Use These Tips to Get Your Spine Ready for the Holiday Season

Now that we are in November, many residents in the Clear Lake, Texas, area are beginning to think of the holiday season. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, it is the time to celebrate the season with family and friends. However, those affected by spine pain may worry that their back will leave them out of the seasonal fun. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we believe that no one should be held back by back pain, so we’ve listed some helpful tips to get your spine feeling great by the time the holidays arrive:


  1. Keep an Eye on Your Weight

It’s the time of year where delicious food seems to be everywhere. Between pumpkin pies, cookies, and other treats that appear around this time of year, it can be difficult to maintain your weight. However, it’s important to stick to a healthy diet to keep your spine feeling great. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity suggests a correlation between being overweight and increased prevalence of back pain (1). While the occasional treat this holiday season is perfectly fine, be sure to maintain a diet that helps keep your weight in a healthy range to avoid back pain.



  1. Lift Heavy Objects with Care

If you are decorating your home for the holiday season, there’s a good chance you’ll need to lift some heavy items. According to The Journal of Orthopedic Research, there is an increased risk for injury to the lumbar intervertebral disc in those who twist their body when lifting objects over 25 pounds (2). When lifting heavy decorations out of their boxes this season, be sure to utilize the strength in your legs to help lift, along with keeping your spine straight and in an aligned position.



  1. Take Some Traveling Precautions

If you’re planning on traveling to visit family and friends this holiday season, you may want to take some precautions to prevent back pain. Long periods of sitting can worsen back pain. Traveling with a heating pad may help. According to the Journal, Spine, trials have shown that heat can reduce pain in those affected by acute and subacute back pain (3). Keeping a heating pad in your carry-on luggage allows you to utilize heat to ease back pain while you are traveling.



  1. Include Back-Friendly Foods in Your Holiday Meals

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, not consuming enough fruits and vegetables can lead to chronic pain in the back and other areas of the body (4). Help ensure you’re getting enough of these inflammation-fighting foods by including them in your holiday meals. Some great foods to consider include sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and kale.


When it comes to getting ready for the holiday season, you want to make sure that your back is feeling it’s best. For those looking for a solution to their back pain, give the Spine Solutions Center at Houston Physicians Hospital a call at 832-340-2134 or CLICK HERE to learn more.



























The Most Common ENT Problems of the Season

While many residents in the Clear Lake, Texas, area are excited to see some cooler fall weather, the seasonal changes can pose a risk for some ENT problems. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand that ENT problems can be a hassle, so we’ve laid out all the information you need to know about the most common ENT problems of the season:


  1. Ear Infections

While they are most common in children, ear infections are a common fall ENT issue that can affect any age group. As the weather gets cooler, be sure to take some precautions against ear infections, especially if you are in an environment around children. It’s also important to know the beginning signs of an ear infection. The National Institutes of Health cite the early symptoms of an ear infection as trouble sleeping, fever, and fluid draining from the ear (1). If you begin to experience these symptoms, it may be due to an ear infection that needs to be addressed.



  1. The Cold

It’s no surprise that the common cold is a frequent ENT problem during the fall. In fact, the Journal Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice states that about half of the population will get a cold at least once per year (2). This virus typically peaks during the colder fall and winter seasons, and can cause uncomfortable symptoms like a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. While there is no fool-proof method to avoid the common cold, keeping your hands clean, covering sneezes and coughs, and keeping your distance from others can help decrease your chances of infection.



  1. Upper Respiratory Infections

As the holidays get closer and you interact with others more frequently, upper respiratory infections can become an issue. The Indian Journal of Pediatrics cites that respiratory infections account for 20-40% of outpatient attendance at a general hospital (3).  Keep an eye out for signs of an upper respiratory infection, like congestion, fatigue, and a sore throat.


What to Do if You Develop One of These Conditions

There’s no way to avoid these conditions entirely, and if you notice symptoms, it’s best to seek treatment as quickly as possible. An ENT doctor with Houston Physicians’ Hospital may be able to help alleviate symptoms and address any further issues that these conditions may have caused. Additionally, keeping your distance from others when sick and frequently washing your hands can also help prevent further spread of these illnesses.



While we may enjoy a break from the Texas summer, the cooler fall temperatures present risks for developing ENT issues. For the leading name in ENT physicians in the Clear Lake, Texas, area, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620.























Use These 5 Tips to Protect Your Bones

Many patients in the Clear Lake area in Texas understand the important role that bones play in the body. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand that keeping your bones at their healthiest is important, so we’ve laid out some easy tips to keep them protected:


  1. Know Your Risks

Conditions such as osteoporosis can weaken your bones and make you more prone to bone injuries. Some people are more at-risk than others for developing these conditions. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that genetics play a strong role in developing osteoporosis (1), meaning those with a family history of this condition should take extra precautions to avoid injuries and increase bone strength. Additionally, certain medications can cause bone loss, so speak with a physician at Houston Physicians’ Hospital to learn about your individual risks and what you can do to keep your bones protected.



  1. Exercise Regularly

A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics states that exercise plays a positive role in bone mineral accrual (2).  Essentially, this means that regular physical activity helps build up important minerals in the bones, therefore making them stronger and less prone to injuries. Taking 30 – 60 minutes per day to perform physical activity can significantly help protect your bones, along with the array of other benefits that exercise can provide.



  1. Consider a Vitamin D Supplement

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that adults deficient in vitamin D can experience reduced bone mineral density and an increased risk for osteoporosis (3). Because it is not uncommon for many adults to be vitamin D deficient, it is important to consider taking a supplement. When looking for a supplement, keep in mind your specific needs. Adults under the age of 70 should take 600 IU per day, while adults over the age of 70 need 800 IU.



  1. Add More Calcium to Your Diet

According to the British Journal of Nutrition, calcium deficiency reduces bone mass (5). Because calcium is essential for bone health, it’s important to ensure your diet consist of enough calcium. Typically, people consume dairy products as their primary source of calcium, but it can also be found in vegetables such as broccoli and kale. To keep bones protected, most adults should aim for 1,000 mg of calcium per day.


Your bones are essential to your body, helping you move and be active in your daily life. These easy tips can help keep your bones healthy and protected from potential injuries. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, our orthopedic doctors are committed to protecting and enhancing the health of your bones. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620.



















Your Guide to Protecting Your Spine This Fall

We’re in the last week of summer, and many residents in the Clear Lake area are getting ready for the shift in season. However, those with back pain may be wondering what the new season means for their spine. As a leader in spine care, Houston Physicians’ Hospital understands that no one wants to suffer from back pain this season, so we’ve laid out some tips to help protect your spine this fall:


  1. Take Breaks from Activity

As the leaves fall during the new season, you may find yourself raking often. Be sure to take frequent breaks to help protect your spine. A study published in the journal Ergonomics shows that those who take frequent breaks from strenuous activity had significantly reduced back pain (1). Try taking a 5-10-minute break every hour as you rake leaves or do any other activity this fall to give your spine a rest and prevent discomfort.



  1. Keep an Eye on Your Posture

A frequent cause of back pain is poor posture. No matter what activity you do this fall, be sure to maintain proper form to avoid pain or injury of the spine. A study published in the journal Applied Ergonomics suggests a connection between improper posture and back pain, in which static and flexed postures causing discomfort in both the lower and upper back (2). To maintain your posture, pay attention to keeping your spine straight and avoiding any positions that cause strain or discomfort in the neck. Additionally, wearing supportive shoes can help aide in your posture.



  1. Stay Active

Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you can’t get your daily exercise in. The Journal of Physiotherapy published a study in which those who engaged in stabilization exercises reported a decrease in their chronic back pain (3). Be sure to keep active by joining a local gym for some indoor training when the weather isn’t ideal for outdoor exercise. Alternatively, there are plenty of indoor spine-strengthening workouts that can be completed from the comfort of your own home. No matter where you exercise, keeping active this fall can help keep you pain-free all season long.



  1. Take Some Time to Stretch

No matter if you plan on exercising or hanging fall decorations around the house, always take some time to stretch before any periods of extended activity. The journal Sports Medicine states that recent studies have shown that stretching before activity can be an important factor in preventing injury (4). Protect your back by doing some spine-focused stretches before activity, which can also prevent soreness the next day.


Don’t let back pain keep you from enjoying the season! Give the Spine Solutions Center at Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at 832-340-2134. We’re the leading name in spine management for the Clear Lake area.





























When Does Snoring Become an ENT Problem? These Signs Mean it’s Time to See a Specialist

Snoring can be quite disturbing to both you and your partner’s sleep, but typically, the occasional occurrence of snoring isn’t cause for concern. However, serious snoring can indicate an underlying issue that needs the expertise of an ENT specialist. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand that severe snoring can impact not only your quality of sleep, but also your health, so we’ve laid out some signs that mean it’s time to see an ENT doctor for your snoring.


What Causes Snoring?

Snoring occurs when the passages at the back of the mouth and nose become obstructed, limiting the free flow of air. As a result, the airway where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula strike against each other and vibrate, leading to the hoarse snoring sound. While snoring is common in many individuals, when it becomes excessive, it could be the result of an underlying issue that requires the help of an ENT specialist. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, severe snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This condition is characterized by multiple episodes of pauses in breathing that last more than 10 seconds at a time. This is as a result of the collapsing or narrowing of the upper airway. (1)


When Should I See an ENT Specialist for Snoring?

Because obstructive sleep apnea can lead to potential health risks, like a lower amount of oxygen in the blood and a disruption in the body’s normal sleep cycle, those who experience the following symptoms should seek the help of an ENT specialist:


  1. Hypersomnia

The Hypersomnia Foundation defines hypersomnia as a term used to define excessive daytime sleepiness (2). This is a symptom commonly found in those affected by sleep apnea, because the excessive snoring relating to this condition can hinder a deep, restful sleep, leaving those affected feeling fatigued when they are awake. Hypersomnia goes beyond the need for caffeine to help wake you up in the morning – symptoms can include being so sleepy that it can affect your ability to perform routine activities, like driving. Those suffering from hypersomnia as a result of snoring should seek the help of an ENT doctor to help diagnose the presence of obstructive sleep apnea.


  1. Your Snoring Wakes Yourself or Other People Up

The American Academy of Otolaryngology states that heavy snoring can result in the bed partner to experience sleepless nights and fatigue and could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (1). If your snoring has woken you or your partner up at night, it is an indicator that the snoring is serious enough to be a symptom of OSA. Speak to an ENT specialist to determine the best course of treatment.


  1. Difficulty Staying Asleep

The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry indicates a link between sleep disorders, like obstructive sleep apnea, and difficulty maintaining sleep (3). Also called insomnia, this difficulty in staying asleep is common with OSA, due to the pauses in breathing and heavy snoring obstructing the body’s ability to maintain a normal sleep schedule.


While snoring occasionally isn’t something to worry about, if you experience the above symptoms due to your snoring, it may be due to obstructive sleep apnea that needs to be diagnosed and treated by an ENT specialist. For ENT services in the Clear Lake area, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620.











4 Common Causes of Hip Problems & When You Should Seek Treatment

The summer months often consists of getting outdoors and getting active. Whether it’s walking along the beach or going out for a morning bike ride, the summer months are perfect for being active. However, those affected by hip pain may feel unable to perform their favorite seasonal activity. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand it can be difficult when hip pain holds you back, so we’ve laid out some helpful information on what may be causing your pain and when it’s time to seek orthopedic treatment:


  1. Osteoarthritis

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, osteoarthritis is the most common disorder of the joints in the United States (1). A variety of factors can cause this condition in the hips, including age and trauma. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cushioning cartilage in the hip joints begin to break down and cause the bones to rub against each other as you move.



  1. Stress Fractures

The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation cites repetitive movements that place excessive stress on the bone as the most common cause of stress fractures in the hip (2).  Typically, stress fractures occur in those involved in high-impact sports, or sports that place a lot of stress on the hip joints, like running.



  1. Snapping Hip Syndrome

According to The American Journal of Sports Medicine, snapping hips syndrome is characterized by hip pain, along with a “snapping” sound coming from the hip joints during movement, and is most common among young adults (3).  Typically, three causes lead to this syndrome: the IT band snapping over the outside of the thigh, the deep hip flexor snapping over the front of the hip joint, and tears of the cartilage that surrounds the hip socket.



  1. Hip Labral Tear

An article published in Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine describes the symptoms associated with a hip labral tear as groin pain, pain in the buttocks, and mechanical symptoms such as clicking or locking in the hip joint (4). This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including heredity conditions, trauma, and repetitive motions. A tear in the hip labrum can cause a large amount of pain, as it causes a disruption in the cartilage’s normal function of holding the ball of the thigh bone securely in the hip socket.



When Should I Seek Treatment for My Hip Pain?

Many of these conditions require the help from physicians at Houston Physicians’ Hospital in the Clear Lake area to help manage symptoms and receive the proper form of treatment. However, it can be difficult to determine when it’s time to seek a professional for your hip pain. Typically, the most common sign that you need to seek treatment is an inability to perform daily activities due to your hip pain. However, there are some other common symptoms that indicate it’s time for expert treatment:


  • Hip pain when at rest
  • Swelling, redness, or a warm sensation around the hip joint
  • Hip pain following an injury or fall
  • Sudden onset of hip pain


For those affected by hip pain in the Clear Lake area, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620. We’re a leading name in orthopedic pain management and treatment.






Use These Safety Tips to Protect Your Back During Summer Months

As summer continues here in Texas, many people with back problems wonder if their favorite activities can negatively affect their spine. As a leader in spine care in the Clear Lake area, Houston Physicians’ Hospital has some summer safety tips to help your back feel great all season long:



  1. Warm Up Before Playing Summer Sports

Impromptu sports games are a favorite summer activity in Webster, Texas, and the surrounding areas, but they can result in spinal injury without proper preparation. According to the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, stretching prior to physical activity decreases the risk of sustaining an injury (3). Spend about 10-15 minutes before playing any sports to warm up and reduce the risk of an injury that could hold you back from your favorite game.


  1. Pack Lightly for Vacation

When packing for your summer vacation, be sure to limit the amount of weight you’re packing into your suitcase. The Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine cites heavy lifting as one of the most commonly stated causes of lower back pain (4). To avoid over-packing that leads to back pain, search for hotels that have laundry facilities, so you can wash and re-wear clothes while traveling.


  1. Avoid Waterskiing

While waterskiing is a fun summer pastime, it is best avoided if you have back pain or have suffered from previous back problems. Due to the high-speed nature of waterskiing, a fall can result in a serious injury of the spine. In fact, The American Journal of Sports Medicine states that injuries sustained during waterskiing are comparable to trauma sustained during vigorous contact sports (2). To protect your spine from serious traumatic injury, it is best for those with back problems to avoid waterskiing.


  1. Check the Water

We all know the dangers of diving into shallow water, but it can be difficult to determine just how deep the water is at times, especially if the water is a bit murky. Unknowingly taking a dive into too-shallow water can lead to fractures in the vertebrae. According to documentation from Northwestern University-Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Unit, the most common levels of injury associated with diving were C-5 and C-6 vertebrae fractures (1). To avoid a potential spinal injury, always test the water’s depth before diving in.



These safety tips will help your back feel great throughout the season. For expert spine and pain management in the Houston Bay Area, visit the Spine Solutions Center at Houston Physicians’ Hospital at The Spine Solutions Center is dedicated to helping you get back to the things you love without back pain. Appointments available within 48 hours and no referral is needed.

























Four Ear Infection Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Ear infections can be a painful problem for children and adults alike. While some cases of ear infections can be treated at home, there are some symptoms that can indicate it’s time to see an ENT specialist before the infection turns into a severe problem. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand the importance of ENT health, so we’ve laid out some ear infection symptoms that mean it’s time to see an ear doctor:


  1. Sudden Onset of High Fever

Fever is often a common symptom associated with ear infections but be sure to keep an eye on your body temperature. Fever is the body’s response to an infection, but a sudden, high fever caused by your ear infection can indicate a more serious problem that needs to be addressed by a medical professional. According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, adults with fevers higher than 103 degrees that last for over 48 hours should seek medical attention (1).


  1. Swelling Under or Behind the Ear

Swelling behind or under the ear can occur in some cases of ear infections. While this swelling isn’t usually dangerous, it is still important to see an ear doctor when it occurs. It could indicate that the mastoid bone, located behind the ear, has become infected. According to the National Health Service, this condition, called mastoiditis, often occurs following an ear infection (2). If diagnosed and treated early, mastoiditis often resolves quickly with no complications. However, if left untreated, this condition can cause serious problems. As swelling is a key symptom of mastoiditis, it’s important to see an ENT specialist for ear swelling to rule out the possibility of this condition.


  1. Blood Coming from the Ear

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, a middle ear infection can sometimes result in a rupture of the eardrum, called an eardrum perforation (3). When this happens, built up fluid is able to drain from the ear. If you notice bloody drainage coming from your ear, you’ll need to see an ear doctor for a professional diagnosis. Some eardrum perforations may require surgery to fully heal. Even if surgery is not required, your ENT specialist can treat the perforation and help protect it from further damage caused by water or trauma.


  1. Inability to Move Normally

According to the National Institutes of Health, an ear infection can cause balance problems, as the vestibular system that helps control balance is affected (4). When your ear infection affects your ability to balance, the condition is called labyrinthitis. While labyrinthitis may slightly affect your sense of balance, it should not impair your overall ability to move normally. If your ear infection is accompanied by difficulty with everyday movement, you may need to see an ENT specialist. In severe cases of labyrinthitis, vestibular rehabilitation therapy is needed to help regain normal function. Your specialist will be able to determine which method of treatment is needed for your situation.


Ear infections usually resolve on their own with only mild symptoms. However, if you notice any of the above listed symptoms, it’s best to see your ENT specialist to rule out any severe problems. For the leading ENT treatments in the Clear Lake area give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620 or learn more at














The Top 5 Tips to Increase Your Bone Health This Summer

Most people don’t think of “bone health” when they think of summer. Instead, many people think of sunny days, beach vacations, and splashing around in the pool. However, summer is actually the perfect time to focus on the health of your bones. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we know the importance of taking care of your bones, so we’ve listed some ways to increase bone health this summer:


  1. Snack on Seasonal, Polyphenol-Rich Foods

Thanks to ample sunshine and warm weather, produce is abundant in the summer. Much of this produce is rich in polyphenols, a group of plant-based chemicals. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, polyphenols also play a role in bone health, with an association between increased polyphenol intake and decreased risk of bone fractures (1). This season try increasing your intake of blackberries, raspberries, beets, or cherries to give your bones a boost of polyphenols.



  1. Spend Time in the Sun

Spending time in the sun is an easy way to help your bones this summer. Sunlight helps our body produce vitamin D, which allows our body to produce calcium. The National Osteoporosis Foundation states that those who do not get enough vitamin D are at a greater risk for broken bones and bones loss (2). For your daily dose of vitamin D, try spending at least 20-30 minutes a day in direct sunlight. Just remember to use sunscreen.



  1. Take Some Time to Relax

Believe it or not, your mental health can impact the physical health of your bones. When you don’t take time to relax, stress can easily build up. This stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which the National Center for Biotechnology Information cites as a factor for bone loss (3). To keep your bones at their best, be sure to take some time to relax this summer. Spend some time in the pool, take your dog to the park, or enjoy another fun summer activity to help reduce stress levels and bone-damaging cortisol production.



  1. Go for a Walk

While you may want to avoid going for a walk when the sun is at its brightest, it’s still important to get some movement into your day. The National Institutes of Health state that bones, like muscle, respond to exercise by becoming stronger (4). This means that daily exercise can help reverse the effects of bone loss as we age, as it makes them more resilient against breakdown. A walk is the perfect option this summer to get up and get some exercise. Aim for 30 minutes of movement a day, preferably indoors or when the sunlight is not at its brightest.



  1. Stay Away from the Cola

Many people enjoy a daily cola during the summer, but it’s best to avoid this sugary drink for the sake of your bones. The National Center for Biotechnology Information shows an association between cola consumption and lower bone mineral density (5). To keep hydrated and support your bone health, milk or water are better options. You can even add some fresh, seasonal fruit to your water for a flavor boost.


These tips will help keep your bones at their best all year long. Houston Physicians’ Hospital is the leading orthopedic hospital for Clear Lake, Texas, and the surrounding areas. Give us a call at (281) 557-5620.




























Is It Allergies or Something More? Here’s When to See an ENT Specialist

Summer is here, and many residents in the Clear Lake and the surrounding areas are finding themselves dealing with allergy symptoms. While allergies are often a normal occurrence during the warmer months, they can become severe and need to be addressed by an ENT specialist. We know your health is important here at Houston Physicians’ Hospital, so we’ve laid out some signs that mean it’s time to visit an ENT doctor for your allergies:


  1. You Frequently Have Sinus Problems

If you often find yourself suffering from sinus problems such as sinus infections or severe sinus pain, it may be time to speak with a medical professional about the possibility of an ENT problem. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology states that those who have allergies are at a greater risk for infections and other problems with the sinuses (1).



  1. OTC Treatments Have Not Worked

Typically, it is best to try OTC (over the counter) methods to treat allergies before speaking to an ENT specialist. In fact, the American Journal of Managed Care estimates that 57% of allergy sufferers are able to treat their allergies using OTC treatment methods (2). However, if you have tried different OTC medications to treat your allergies and still suffer from persistent symptoms, it can mean you need to speak with an ENT specialist.



  1. Breathing is Extremely Difficult

While a stuffy nose is a common symptom of normal allergies, it shouldn’t cause breathing to become extremely difficult. If you suffer from breathing difficulties along with your allergies, you may have a condition called “allergic asthma.” According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergic asthma is a condition in which allergens trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing or difficulty breathing (3). Speak to a medical professional as quickly as possible if breathing is extremely difficult as a result of your allergies.



  1. Your Symptoms Interfere with Your Daily Life

The National Sleep Foundation cites that allergy symptoms can make it difficult to sleep at night (4). If your allergy symptoms are getting in the way of your regular sleep cycle, you should seek treatment from an ENT specialist. Also consider whether your allergies affect any other aspects of your life, such as your exercise routine or your appetite. Allergy symptoms can be challenging to deal with, but if they are holding you back from your daily life, it’s time to seek treatment from a medical professional.


Allergies can hinder many people’s summer plans, but they shouldn’t control your life. For professional allergy management, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at (281) 557-5620. We proudly offer expert ENT treatments in Clear Lake and the surrounding areas.