Recent Posts in Blogs & Updates Category

  • Pain: Is it All in Your Head?

    || 16-Oct-2017

    You twist your ankle, cut your finger, slip and fall, or suddenly experience more severe pain in your back, chest or abdomen that sends you to the emergency room. When you feel that pain, your brain is trying to tell you something. Some kind of tissue injury has occurred. Without proper attention, rest or further treatment, things could get worse. In this case, pain, although uncomfortable, is a ...
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  • The Impact of Football on the Brain

    || 2-Oct-2017

    A recent study conducted by Boston University researchers and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has caught the public's attention. And, as a result, concern about American football's impact on the brain – namely when it comes to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE – has heightened once again. CTE is the medical term used to describe the ...
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  • New Conclusions on Concussion 'Cocooning'

    || 17-Jul-2017

    Until very recently, the widespread recommendation by the medical community to patients who had suffered a concussion was simple and straightforward: rest, rest and more rest. The trauma that the brain sustains during a concussion can be from linear forces (like when the brain is forcefully pushed up against the hard ridges and walls of the skull), or from rotational forces (like when a ...
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  • 3 Questions to Ask Before Taking Prescription Pain Meds

    || 6-Jul-2017

    Over the last few decades, the prevalence of narcotic painkiller (also referred to as opioids) use in the United States has skyrocketed. This class of medications suppresses the body’s perception of pain by blocking signals between the brain and the nervous system. In the past, usage of opioids for pain relief was mostly limited to short-term instances of severe pain, such as during the ...
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  • Understanding Migraines and Their Triggers

    || 11-May-2017

    Believe it or not, 38 million Americans suffer from regular migraines, and many don’t even know it. Yes, the debilitating side effects of a migraine can knock sufferers off their feet and leave them pleading for relief, as the pulsing and throbbing continues from several hours up to several days in some of the most severe cases. But for others, the headache pain associated with their ...
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  • To Play or Not to Play? That Is the Concussion Question

    || 3-Apr-2017

    "Dr. Williams, would you let your son play football?" Over the course of a 20-year career as a sports neurologist, that question is one of the most frequently asked by patients, friends who are parents of young athletes and the public in general. Early in my career, the question was related to the risk of musculoskeletal and spine injury. Aware of the risk of fractures, bruises and other ...
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  • 3 Concussion Myths: Busted

    || 2-Mar-2017

    Concussions are among the most common – and potentially dangerous – injuries seen in sports medicine. Part of the danger surrounding them is the abundance of misinformation spread by word of mouth among the athletic population, plus false information that’s readily available and shared on the Internet. Education is the best shield to protect from what can be lasting and lingering ...
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  • 3 Ways to Love Your Brain

    || 28-Jan-2017

    When it comes to neurological health, people often consider it in terms of what to fix when things go wrong. From concussion to chronic pain conditions, many still believe that brain health is only something that can be repaired once its damaged and not something that can actually be enhanced. But the truth my friends is that you CAN and should make enhanced brain health a focus in your life. Not ...
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  • In part one of this series, I touched on the scientifically proven physical and neurological benefits of exercise. When most non-fitness folks think of exercise, what typically comes to mind is jogging, running, bicycling, or light weightlifting – some variation of moderate energy, steady-state movement. As previously discussed, this type of body mechanics is important for cardiovascular ...
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  • Chronic Pain and the Holidays - 3 Tips to Help

    || 20-Nov-2016

    Though holiday songs, cards and greetings herald it as ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,’ for people suffering from chronic pain conditions, these final weeks on the calendar can feel anything but merry. Even for those who aren’t burdened by illness, the holidays are often stressful. But when you’ve got a condition characterized by pain, the stress and ill-effects on ...
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  • Part 1: Exercise as Treatment for Neurological Conditions

    || 9-Sep-2016

    There are plenty of beneficial reasons to be physically active. We know that regular exercise is a vital part of living a healthy and balanced life, and even in aiding in the prevention of disease. Getting out and moving our bodies can help us stay fit while boosting our mood with “feel good” hormones that are released by the brain during physical activity. Exercise has also proven to ...
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  • Sideline Concussion Management: Technology on the Sidelines

    || 8-Aug-2016

    “MVP.” In any sports arena this acronym is commonly and almost exclusively known by players, coaches, and their fans alike as Most Valuable Player. The MVP is the most exemplary member of a team, always playing a major role in leading his or her teammates successfully to victory. But today, I want to discuss a bit of a different type of MVP. One who is still poised to take a permanent ...
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  • The Opioid Crisis and the Rise of Chronic Pain Treatment Alternatives

    || 8-Jul-2016

    If you’ve ever suffered from any type of chronic pain, you are very familiar with the absolute havoc it can wreak on your day-to-day life. Whether the pain is just stubbornly inconvenient or totally incapacitating, it can suck the joy out of the simple tasks of daily living and leave you begging for anything to take the pain away. Up until recently, opioid painkiller medications have been ...
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  • 4 Key Features of a "Sports Brain"

    || 6-Jun-2016

    The brain, which is one of our most powerful organs, can be strengthened through regular training. Just like the muscles in our body grow and become stronger with consistent exercise, the same goes for our brains. However, instead of physical training, improving our brain function involves mental exercise. Brain training can be used to improve memory, speed of mental processing, vision, focus, ...
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  • Most adults have experienced a headache at least a time or two in their lives. But how do you know when that intense pain and pressure in the head has tipped over the line from major headache to full-blown migraine? An important place to start is with a definition of each condition. A headache is an unpleasant sensation in any region of the head or upper neck. It may appear as a dull ache, a ...
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  • Chronic Pain and Mental Health - Understanding the Connection

    || 21-Apr-2016

    May is National Mental Health Month – a time when we physicians (hopefully) are able to educate and shed light on the subject of, and perhaps most importantly, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. Like any other type of chronic condition or disease, mental illness deserves medical attention. It is real. And the patients who are suffering deserve to feel validated and supported. ...
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  • When Taking OTCs is a Dangerous Prescription

    || 4-Mar-2016

    When Taking OTCs is a Dangerous Prescription We all have battled some sort of backache, headache, or knee pain in our lives and most of us simply pop a few over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to ease the discomfort we are feeling. Doing that seems harmless enough, right? After all, we think, ‘if it’s sold at the local grocery store it must be safe.’ As a neurologist and pain ...
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  • Brain-Boosting Effects of Exercise

    || 25-Feb-2016

    4 Brain Boosting Benefits of Exercise Though I care for the neurological needs of a wide range of professional, collegiate and youth-level athletes, I’ve seen first-hand the incredible benefits that even the slightest amount of regimented exercise can have on ANYONE. Although medications can play an important role in pain and disease management, they have their limitations. And with a ...
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  • Beyond the Concussion - Dehydration Dangers in Combat Sports

    || 20-Jan-2016

    Today’s media spotlight in my field of medicine skews heavily toward the discussion of the dangers and risks surrounding concussion in sports. While those dangers are real and remain an important focus of mine, we must recognize that for many sports – there are topics aside from concussion which also pose a tremendous threat to the health and lives of the athletes who play them. Last ...
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  • The Concussion Movie - A Sports Neurologist's Perspective

    || 14-Dec-2015

    I had the opportunity recently to pre-screen Concussion, the new movie starring Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the famed forensic pathologist credited with bringing the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) to light as it relates to repeated head-trauma, namely in sport. While I am by no means a trained cinema critic, Concussion is an excellent movie. But perhaps more ...
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  • Not All Concussion Recoveries are Created Equal

    || 30-Nov-2015

    There is so much about the concussion process that isn’t yet fully understood by science. How can one athlete seemingly return to “normal” hours after what looks like a knockout blow to the head during a big game, while another takes weeks to fully recover from what seemed to only be a slight ‘ding’ during practice? Though I am pleased to say we’re no longer in ...
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  • Brain Exercises to Enhance Performance

    || 2-Nov-2015

    In the mainstream media, we see a lot of discussion about brain function as it relates to traumatic injury or a chronic condition like Alzheimer’s disease. In this way, the brain is seen as a passive organ or one that some unforeseen event happens to. But would it surprise you to know that the brain is a muscle that needs and can benefit greatly from focused and consistent exercise? ...
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  • Imaging Considerations in Youngsters with Head Trauma

    || 27-Sep-2015

    I recently gave an interview for an article in Radiology Today discussing the opportunities and challenges in the use of imaging technologies like CT and MRI for the evaluation and treatment recommendations in children who are suspected to have sustained head trauma. It is an important topic and one that neurologists are heavily weighing the merits of. The reasons for that are many, but perhaps ...
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  • Establishing Confidence in Post-Concussion Return-to-Play

    || 28-Aug-2015

    Establishing Confidence in Post-Concussion Return-to-Play Among the most challenging tasks in neurology today is the ability to definitively identify and accurately treat a concussion. Concussions are complicated. From individual to individual, a concussion’s symptoms, effects and recovery can be wildly different. These facts have historically made a standardized diagnosis and treatment plan ...
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  • Concussion Prevention: Balancing Knee-Jerk Reactions with Accurate Medical Information Concussions are serious. And the recent media attention given to them with regard to the world of professional sport has created a beneficial “trickle down” effect of prevention conversations taking place in nearly every sport and at all levels. The great news is: concussive injuries are getting the ...
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