JFK Medical Center North Campus
Located in the heart of West Palm Beach, our 250-bed acute care facility has more than 30 years of experience in providing the highest quality of care to our community.

Understanding Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease; it’s a medical condition that involves the rubbery discs located between the vertebrae, or bones, of your spine. If the doctors at your hospital’s spine program diagnose you with degenerative disc disease, it means that the discs have begun to break down. 

Degenerative Disc Diseases

Causes and Complications

Your spine doctor will likely tell you that degenerative disc disease is a process related to aging that happens in many people. The discs naturally contain fluid, which helps them stay flexible. As you age, however, they will begin to lose fluid, leading to degeneration. If you are overweight, smoke cigarettes, or frequently lift heavy objects, you are more likely to develop degenerative disc disease. Sometimes, this condition can lead to complications, such as a herniated disc. This occurs when the inner material of the disc bulges out through the exterior.

Possible Symptoms

Degenerative disc disease can sometimes cause pain. However, some patients might experience no pain at all, while others complain of severe pain. The discomfort typically worsens with actions such as twisting or bending over. In addition, the pain may radiate to other areas of the body, such as your limbs and buttocks.

Diagnostic Measures

At the hospital, the doctor will perform an exam and ask you about your symptoms. You may be referred to the radiology department of the hospital for imaging tests, such as X-rays.

Treatment Options

Usually, ice or heat therapy is recommended to alleviate pain. The doctor might also recommend anti-inflammatory drugs or pain relievers. Physical therapy is often beneficial for those with degenerative disc disease. In severe cases, you might be referred to a spine program for surgery.

Explore your treatment options at The Orthopedic and Spine Institute of West Palm Hospital. Our physical therapists and board-certified orthopedic surgeons can help restore you to health. You can reach our full-service hospital at (561) 842-6141 to schedule your next visit. 

Free Smoking Cessation Program

Smoking Cessation Flyer 10-2013

Are you struggling to quit smoking? We at West Palm Hospital can help! Join us Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in the Administrative Classroom for our one-hour smoking cessation program. This free program has been proven effective and provides group support, relapse prevention and free nicotine replacement therapy.

Please RSVP to (561) 863-3958, and visit our website for more information about our classes and events. 

Act F.A.S.T. to Spot a Stroke

Stopwatch in a hand

Emergency department doctors strongly recommend learning the warning signs of a stroke. By knowing what to look for, you can get emergency medical care to reduce the possibility of permanent complications of a stroke. A useful way to remember the warning signs of a stroke is the F.A.S.T. acronym. The first three letters refer to a specific symptom, while the “T” stands for “time” to remind you to get medical help right away.

The first letter stands for “face.” If the person’s face begins to droop on one side, it likely indicates a stroke. One way to spot this is by assessing whether the person’s smile is lopsided. The second letter stands for “arms.” If the person tries to raise both arms, yet one of them drops, it indicates severe weakness or numbness. The third letter stands for “speech.” Assess whether the person is slurring his or her words or cannot speak at all.

Emergency medical help can save a person’s life. If you have any questions about the emergency services available at West Palm Hospital, please call (561) 842-6141 or visit our website for more information.

Causes and Treatment Options for a Ventral Hernia

Sometimes, the human body behaves in mysterious ways. Even if you consider yourself to be fairly healthy, you could still suffer a condition that brings you to West Palm Hospital. A ventral hernia, or a hernia that occurs in the front area of the abdomen, is one such condition. The medical team at West Palm Hospital urges patients to learn about the potential causes of ventral hernias and available treatment options. 

man with indigestion


A hernia is a protrusion of tissue that extends beyond an organ’s normal tissue wall. It usually occurs as a result of muscle weakness combined with strain. There are many potential causes of ventral hernias, including severe bouts of coughing, improper weight training, and sudden trauma. Types of ventral hernias include incisional hernia, which occurs along a surgical incision; epigastric hernia, which develops just below the chest; and Spigelian hernia, which develops on the side of the abdomen.

Treatment Options

Symptoms of a ventral hernia include a visible protrusion of the abdomen, abdominal pain, and vomiting in severe cases. Some ventral hernias pose no significant threat to the patient, and thus don’t require any treatment. The only treatment for a ventral hernia is surgery, during which the surgeon puts the herniated organ back in its rightful place. To prevent the ventral hernia from recurring, a surgeon may place a piece of mesh over the affected area.


While surgery can be effective, the ideal solution is to prevent a ventral hernia from occurring in the first place. To keep your abdominal organs from herniating, be sure to learn proper weight lifting techniques and keep your weight within a normal range. Risk factors for a ventral hernia include smoking, eating fatty foods, and exercising too hard or incorrectly.

If you suspect that you have a ventral hernia, schedule an appointment at West Palm Hospital by calling (561) 842-6141. We’re proud to provide swift and effective medical care to residents of West Palm Beach. If your hernia requires a trip to the emergency room, be sure to use our Text ER service to check current ER wait times.  

The Importance of Recognizing Symptoms of a Stroke

Your brain needs a constant supply of blood in order to function properly. When the blood supply to the brain is cut off or significantly reduced, the brain cells begin to die. This is called a stroke. Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and ranks among the top causes of death. The serious, life-threatening consequences of a stroke make it critical to get emergency medical help as soon as possible.

Watch this video to learn a helpful way of remembering the main signs of a stroke. If you notice these symptoms in yourself or another person, don’t delay taking action—call for emergency medical assistance right away.

West Palm Hospital has a full-service emergency department in West Palm Beach with highly trained doctors who can administer life-saving treatments promptly. To learn more about our services, which include minimally invasive surgery and women’s services, call us today at (561) 842-6141.

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