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When to Seek Medical Intervention for your Sports Related Back Pain

When to Seek Medical Intervention for your Sports Related Back Pain

When you play a sport, you’re at risk for hurting your back. Back pain caused by a sports injury may need to be examined by our pain management physician.

At the Pain Treatment Institute in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Rockwall, or Sherman, Texas, double-board-certified Sameer Syed, MD, MPH, and the rest of our team offer expert care for your back pain

What kinds of sports injuries cause back pain?

If you injure your back, you need to be aware of the different types of injuries that can happen.

Cervical injuries

These injuries are also sometimes called stingers. They occur in your neck when your cervical nerve root gets stretched or compressed, which can cause your shoulder to tingle or feel numb. 

This type of injury usually resolves on its own, but if your pain continues, you need to see Dr. Syed and our team as soon as possible for an evaluation.

Lower back injuries

These injuries typically result from lifting too much weight in the gym or not using the proper technique. You can sprain or strain the area, which causes damage to your muscles or tendons due to overstretching or tearing your ligaments. 

These injuries are usually acute and heal on their own. You can take over-the-counter medications to reduce any inflammation and nagging pain.


When you repeat the same motion over and over again in sports, you might experience a stress fracture. For example, sports such as gymnastics and diving require the same repetitive movements, which can put you at risk for hurting the structure of your spine.

You can also experience a crack in your spinal column due to repeated strain, which causes lower back pain. 

What happens during a consultation for back pain?

When you come to our practice, we consult with you first to understand your injury and the root cause of your symptoms. We also perform a thorough exam, which might include imaging and lab tests to diagnose your condition. 

Once Dr. Syed pinpoints your issue, he can prescribe your treatment. Dr. Syed treats you according to the type and severity of your condition. Therapies might include a back brace, injections, physical therapy, medications, or surgery.

Seek help for persistent back pain

Whether you hurt your back playing recreational sports, working out at the gym, or playing professional sports, don’t dismiss your pain. 

Accepting New Patients

Pain Treatment Institute is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, simply contact our office.

Are You Making Your Back Pain Worse

Are You Making Your Back Pain Worse

Whether it’s a dull ache or a sharp jab, any type of back pain can make you immobile.

The condition occurs so often that it ranks as a major reason for missed workdays, job-related injuries, and visits to doctors’ offices. About 80% of men and women report having back pain at some point in their lives.

Back pain can occur from accidents, injuries, or improper lifting. It can also develop as a symptom of illness or disease. Identifying the source of your back pain is key to finding appropriate treatments, achieving relief, and preventing further problems.

Pain management can relieve back pain. Back pain specialist Sameer Syed, MD, MPH, of the Pain Treatment Institute in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Rockwall, or Sherman, Texas, can provide the diagnosis you need to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.

Dr. Syed is double board-certified in pain management and anesthesiology. His success in using innovative treatments such as fluoroscopic and ultrasound-guided injections, natural therapies, and medication has helped many patients resume pain-free and active lifestyles.

Dr. Syed and the staff here at the Pain Treatment Institute understand the impact that back pain can have on your life. We recommend that you follow these tips to avoid making your back pain worse.

Stay Active

Movement keeps you flexible and prevents stiffness. Your ligaments and tendons are less likely to tear under stress when they are flexible. Movement that involves targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles in your back, abdomen, and hamstrings can also reduce pain.

You can protect your back with the following activities:

  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time.
  • Stretch your back before exercising or doing another physical activity.
  • Combine strengthening and low-impact aerobic exercises for best results.
  • Swim or ride a stationary bike if you have limited mobility.
  • Try gentle exercise formats, such as yoga, tai chi, or Pilates for stretching.
  • Establish a walking routine if you can’t do other types of conditioning.

Practice Good Posture and Body Movements

Improper body mechanics can cause back injuries and irritate existing ones. Movements that cause jolts or strains can position your back awkwardly and result in injury. You can avoid causing additional damage by learning and practicing good body mechanics.

To reduce the risk of irritation and injury, stand up straight, and put your weight on your feet. When lifting, squat down rather than bending over, then straighten your legs and keep the object close to you as you lift it.

Choose seating that supports your back and prevents slumping. Use chairs that swivel and have good lumbar support. Sleep on a medium-firm mattress.

Maintain Good Overall Health

Staying healthy can help you prevent back pain. General physical fitness and good nutrition may help you avoid or minimize the effects of some diseases and conditions that can cause back pain. Monitor chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, which can damage the nerves in your back.

Treat pelvic inflammatory disease and bladder or kidney infections promptly. Both conditions can cause back pain. Get vaccinated for shingles if you are eligible since this illness can cause pain in the nerves near your back.

Establish and maintain a healthy weight to prevent unnecessary strain on your back. Don’t smoke or inhale secondhand smoke, which can increase your risk of disc degeneration.

Get Treatment for Flare-ups

Don’t minimize or try to ignore back pain flare-ups. When new pain occurs or existing pain worsens or changes, seek prompt medical treatment. Undiagnosed back pain may be the sign of an underlying medical condition that requires attention.

You risk making your back pain worse if you avoid treatment. Back pain that is accompanied by the following conditions requires a medical diagnosis:

  • Injury
  • Auto accident
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Weakness or numbness

Accepting New Patients

Pain Treatment Institute is now accepting appointments for new patients. To schedule an appointment, simply contact our office.

Lifestyle Changes to Ease Neck Pain

Lifestyle Changes to Ease Neck Pain

Everyone can occasionally experience neck pain after a rough night of sleep or a long car ride. But when your neck pain starts to occur regularly, it can interfere with your daily life, making it hard to continue your usual routines.

Board-certified pain management specialist Sameer Syed, MD, MPH of Pain Treatment Institute in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Rockwall, or Sherman, Texas understands how disabling chronic neck pain can be. However, Dr. Syed believes that many sufferers of neck pain can relieve their symptoms by making easy lifestyle changes.

Below, we’ll discuss the origins of neck pain and reveal the simple lifestyle changes you can make to reduce it — giving you a new lease on life.

Understanding neck pain

Your neck is a complex part of the body that supports your head and spinal cord, which makes it a particularly vulnerable area. It’s not uncommon to experience neck pain in the form of pain, headaches, stiffness, soreness, weakness, or numbness.

Neck pain can be short- or long-term and vary from mild to extreme. It can have a variety of causes, including strains and injuries, posture, nerve compression, medical conditions, and accidents.

How to ease neck pain with lifestyle changes

Often, simple lifestyle changes can relieve neck pain. If you’re experiencing mild to moderate neck pain, try these interventions.

Pay attention to your posture

Many cases of neck pain are caused or exacerbated by poor posture, so sometimes making changes that improve your posture can resolve your neck pain completely. Poor posture is especially common if your work or daily routine involves significant amounts of sitting.

If you’re sitting down for a long period of time, avoid slouching your shoulders, and make sure you keep your head in a neutral position as you sit. Additionally, you can help your neck by putting your feet flat on the floor, keeping your shoulders relaxed, and supporting your lower back with a pillow.

Adjust your screens and seats

One of the easiest ways to avoid slouching while working is to make adjustments to your equipment. Adjust your computer to eye level, so you don’t have to look down at your screen.

If you drive regularly, adjust your car seat to an upright position to support your lower back and head. Make sure your seat is close enough to the steering wheel that you can drive with slightly flexed arms, rather than having to reach to grab it.

Stretch your neck

Regularly taking breaks to stretch your neck helps relax it and relieves pain. Dr. Syed can teach you neck stretches as well as exercises that help strengthen your neck muscles.

Low impact exercises, like walking and swimming, can also help relax your neck. When sitting down for long periods, try to stand up, walk around, and stretch your neck every 30 minutes.

Use the right support at night

Another common cause of neck pain can be an improper sleeping position. At night, try to sleep on your back or stomach, and consider a cervical pillow to support your neck. If you read in bed, keep your neck in a neutral position, and invest in a wedge-shaped pillow to give your back support.

Practice stress reduction techniques

Relieving stress and anxiety can reduce tension in your neck and shoulders, helping to reduce your back pain. Along with aiming to live a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and enough sleep, consider learning breathing and other relaxation techniques.

Reach out to us for more help

For many people, changing lifestyle habits resolves neck pain in just a few weeks. But if you’re experiencing severe neck pain or lifestyle changes don’t improve your neck pain, make an appointment at Pain Treatment Institute for an assessment.

At your initial appointment, Dr. Syed assesses your neck pain by performing an examination and possibly running tests to determine the cause. Depending on your needs, your personalized pain reduction treatment can include injections, electrical nerve stimulation, medication, and additional at-home care to treat your pain.

Accepting New Patients

Pain Treatment Institute is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, simply contact our office.

Why Do I Keep Getting Headaches?

Why Do I Keep Getting Headaches?

An intense pounding starts in your temples. The pain builds in your forehead and wraps around both sides of your head. Soon you feel a pinching sensation in your eyes. You try to focus on your daily job tasks, but all you can think about is the unfaltering pain in your head.

Does this sound all too familiar? If you answered “yes,” you may be one of the 45 million Americans suffering from headaches.

The Pain Treatment Institute, with pain management clinics in Frisco, Plano, Sherman, Rockwall, and McKinney, Texas, helps patients manage headache pain. Here we explain some of the common reasons you may be suffering headaches and what we can do to help.

Headache symptoms

Head pain is one of the most common health conditions people face. The pain that comes from a headache is usually the result of signals sent from your brain to your blood vessels and surrounding nerves.

Head pain is usually triggered by lifestyle factors like stress or lack of sleep. Our pain management physicians have the expertise and experience to properly determine the root causes of headaches based on specific symptoms. Some symptoms of a headache include:

  • Head pain on one or both sides of your head
  • Pulsing, tightening or throbbing sensations
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or sounds

Headaches can range from mild to severe. Depending on the severity of your headache, you may be unable to perform everyday tasks.

Living with chronic headaches

Almost everyone gets a headache at some point in their life. But if you’re experiencing headaches 15 or more times a month, you may have chronic headaches.

Chronic headaches come in many different forms and levels of severity. Although there are over 150 types of headaches, here are some of the most common:


Migraines describe intense, throbbing head pain that occurs on one or both sides of the head. Sometimes, migraine pain is accompanied by an aura or nausea. Migraines can last for four hours to one day.

Tension headache

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and may feel like a tight band is wrapped around your head. They can occur on one or both sides of your head and are often the result of environmental factors like stress or fatigue.

Cluster headache

Cluster headaches are the most intense kind of headache, sparking pain in one or both sides of your head. They may occur sporadically for weeks or even months. Many people living with cluster headaches finds the pain so severe they can’t sit still, so they pace.

What causes frequent headaches?

Getting frequent headaches can be frustrating. Doctors still don’t know what causes frequent headaches, but some possible causes may include:

  • Genetics
  • Tightening of muscles around the head and neck
  • Activation of the trigeminal nerve
  • Hormonal fluctuation
  • Environmental changes

Frequent headaches may plummet your quality of life, so it is important to get help as soon as possible.

Keep a headache diary

Keeping a headache diary can help you draw patterns among potential triggers. You can dedicate a notebook to this or keep track in your phone. Be sure to list details like the date of your headache, how long it lasted, any foods you ate, and any factors that might have caused it.

The more detailed you are, the better. That way when you meet with Sameer Syed, MD, MPH, he can have a better idea of your headache history.

Managing your headaches

No one should have to live with chronic headaches. Most people who get frequent headaches would do anything to end them. While the common headache can be cured with over-the-counter medications, many chronic headaches must be addressed by a specialist.

Dr. Syed has helped many patients manage their head pain so they can live a healthy and happy life. As a pain-management doctor, he can best assess your history of headaches and offer an effective treatment.

He may suggest:

  • Medication
  • Botox injections
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Occipital nerve stimulation
  • Massage

Dr. Syed may also suggest some lifestyle changes to manage your headaches and avoid triggers. Are you ready to stop your headaches once and for all?

Accepting New Patients

Pain Treatment Institute is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, simply contact our office.

Teeth Grinding and Chronic Pain

Teeth Grinding and Chronic Pain

If you wake from what you thought was a restful night’s sleep with a sore jaw, a headache, or a neck ache, it’s likely that you were grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw as you slept. The condition is called bruxism, and it affects 1 in 10 adults at nighttime. About 15% of adolescents and up to 50% of children suffer from the uncomfortable problem, too. Our pain  management team has some advice on bruxism.

At Pain Treatment Institute, our double board-certified pain management physician, Sameer Syed, MD, MDH, meets with you at one of our offices in Frisco, Plano, McKinney, Rockwall, or Sherman, Texas. Dr. Syed’s goal is to get to the root of what’s causing your bruxism, so he can customize a plan to treat you.

Here he discusses the causes and symptoms of bruxism and what you can do to relieve the chronic pain it causes.

Common causes of teeth grinding and clenching

If you’re clenching and grinding while you sleep, it’s often due to:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Genetics
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Sleep apnea
  • Smoking
  • Snoring
  • Allergies
  • Dehydration
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Teeth misalignment

Teeth clenching and grinding is even associated with excessive caffeine intake.

Symptoms of teeth grinding

Some of the painful problems you may experience because of bruxism are:

  • Earaches
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Tender gums
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Stiff, sore neck
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Fractured teeth
  • Face pain
  • Fatigue

If your teeth click when you eat or talk, that can be a sign that you grind your teeth during the night.

First-line remedies for teeth grinding

In most cases, Dr. Syed first recommends these conservative strategies to help you deal with bruxism:

  • Practice stress-reduction techniques
  • Wear a mouthguard when you sleep
  • Correct misalignments with braces or Invisalign®
  • Sleep on your side or back
  • Maintain regular dental checkups to catch problems early
  • Schedule regular physical therapy sessions for your jaw
  • Make time for therapeutic massages
  • Use heat therapy
  • Have acupuncture treatments

If you’ve already tried these options and you require further intervention to relieve chronic pain that’s caused by grinding and clenching, he tailors your treatment plan using a multimodal approach.

To stop your tooth clenching and grinding, he may recommend one or a combination of therapies, including muscle relaxers, antidepressants, pain medications, Botox® injections, fluoroscopic or ultrasound-guided injections, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

You don’t have to live with migraines, toothaches, sore gums, daily headaches, earaches, or any other kind of persistent pain that teeth clenching causes.

Accepting New Patients

Pain Treatment Institute is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, simply contact our office.