Top10MD Blog


 3 months ago    Leave a comments (0)


We have all likely experienced it more than a few times in our lives. After all, we really don’t give our hands a break! Carpal tunnel is an occurrence that affects millions of people daily and can cause a great amount of discomfort. As busy people, we simply don’t have the time to deal with constantly aching hands and wrists. Here are 3 physician-recommended exercises to help win your fight against carpal tunnel:

  • Shake It Off!

Taylor Swift was right; shaking it off isn’t a bad idea. Carpal tunnel occurs when the median nerve in your wrist is cramped and tight, so it is important to let loose when dealing with it. With your hands at chest level, shake them up and down as if you are trying to air-dry them. By allowing your hands and wrists to move freely, you are keeping your tendons nice and flexible, which over time will assist in relieving the pain.

Note: Playing Taylor Swift during this exercise may speed up the healing process!

  • Square Up!

No, we don’t mean get ready to fight someone. However, making a fist is the first part of this next exercise. Stretching out the tendons is important while suffering from carpal tunnel, as it allows for everything to flow neatly through the narrow passage of your wrist. Once you have made a fist, slowly stretch out your fingers as far as possible. Then, roll them back into a fist at the same pace. Repeat this process up to 10 times in order to get the blood flowing in your hands. Goodbye, stiffness!

  • Bring Out the Dumbbells!

Here is your excuse to finally start weight lifting! Now, we aren’t expecting (or recommending) you to lift a 50-pound dumbbell, just something light to give your hand some resistance. Start this exercise with your arm on a flat surface, with your wrist dangling over the edge, and your palm facing the floor. A table or chair will work just fine. In your hand, slowly lift a small weight or dumbbell up and down, using your wrist as the point of movement. This will get the median nerve moving as it should, thus providing a remedy to the bind your tendons have found themselves in.

Carpal tunnel isn’t any fun for anyone, but it is still an issue that we all will more than likely face eventually. Using these exercises will help relieve some of the pain in your next battle against carpal tunnel.

If the pain becomes too severe, consider visiting your board certified Neurosurgeon for the next steps of pain relief.

Dr. Rebeccca Stachniak is a board certified Neurological Spine Surgeon and Medical Director of the Brain & Spine Center of Texas. Dr. Stachniak is part of the faculty at Medtronic as a teaching physician, teaching other spine surgeons on techniques in spine surgery. Having authored many papers, posters, and presentations for major Neurosurgical and Spine related conferences, Dr. Stachniak is highly sought after and regarded around the world speaking at international conferences. Named Top10MD in 2016 – an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeeds within the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Stachniak, click on her profile or call her office at 972.943.9779.


 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)

Surgeries that some consider routine can still sometimes cause serious complications. No matter how straightforward you think your surgery might be, you still want to be in the absolute best surgical hands.

Today, your surgeon and hospital are especially important for procedures that are new or complex or even routine. You should be concerned and research but your surgeon and the hospital for that matter as most errors happen in a hospital setting according to John Hopkins report in May noting the third leading cause of death is medical errors. In your search for the best surgeon one indicator is how often your surgeon performs the procedure you’re seeking. For example, a study by researchers at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center of people undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer found that annual death rates were nearly four times higher for those treated by surgeons who performed the fewest operations.

With that being said, how should you choose a surgeon, someone with whom you’ll be sharing some of your most personal information and entrusting with life-and-death decisions? Communication with your surgeon is essential.

Ask your prospective surgeon these questions before going under…

Are you board certified, and is your certification current?

  • Look for a surgeon who has the necessary board certification(s), necessary training, and has maintained their certification(s) in the specialty they are practicing.

Is this surgery necessary?

  • Avoiding surgery entirely is the only sure way to avoid a surgical complication; understanding the effectiveness of the surgery and having exhausted alternatives you then need to compare the results of your alternatives with the possible risks of the surgery. 

What are your success, failure, and complication rates?

  • Not all surgeons are willing to be upfront with this information, but a good surgeon will.

What is your experience with this surgery?

  • Ask your surgeon how many of these procedures he or she has performed and compare that number with other surgeons performing the same procedure. The best surgeon is not necessarily the busiest surgeon; it’s about avoiding the surgeon who has not performed the procedure as much or as often or as well.

What’s the hospital’s infection rate?

  • Seventeen states now make that information public, and many hospitals report their rates voluntarily. Kudos to them! After asking these questions and others relating to your needs, likes, and dislikes, do your homework and make your choice. Your final decision could be one of the most important you’ll make for you and your family.

To locate a Top10MD Surgeon you can trust visit and schedule your appointment today.


 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)

With great sadness, a legend of his own Muhammad Ali passed away at the age of 74 fighting a battle he could not win Parkinson’s disease. Ali had suffered from the disease since the early 80’s. As a three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer, he retired and committed his life to philanthropy and social activism. Did boxing contribute to Ali acquiring Parkinson’s disease? Medical professionals and researchers still do not know, as the cause is unknown and there is no cure.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder with over one million people in the United States suffering from it, and approximately 60,000 people are newly diagnosed each year. The onset of this disease usually begins around the age of 60.

The disease affects neurons in an area of the brain called substantia nigra; this area of the brain controls a person’s movement and coordination. For an unknown reason, the malfunction and death of neurons lower a person’s dopamine levels; thereby, reducing their ability for correct movement and coordination.

Symptoms of Parkinson’sParkinson's Disease and Neurons

  • A slowness of movement
  • Tremor of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
  • Stiffness of the limbs and trunk
  • Impaired balance and coordination

Treatment Options for Parkinson’s

  • Medication
  • Surgery to manage symptoms

New Treatment Options for Parkinson’s

A breakthrough procedure where cutting edge stem cells is being utilized and  administered either intravenously or subcutaneously- under the skin in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.


If you are showing symptoms of early Parkinson’s disease contact a Top10MD Internist today and schedule an initial evaluation.


For more information visit the American Parkinson’s Disease Association.


 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month! So many people are unaware of Parkinson’s disease because it does not affect them or anyone they know personally. Michael J. Fox has been the face of Parkinson’s Disease for many years. You may know Michael J. Fox from the sitcom Family Ties or the movie Back to the Future. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1992 and has been fighting ever since. He has not fought alone. Nearly 1 million people in the US are suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, and there are approximately 60,000 new cases yearly (Parkison’s Disease Foundation). Neurology is the field of medicine that treats this disease. As you understand Parkinson’s Disease, you can also learn a lot about Neurology and the practice of neurologists.

April: Parkinson's Awareness MonthWhen it relates to Parkinson’s Disease, you probably have many questions as far as the progression of the disease as well as causes. That is what Parkinson’s Awareness Month is all about, answering your Parkinson’s questions. Parkinson’s is a neurological movement disorder. It is a genetic disease that is passed down through the generations. It can also be triggered environmentally with the intake or exposure to toxic substances. The neurons in the body begin to break down, and it affects the transport of signals to the brain. Another precursor to the problem is what’s called Lewy bodies. These are microscopic particles found in the brain. They can be made up of different things, but as it relates to Parkinson’s, Alpha-synuclein protein has been found to be the main substance. Parkinson’s typically starts as a tremor and progresses to the inability to control the movement of your whole body. Although there is no cure, there are medications available to control your symptoms.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s progress from mild to severe over time. Symptoms start with a small tremor in the extremities. It may be your leg, arm, fingers, or toes. You may have some trouble speaking; there will be times where your speech is slurred. Stiffness in your muscles is common. Posture and balance become an issue. As the disease progresses, your whole body will begin to tremor. This affects your ability to write and do your normal daily activities like eating, putting on clothes, and going to the bathroom.

Neurology is a widespread field that not only treats Parkinson’s but other neurological disorders. Neurologists treat all types of nervous system conditions. Neurology is a challenging field because many diseases within this field of medicine can only be treated but not entirely cured. Neurons are not like other cells in the body. If you get a cut or break a bone, your body heals by making new skin cells and bone cells, respectively. Neurons cannot be remade. This makes finding a cure for neurological disorders difficult. Here are a few disorders neurologists treat that you probably had no clue

  • Sleep Disorders
    • Insomnia
    • Sleep apnea
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Essential tremors
  • Migraines
  • Epilepsy
  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Brain Tumors
  • Parkinson’s Disease

You may have initially been interested in this blog to learn about Parkinson’s Disease, but hopefully, you have learned something about the field of Neurology. You may have been suffering from one of these conditions above and had no clue you needed a neurologist. Neurology is a wonderful field. As you educate yourself more on Parkinson’s Disease, hopefully, you gain an awareness of the field of Neurology.


 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



 2 years ago    Leave a comments (0)

What if your doctor told you that you had been cured of your disease, despite, lingering and worsening symptoms dealing with aches and pains barely getting through your day?

Would you go back to the doctor or try a different doctor, especially if your symptoms were extremely severe, such as seizures, paralysis, or dementia?  This is the frightening reality for thousands of chronic Lyme patients in America today.

Many Lyme symptoms, such as fatigue, cognitive impairment, joint pain, poor sleep, mood problems, muscle pain, and neurological presentations also occur in other diseases. Hence, the symptoms of Lyme disease significantly overlap those of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Many Lyme patients report being misdiagnosed with a different condition before being properly diagnosed with Lyme disease.

One of the many diseases that Lyme imitates is multiple sclerosis. Having lesions on the brain is actually a condition, rather than a disease in itself. A neurologist now told one chronic Lyme patient for more than 16 years: “You could say you have MS.”

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. Over 30,000 confirmed cases are reported yearly to the CDC.

Lyme Disease Symptoms Include:Lyme Disease Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • A headache
  • A stiff neck
  • A fever and chills
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Red bulls eye and expanding rash called erythema migrans (EM)

Lyme Disease can be hard to diagnose. The course of therapy is antibiotics, which cure most cases. The sooner your treatment begins, the quicker and more complete the recovery. Yet, there is a great amount of evidence supporting the persistence of Lyme after short-course antibiotic treatment to deny the effects of chronic Lyme disease. Biofilms (imagine a safe, gated community made from mucus, where bacteria can conceal itself undetected by the body’s immune system) have been documented. The presence of biofilms, filmed with thousands of spirochetes, indicates an active infection.

Be aware of symptoms of Lyme. If Lyme disease is not diagnosed and treated early, it may become late-stage or chronic. This may also occur when early treatment is inadequate. While some symptoms of chronic or late stage Lyme disease are similar to those of early Lyme, Lyme disease may spread to any part of the body and affect any body system. Typically, it affects more than one body system.

Learn to protect yourself against tick bites, tucking pants into socks, putting clothes in the dryer for 20 minutes after a hike and, most importantly, check one another for ticks after outdoor activity.  A tick tool can be purchased to hang on your key chain, or just use tweezers to gently remove them.  Never listen to the fads about using Vaseline, alcohol, or anything else.

With case numbers on the rise in Texas, the question “What would you do” could become all too real. If you have been diagnosed and currently suffering from Lyme’s disease or feel that you or a loved one has contacted this disease call one of our many Internal Medicine, Neurologists or Allergists do discuss your options.


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