Beatriz Mendez was the first patient to undergo an operation to replace cervical discs in the Aurora Spine Health Clinic when it first opened its doors at the beginning of January in 2022. It wasn’t her first experience having doctor Dr. Shaun O’Leary, neurosurgeon at the Aurora Health Center – Pleasant Prairie and her doctor. Mendez was a patient of his at a prior practice close than her house located in Des Plaines, Ill. When she began experiencing frequent neck pains again in the in the past the year Mendez was aware of whom to contact. “I advised my daughter, we must consult the doctor. O’Leary right away,” Mendez says.
Around 1 in 3 individuals suffer from neck discomfort. The discomfort could be the result of injury, strenuous exercise or an underlying medical condition or even a lifestyle of sedentary. There are numerous methods to manage back as well as neck pain ranging from treatment with massage or surgery. However, a study found that just 58% of those suffering from lower back discomfort seek medical attention.
“Untreated back pain can cause grave complications, including nerve irritation. Injuries to vertebrae that are not treated could lead to spinal canal stenosis (narrowing in the spinal canal) and the condition known as radiculopathy (severe nerve pain) and permanent nerve damage. It’s the reason it’s a condition you must never overlook,” says Dr. O’Leary.
As a 70-year-old who is busy, Mendez has no intention to let neck pain hold her back. As she has had back problems before she is aware of the need to not delay. Mendez’s operation took place after six months of rehabilitation after which she was back in her stride. It was back to the things she loves, such as cooking and travelling to Mexico to spend her annual vacation with her family and friends. “I recovered faster than I had anticipated which meant it was not too long and I could be back doing the things I enjoy,” she says. “It was an unforgettable experience to be the first patient in the new facility. I am so grateful to Doctor. O’Leary and the care I received.”
“Chronic back pain can affect individuals in different ways. We learn about the preferences of our patients, their capacities and willingness to actively participate in their treatment plans. This gives patients the choices that are appropriate for their needs,” says Dr. O’Leary. “The crucial part is that we’re providing timely treatment before it could progress to a more serious illness.”
If you’re suffering from back and neck discomfort, you should contact your local Aurora Spine Health Clinic at 262-857-5300.
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