The Olympics are going to be here before we know it. If you’re anything like some of the Texas Back Institute doctors and staff, you may find yourself motivated to push a little harder towards your personal fitness goals. If this is you, congratulations! Setting personal fitness goals is essential in making sure you don’t get bored with your workouts and it helps keep you on your toes.
Dr. Michael Duffy, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon at Texas Back Isntitute
Dr. Michael Duffy is an orthopedic spine surgeon here at Texas Back Institute and running is something he loves to do. In honor of the Olympics we have asked Dr. Duffy to share some of his running tips with our readers.

First things first…STRETCH! This can not be stressed enough. Stretching before you start your run is crucial. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle just as you are getting close to reaching your fitness goals. Just take 5 minutes to stretch your legs, shoulders and arms. You can even do this while you are getting your iPod playlist ready to go.

Second, if you are running and you start to experience pain (unrelated to normal muscle fatigue) try icing the painful area and taking NSAIDs (Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If your pain does not subside, take a look at your footwear. If you don’t have the right running shoes they may be causing imbalance thereby placing stress on your knees, hips and back. Most running stores can help fit you for shoes – you just have to ask. If all of this fails, consult your physician for further testing.

Third, and this time we saved the best for last, HYDRATE – HYDRATE – HYDRATE. It’s so hot out this time of year, especially in Texas, hydration can happen before you know it. Make sure to drink lots of water before, during and after you run! Even the Olympians have to hydrate.

Just getting into a running routine? Share with us what motivates you!

Go Team USA!

Remember, when starting any new exercise program it’s important to consult with your physician to make sure you are healthy enough to do so.

Pace yourself – most runner injuries are results of doing too much too soon.

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month

In honor of this special month we want to share more about our scoliosis and spine tumor center and some facts about scoliosis with you.


Dr. Isador Lieberman is our scoliosis and spine tumor specialists and on a daily basis he treats patients who are affected by scoliosis. Below are 5 things Dr. Lieberman wants you to know about scoliosis.

  • In 85% of cases the cause of scoliosis is not known,  although we know there is a familial predisposition.
  • The mother to daughter inheritance rate for scoliosis is 1 in 4 or 25%, father  to daughter is 1 in 10 or 10%,  mother to son is 1 in 10 or 10% and father to son is less than 1 in 20 or 5%.
  • 3% of the people on the planet have a scoliosis curve that measures greater than 10 degrees, although the vast majority do not progress and only require observation.
  • Book bags, sports, sitting slouched do not cause scoliosis.
  • Scoliosis may be associated with back discomfort, however is not associated with debilitating back pain or neurological issues unless some other problem is also present.

Regardless of the extent of the scoliosis a general exercise program and maintenance of bone health is important.

Nikki Miller, a patient of Dr. Lieberman’s, shares her about her struggle with scoliosis and how she was finally able to find relief.

If you have been diagnosed with scoliosis please feel free to share your story in the comments section.

Guest Blogger, Jennifer Sanders, Surgery Scheduler and Administrative Assistant for Dr. Lieberman, loves her job!

Not all people can truly say that they love their job. Some people might say that they like their job, but they don’t truly love going into work every day. I happen to love my job and honestly enjoy what every new day brings.

 I’m Jennifer Sanders and I have been working at TBI for a little over a year. My previous employers have all been small companies with no more than 20 employees. I’ll admit it, I was nervous to work for a company so much larger.  Our Plano office seemed so big with so many people and at first I was intimidated.  I soon learned I had nothing to be nervous about; I joined a great company. Although there are close to 100 people working in our Plano office, it still feels like a family environment.  The management makes a point to put on fun events, like pot-luck lunches, casual days and Sonic Boom!- to help with our overall health and wellness. I have never worked in a place where I felt so at home and valued.

 What makes this job different from anywhere else I’ve ever worked is you can literally witness our doctors “getting our patients back to life”.  The majority of Dr. Lieberman’s patients have scoliosis or curvature of the spine and we see a dramatic physical and emotional change in many of our patients after surgery.

 Several months after starting at TBI, I met with a patient who had a severe kyphotic deformity. She was bent forward almost 90 degrees, had to use a walker to move around and had a hard time with day-to-day activities, including laying down.  Dr. Lieberman ended up performing surgery on her and it went very well.

 I didn’t see this patient again for approximately 9 months. One day I was walking through our lobby and I was stopped by this sweet women. “Jennifer?” I paused and looked at the women trying to figure out how I knew her. She said, “You don’t recognize me, do you?” After a couple of seconds, I realized who she was and I was astonished….almost speechless. There standing before me was our patient from 9 months ago who at the time, saw the world completely bent over.  Not only had she changed her hair and lost weight, but she was standing up almost completely straight and without the aid of a walker. It brought tears to my eyes seeing just how good (and tall) she looked. She expressed heartfelt gratitude for what Dr. Lieberman was able to do to help her. I really liked working at TBI before this day, but after seeing that patient I knew I really loved where I was and I was surrounded by people and doctors who were able to improve other people’s lives.

 Since that day, I have witnessed countless other success stories like this patient.

I love my job but I also love my time outside of work. I am a wife, daughter and sister! This is my husband, Trace  and I.

 I am a Texas A&M graduate and I love cheering on the Aggies when I’m not at work.  This is my family and I getting ready to watch the Aggies win!

Seeing the good we are doing with my own two eyes, truly makes me want to come to work everyday. I wake up and say who are we going to help today? Whose life can we change for the better? And what can I do to help our patients get back to life?

I would love to know what you love about your job.  Please feel free to leave your comments here.

Patient of the Month – Felix Gonzales

At 58 years old, Felix Gonzalez, Jr. was a quadriparetic from severe repetitive stress injuries incurred while employed as an aircraft assembly worker. He was confined to a wheelchair and could barely use his arms and legs.

Today, he’s living independently in the Dallas area – thanks to what spine surgeons call a miraculous recovery from modern surgery.

“When I came to TBI, I could not even tie my shoes,” said Gonzalez. “Now I use a walker to walk, have my own apartment, can drive and shop for my groceries. I am slowly gathering my independence.”

Last year, Gonzalez was living with his parents in Washington State, unable to care for himself. Fortunately, his sister-in-law found a place that would treat Gonzalez’s injuries and provide him with relief – Texas Back Institute.

“We knew we could help,” said Dr. Daniel Bradley, a spine surgeon at Texas Back Institute, “but we had no idea how well Felix would recover.”

Gonzalez met with Dr. Bradley and his team to outline a treatment schedule. Dr. Bradley is a pioneer in minimally invasive spine surgery at the Texas Back Institute in Denton, Texas. He performed the cervical fusion first to give Gonzalez relief by alleviating pressure in his spine. Gonzales made what the staff called a miraculous recovery during therapy due to his discipline and diligence.

Next, Dr. Bradley performed the lumbar decompression surgery on Gonzalez. Again, after extraordinary progress in physical therapy, Gonzalez was walking.

Gonzalez does not plan to stop his progress any time soon. He is hoping to be using just a cane in the next month. And he has other plans.

“I want to get back on a Harley and join my friends in Arizona. We used to ride the Four Corners. I will do that again,” said Gonzalez.

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