The Spine & Back Blog

Stem cell therapy is a breakthrough technology that can be used to speed-up the recovery process from a musculoskeletal injury.  Introducing stem cells allows for muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and bones to more quickly heal which leads to expedited recovery times and a lower risk for developing injury-related inflammation.  Recent developments in stem-cell technology allows Dr. Hunter to harvest patient stem cells spaces from bone marrow from their hip.

Dr. William Hunter, MD from the Neuroscience and Spine Centers of the Carolinas (NSSC) will be making a presentation about stem-cell therapy and answering questions:

October 15th from 6:00-7:00pm at the Neuroscience & Spine Center of the Carolinas office
2555 Court Drive #400, Gastonia, NC 28054

October 16th from 10:00-11:00am at the Warlick Family YMCA
2221 Robinwood Rd., Gastonia, NC 28054

For more information on these presentations or on stem cell therapy, please call 704-864-5550.

This discs in our spine act as cushions or shock absorbers between vertebrae which can help prevent damage to spinal tissue and bone. These discs allow for slight bending and flexing of the back. These discs have a hard casing and a gel-like interior.

spine

As we age, the discs in our spine naturally begin to deteriorate; therefore, bulging discs are common in older populations. A bulging disc occurs when the hard casing of the disc begins to weaken but doesn’t rupture, and “bulges” outward. A herniated disc may actually begin as a bulging disc whose outer wall is then ruptured by a great amount of pressure.

spine2

Bulging discs often result in pain, numbness or weakness, tingling, spasms, difficulty walking, etc. Disc-associated pain can definitely affect one’s quality of life; therefore, it’s important to seek appropriate treatment.

Treatment options include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Regaining strength through consistent exercise and physical therapy if needed
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroid injections

It’s imperative to work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that is specific to you and your pain. If you think you have a bulging disc or have already received a diagnosis and would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at: (704)864-5550

Why Dr. Hunter

Spinal stenosis is a relatively common condition which occurs when the spinal canal becomes compressed. The spinal canal contains the spinal cord and nerve roots, so when it is compressed or “pinched” patients often feel pain, numbness, weakness, etc.

There are two common types of spinal stenosis:

  • Cervical stenosis: With this condition, the compression occurs in the part of the spine in your neck.
  • Lumbar stenosis: With this condition, the compression occurs in the part of the spine in your lower back. This is the most common form of spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis is typically caused by wear-and-tear associated with osteoarthritis. It is often diagnosed through studying your physical history and through imaging technology such as X-Rays, MRI’s, and CT Scans.

Although there is no definitive cure for spinal stenosis there are several treatment options to help manage your symptoms:

  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help you build muscle that can improve your balance and flexibility. Improving your physical fitness with consistent exercise is a critical first step to alleviating pain caused by spinal stenosis. It may also be beneficial to work with a Physical Therapist to help you learn more about specific exercises and stretches that can help you.
  • Medication: Pain medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and/or naproxen can help with pain management. Working with your doctor to establish a medication regimen is also an important first step to managing your symptoms.
  • Injections: Some patients with spinal stenosis may opt to pursue corticosteroid injections for temporary pain relief.
  • Surgery: In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to help severe or worsening symptoms.

If you feel that you may be at risk for spinal stenosis or have already received a diagnosis, we would love to help you.

Please call today to schedule an appointment with our specialists: (704)864-5550

Why Dr. Hunter?

Dr. William Hunter, MD

Dr. Hunter has been practicing Neurosurgery for over a decade.  He has been involved with new and innovative techniques for spinal surgery throughout this time.  Dr Hunter currently teaches minimally invasive spine techniques across the United States.

He received his undergraduate degree in Biology at Denison University in Ohio and then obtained a Masters Degree at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in Physiology and Biophysics. On completion of his Masters he went to Georgetown Medical School, where he also completed his residency.  Dr. Hunter then joined the University of Wisconsin, as an assistant professor where he trained neurosurgery residents and medical students in medical and surgical treatments of brain and spine diseases.  Two years later, Dr. Hunter left the University of Wisconsin to pursue his carrier as a Spine surgeon in a private practice.  He joined Neuroscience and Spine Center of the Carolinas, where he has been working since 2000.

Dr. Hunter has been involved in the spinal program at Caromont Regional Hospital, since the beginning of his carrier and is considered as a leader for bringing new and innovative micro surgical techniques to the hospital and his patients. The hospital has been awarded top on the list for “Best Hospital’s in North Carolina”, with the spine program deemed as one of the best in the state.
Providing the best possible quality care to his patients is Dr. Hunter’s main concern. Although he runs a very busy private practice, he still makes sure that he finds the time to teach.  His lectures and seminars usually revolve around new and innovative minimally invasive spine surgical techniques.  He has taught spinal surgery at Duke University and also teaches across the United States providing his expertise on spinal surgery.  He is very passionate about what he does and always strives to deliver the best care to his patients.  He has been board certified since 2001 with the American Board of Neurological Surgeons.