves the application of various maneuvers, in an attempt to realign the spine. It is believed that a variety of different back problems arise due to poor alignment of the spinal column. Studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care, when performed on a regular basis, can help improve a patient’s range of movement, reducing pain in the spinal column. In fact, many believe that chiropractic care can be as effective as physical therapy sessions. The risks are minimal, and the maneuvers and manipulations are performed by experts who have the required accreditation in chiropractic management.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is based on the principle that stimulating various trigger points in the body can help relax the muscles and reduce pain. It is used to treat a wide range of clinical conditions and seems to have a positive effect in the management of lower back pain. The procedure itself can be slightly painful, as tiny needles are inserted into strategic points on the back. However, patients who have undergone this therapy have reported a great improvement in their symptoms.

Massage Therapy

Many patients experience lower back pain due to the tightness of muscles that surround the spinal column. Physical therapy therefore plays an important part in the management of lower back pain. In particular, massage therapy is helpful. By relieving tightness in the para-spinal muscles, massage helps to increase the range of movement of the spinal column. When a spasm stops, the back is more mobile and the pain that patients experience can reduce significantly. Massage therapy seems to work best when combined with other treatments.

Relaxation Therapy

Some patients find that performing regular relaxation therapies such as yoga and meditation can help them overcome lower back pain. It is unclear what the exact scientific evidence behind this phenomenon is. Some experts believe that this may be attributed to “mind over matter.”

Conclusion

There are a variety of different alternative treatments available to assist patients with managing their lower back pain. Success varies between patients, as the course of treatment depends upon the patient’s wishes, and whether they want to pursue conventional methods or explore alternative avenues.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)

August 26th, 2018
Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)

What is Spine Fusion Surgery?

In fusion surgery (also called arthrodesis) two bones are fused together to form a single piece of bone tissue. When fusion surgery is done with vertebrae in the spine, the bones are fused together and the disc space between them no longer exists. Thus, two vertebrae are fused together to form a single, solid bone.

A bone grafting material is used to stimulate the fusion process. The bone graft will be placed in the space between the two vertebrae (i.e., intervertebral disc space). There are a range of bone grafting materials that a surgeon can use.

Types of Spine Fusion Surgery

In essence, all lumbar spine (low back) interbody fusion procedures are identical. However, the manner in which a surgeon reaches the vertebrae of the spine can occur in several ways (called an approach). The most common surgical approaches for spine fusion procedures are anterior, posterior, transforaminal and lateral. There are advantages, disadvantages and limitations to each approach.

  • Anterior approach: This procedure is called an ALIF (Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion). Here, the front portion of the spine is approached through the abdomen.
  • Posterior approach: This procedure is called a PLIF (Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion). Here, the back portion of the spine is approached directly through the muscles of the lower back.
  • Transforaminal approach: This procedure is called a TLIF (Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion). A TLIF procedure is highly similar to a PLIF procedure. Here, the back portion of the spine is approached directly through the muscles of the lower back but from only one side of spine and at an angle.
  • Lateral approach: This procedure accesses the spine from the patient's side (laterally). There have been different names given to this technique including DLIF (Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion) and XLIF (eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion).

What is Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)?

XLIF is simply a term given to an interbody fusion procedure where the spine is accessed from the patient's side (laterally). XLIF stands for eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion. Like any other surgical approach to the spine there are advantages, limitations and risks to an XLIF procedure.

Who needs Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)?

Since XLIF is simply a lumbar fusion technique, anyone who requires a lumbar fusion could be a potential candidate for this procedure. More specifically, those individuals requiring fusion due to disc degeneration, failed fusion (pseudoarthrosis), degenerative scoliosis, spodylolisthesis, and a few other conditions. As with any approach, a patient may appear to be a candidate however their surgeon may not be able to perform the procedure for numerous reasons (including the need to have access to another area of the spine).

What are the steps in Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)?

Preparation and Initial Incisions

A lateral lumbar interbody fusion takes about an hour and is performed with the patient under anesthesia. The patient is placed on their side and two small incisions are made.

Accessing the Spine

The skin, muscles and other tissues are retracted (gently moved) to allow the surgeon access to the spine.

Removing the Disc Tissue

The disc space is prepared by removing the disc tissue.

Placing Hardware and Graft

Hardware and the bone graft are placed in the disc space. Hardware (surgical implants) serves to restore and retain the space between the vertebrae during the fusion process.

End of Procedure

The retracted tissues are released and the incision site sutured shut.

After Surgery

After surgery, the patient is moved to a postoperative recovery area (PACU) for close monitoring of their vital signs. They will remain in the hospital for a period time; the duration of the postoperative stay can vary.

After discharge, the patient will have several follow-up visits with their surgeon to assess their progress. The patient will also receive some physical therapy.

The fusion process takes several months for the two bones to form a single, solid piece of bone; however, a patient's comfort levels often improve before the fusion is solid. Their surgeon will advise them when it is appropriate to resume their normal daily activities. Return to work will depend on the patient's postsurgical progress.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Spinal Stenosis

August 21st, 2018
Spinal Stenosis

Pain, tingling, weakness and instability - all these can result from stenosis, a narrowing of the canal in the vertebrae that can pinch and damage the spinal cord.

Overview and Causes

Spinal Stenosis is a condition that refers to narrowing of the spinal canal, typically caused by age and degeneration of intervertebral discs and facet joints. Arthritis is the most common cause of Spinal Stenosis, as it causes facet joints to expand, leaving little room for nerve roots. As the disc degenerates, they dry out and weaken, reducing in height. The load on the vertebrae shifts, putting more demand on the facet joints. The facet joints can weaken and inflame, causing the openings to shrink and press on nerves. Bone spurs may also develop and grow into the spinal canal. Ligaments around the joints can also increase in size, causing additional irritation and pressure on nerves.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Many of the symptoms of Spinal Stenosis are consistent with other spinal conditions:

  • Back Pain - This may or may not occur and many people with Spinal Stenosis feel pain in their extremities rather than in their back. This is known as "referred" pain.
  • Numbness/Tingling - The pressure on nerves may cause sensations in extremities that feels like an electric current or a lack of sensation in touch.
  • Burning/Aching Pain - Nerve pressure can cause a radiating pain down the extremities. This is often referred to as sciatica. This pain can extend its reach based on location of degenerative condition.
  • Weakness/Instability - As pressure on nerves increase, the extremities can lose strength and ability to maintain grip or balance. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis can cause "foot drop," where the patient's foot drops or drags while walking.
  • Decreased Pain in Sitting Position - Leaning forward while sitting can cause the stenosis to temporarily shift itself back into a more normal position that opens the nerve space, providing relief. Standing and walking causes more pain than sitting in stenotic conditions.

Your doctor may perform tests on you to determine if you have Spinal Stenosis, and how severe it is. These tests may include patient history, X-rays and MRIs to get background and images of your spine. Additional tests may include CT scans and myelograms to determine where the condition is occurring and if nerves are being compressed.

Treatment

Treatment for Spinal Stenosis ranges from conservative to surgical. Your doctor will work with you to develop the most effective treatment path.

Non-surgical options include physical therapy, lumbar stabilization and traction devices, anti-inflammatory medications, steroidal injections and/or other non-surgical treatments.

Surgical options range and are decompressive in nature. The surgical options depend on severity of condition and may or may not include discectomy, or removal of damaged disc. Discuss your options with your doctor.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

August 16th, 2018

Looks impressive, smells appetizing, tastes great AND easy to prepare - give this savory soup a try soon!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Total Time: 2 Hours
Active Time: 40 Minutes
Makes: 6 to 8 Servings

4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
1/2 medium yellow onion
8 fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)

The perfect recipe for a tasty, hearty, roasted butternut squash soup! The squash is cut in half and roasted in the the oven without peeling. This makes for a delectable flavor and easy removal of the roasted skin. The robust smell and rich color pair beautifully with a festive pumpkin seed garnish that is sure to impress your friends and family. It can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to a month.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F
  2. Place the halved squash pieces cut side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Melt and brush (or rub) 1 tablespoon of butter over the squash halves. Season with salt and pepper, and roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until butter knife tender.
  3. While the squash is roasting, peel and core the apple. Cut both the apple and onion into a medium dice. Melt remaining butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, apple, and sage. Season with salt and pepper while stirring occasionally until softened, roughly 7 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and set to the side.
  4. Once squash is ready, allow to cool. Use a large spoon to scoop the flesh from the squash to the saucepan with the other sautéed ingredients. Discard the skin.
  5. Add broth, water, and the measured salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. Stir occasionally to break up any remaining large pieces of squash, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in heavy cream.
  6. Use a blender to puree the soup until smooth. You may need to do this in batches. If the mixture is still hot when blending, be sure to remove part of the blending lid to allow steam to escape and prevent the lid from popping off. Combine batches, taste, and season with salt pepper to taste. Serve with pumpkin seeds as garnish (optional).

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.