• Football and Spine Injuries: Get the Facts

    Are you a football player who is looking for an injured athlete specialist near Los Angeles, CA to find back or neck pain relief? If so, then you may be suffering from one of several common sports-related spine injuries. The pain and discomfort that these injuries cause can lead to a significant amount of frustration for the individual and an inability to participate in their sport. Read on to get some facts about common football-related spine injuries. spine - injury

    Herniated Discs

    This type of injury frequently affects both football players and non-athletes. In many cases, the condition is the result of trauma. A herniated disc injury occurs when one of the spinal discs, which are cushioning structures between the vertebrae, ruptures and bulges outward. This bulging tissue can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in the back, buttocks, or limbs. Herniated disc treatment typically begins with rest, cold compresses, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatories.

    Sprain and Strains

    When your athletic spine doctor refers to your back pain, he may use “sprain” to describe to ligament injuries, and “strain” when talking about muscle injuries. In football players, these injuries are frequently caused by an overuse of the structures of the spine, but can also be the result of trauma, insufficient stretching, a lack of conditioning, or poor technique. With these injuries, you may notice increased pain with activity, and relief from pain when you rest. Treatment for back sprains and strains typically begins with rest and a break from athletic participation. Cold compresses, anti-inflammatories, and pain relievers may also be advised.

    Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

    Another type of injury that is a frequent source of back pain for football players is called spondylolysis. This condition refers to a defect in a small segment of bone in the lower spine called the pars interarticularis . Football puts a significant amount of stress on the bones of the lower back, which can result in spondylolysis in the form of a stress fracture. Rest, anti-inflammatories, a back brace, and physical therapy are commonly used for spondylolysis treatment.

  • The Benefits of Non-Operative Spine Care Over Pain Medications

    When most people start experiencing back pain, their natural reaction is to begin to take pain medications. If the problem persists and they visit a primary care provider, they may be prescribed additional pain medicines to control their symptoms. However, pain medications eventually prove to not be enough for the vast majority of patients. When your back pain doesn’t respond to pain medications, non-operative spine care in Los Angeles could be the answer. Here is why pain medicines are often insufficient and how non-operative treatments can help.


    The Problem with Pain Medication

    Pain medications often provide an initial level of relief for people experiencing back pain. Over time, however, they often lose their effectiveness, either because your body has become accustomed to the medication or because the spinal injury that is the cause of the pain has worsened. Because the medication is not relieving your pain sufficiently anymore, you may begin to take it more frequently. This behavior can lead to a dangerous pain medication dependency. Further, because pain medications only mask the symptoms, the root cause of your back pain is not being addresses. Your back pain may become chronic and your injury can become more severe without the proper treatment.

    Non-Operative Spine Care Solutions

    Your spine specialist can use non-operative techniques to both control your pain and address the cause. Spinal injections combine anti-inflammatory steroids and numbing medications to calm inflammation and block pain. These injections are targeted specifically to the region of the spine that is affected, so you get more precise pain management without using a medication that impacts you systemically. To address the cause of your back pain, a physical therapy program can be designed to meet your specific needs. Therapy involves stretches and exercises that ease pressure on the nerves in your spine and to rebuild strength. Hot and cold therapy may also be used to reduce inflammation and boost the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Because these solutions do more than temporarily hide your pain, they offer more sustainable solutions without the risk of dependency or overdose.

  • Differentiating Between Disc Conditions

    When you see a spine specialist, he or she will begin treatment by determining the exact nature of your problem. For many people, back pain is the result of a disc disease, such as a bulging disc, herniated disc, or degenerative disc disease. Your spine doctor in Los Angeles will diagnose the nature of your disc problem before choosing a treatment plan. Watch this video to learn more.

    In all of these conditions, a chronic or acute spinal injury that damages one or more discs causes pressure on the nerves in your back. This pressure causes pain that eventually sends many people to a spine specialist for treatment. The causes and symptoms of disc conditions vary depending on the nature of the injury, so your doctor will tailor your treatment plan accordingly.

  • Non-Surgical Treatments for Back Pain and Injuries

    Back pain can be an extreme burden and detract from many aspects of your day to day life. Often, people considering back injury treatment in Los Angeles don’t realize that there are treatment options available to them that don’t involve surgery. Non operative spine care provides patients suffering from back pain with a less invasive approach for treatment.

    back injury

    Physical Therapy

    When pain or health problems make it difficult for a patient to perform everyday tasks, doctors often prescribe physical therapy. This type of treatment is designed to make these tasks easier and is often used for patients who have suffered injuries. Physical therapy can help patients with back pain manage their discomfort. Employing exercises that help relieve pressure on your spinal nerves, train your body to maintain better posture, and build your flexibility and strength, physical therapy provides patients with a non-surgical treatment option for back pain.

    Spinal Decompression

    Non-surgical spinal decompression is a back pain treatment that gently stretches the spine to relieve pressure. By taking some of the pressure off of the spinal disks, which are the soft tissues in between the vertebrae, back pain can be reduced. Spinal decompression is a common treatment for conditions such as herniated discs, which are sometimes able to retract back into position as the spine is stretched.

    Spinal Injections

    By inserting medications directly into the spine, spinal injections can offer relief for people suffering from back pain or injury. Steroidal injections are often used to reduce inflammation in the spinal tissues, and numbing medications can be injected to address the pain directly. Spinal injections take effect quickly and are helpful for patients that are also being treated with physical therapy, allowing them to perform their exercises with less pain. Prescription pain medications can provide temporary relief for back pain sufferers, but these alone aren’t a recommended treatment option. Pain medications can be habit-forming and don’t address the underlying issue that is causing the pain.

  • Get to Know Dr. Timothy Harsthorn

    Dr. Timothy Harsthorn is a spine specialist at Marina Spine Center . Dr. Harsthorn provides a wide range of back and neck surgeries and services.

    Dr. Harsthorn has been a spine specialist and orthopedist at Marina Spine Center since earning his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr. Harsthorn specializes in shoulder and elbow treatments, but regularly assists with patients who have suffered from athletic spinal injuries. Because spinal injuries often come with other symptoms, including numbness in the arms and legs, Dr. Harsthorn’s care is often relied upon for individuals who suffer from back pain. Dr. Harsthorn is a skilled orthopedist. His medical services and expertise broadly focus on foot and ankle treatments, as well as hand and wrist treatments. Dr. Harsthorn also regularly provides hip and knee replacement surgeries. If you suffer from pain or long-term discomfort in your back, neck, arms, legs, hands, or feet, it is important to contact a spine specialist to determine the root cause of your injury. Spine doctors can often use non-invasive, nonsurgical treatments to help you get immediate and lasting pain relief.


  • Top 50 Most Powerful in L.A. Sports: No. 27 Robert Watkins, Sports Medicine

    The top echelon of sports surgeons may consist of only Dr. Robert Watkins III and Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Watkins is an orthopedic spine surgeon whose practice is in Marina Del Rey. Watkins repaired Peyton Manning’s neck, Dwight Howard’s back and his clients include many other distinguished athletes. Read more about Dr. Watkins in the LA Daily News, Top 50 Most Powerful in L.A. Sports: No. 27 Robert Watkins, Sports Medicine .

  • Meet Shawn Bond, PA

    Marina Spine Center is proud to be one of the top centers for spine surgery near Los Angeles . We can claim this title thanks to our impressive staff and their dedication to their patients. Keep reading to learn about Shawn Bond, PA and how he contributes to our spine center:

    Shawn Bond is a certified Orthopaedic Spine Physician Assistant and has experience in spinal instrumentation, sports medicine, and general orthopaedics. He earned a degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Arizona State University and went on to do his Physician Assistant program at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine. He also served as student body president while attending USC.

    As an athlete, Shawn understands what it takes to keep a body performing at its best. He works hard to offer all of his patients the dedicated care and attention that they need to find relief for their spinal issues so they feel more like themselves.

    Spine Surgery Near Los Angeles

  • Reviews: “The Staff Were Very Friendly and Helpful”

    At Marina Spine Center, our patients receive care that is compassionate from a medical team focused on building strong long-term relationships. Our surgeons stay up to date on advances in medical technology and use these to provide the best medical care. See what some of our patients have to say by checking out our reviews on Y elp and leave a review of your own on our Google+ page. We would love to hear from you.

    “I can not say enough good about Dr. Watkins IV (Jr) and the Marina Spine Center.” – Melissa M.

    Spine Surgery in Los Angeles

  • Spotlight on Dr. David Chang

    The doctors at Marina Spine Center are here to help diagnose and treat spinal issues that lead to significant pain and discomfort. Dr. David Chang is one of the top spine surgeons in Los Angeles and strives to provide each of his patients with personalized attention and care. Keep reading to learn more about Dr. Chang:

    Dr. Chang attended Princeton University before earning his medical degree from New York University. He then did his orthopaedic surgical training at NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases. Dr. Chang also completed an advanced fellowship in orthopaedic spinal surgery with Dr. Robert Watkins and Dr. Lytton Williams. As a board-certified surgeon, Dr. Chang has demonstrated exceptional expertise in the area of orthopedic spine surgery and how injuries can affect a person’s ability to move.

    Dr. Chang focuses primarily on minimally invasive procedures, artificial disc replacement technology, and degenerative disorders that affect the cervical and the lumbar spine. He has practiced medicine on both coasts and takes pride in helping patients obtain the best treatment for their needs.

  • Meet Dr. Robert Watkins, IV

    At Marina Spine Center, our impressive team of spine surgeons is here to offer all of our patients the best services to ensure they get the treatments they need. Keep reading to learn more about Dr. Robert Watkins, IV and all that he brings to the practice:

    As co-director of Marina Spine Center and Chairman of the Surgery Department at Marina Del Rey Hospital, Dr. Watkins is constantly working hard to provide all of his patients with the very best treatment. He is a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon and holds a specialty in minimally invasive spine surgeries that help patients get the best results with the least amount of recovery time. After getting his medical degree from the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, he went on to do a residency in orthopedic surgery at the L.A. County/USC General Hospital.

    Dr. Watkins, IV has extensive experience performing spine surgeries, lecturing on various topics, and doing special research to help his field. If you are looking for a top spine surgeon serving Los Angeles, look no further than Dr. Watkins, IV.

    Spine Surgeons in Los Angeles