Non-Surgical

As a convenience to our patients we offer, through our Neuroscience Institute , Pain Management, Physical Medicine, Physical Therapy and state of the art diagnostic imaging with MRI and CT. This allows patients access to comprehensive care in one central location.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Conservative or non-surgical treatment recommendations are specific for each patient, and may include simple activity adjustment, posture changes, nutrition and weight loss intervention, and medications including anti-inflammatories. More specific interventions include physical therapy, massage therapy, and bracing. Some alternative therapies include chiropractic and acupuncture. We individualize our recommendations based on prior treatment, location of and duration of treatment, response, individual diagnosis, as well as the physical, emotional, and financial impact on each individual patient.

Acute Back and Neck Pain

For acute (new onset) back pain or neck pain we recommend a common sense approach to activity adjustment. Basically if it hurts then avoid the activity. If this is a work-related problem be certain that you have properly reported it. Limit sitting as that actually increases stress on the lower back. Rest in bed if needed, but more than 3 days of bedrest may increase stiffness; place pillows behind your knees to help relieve tension on the lower back. Support your head and sore neck with a comfortable pillow. We recommend Advil or Aleve for pain and inflammation-check with your pharmacist or medical doctor to be certain that these medications are safe for you. Use either heat or ice as needed. In general if the area is very tender to touch then ice will work better. Please see our Symptoms section for additional information.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often an effective way to treat back pain or neck pain, and an invaluable tool in recovery from brain injury. When used as a treatment for back pain and neck pain, physical therapy focuses on initial modalities and stretching to reduce pain and inflammation; next is education in proper body mechanics, then strengthening muscles and increasing flexibility through a variety of exercises. This regimen can help patients avoid re-injury when performing everyday activities such as bending, lifting, or stretching.

Following surgery, many patients need help to regain full movement and function. Working with a physical therapist on a treatment plan custom-designed with physician input and specific to the patient’s occupation will help individuals regain proper core strength. This will help provide adequate support for the lower back, and a safer return to work.

We have a trusted group of physical therapists, PT Solutions, conveniently located on the first floor of our Neuroscience Institute. They also have additional locations in town and in outlying areas. We also try to use similar groups in outlying areas to improve patient convenience and compliance.

Injections

Consideration may also be given to one or more of the following injections performed by an anesthesiologist specializing in Pain Management.

Epidural steroid injection

This procedure is ordered for either the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine in order to relieve pain. This involves injection of steroid into the space outside the nerve sac or spinal cord. Sedation may be used and it is best to bring someone with you in order to drive you home. Rest is recommended for the day of the injection and the day after. Relief of pain may be experienced immediately after the injection, but sometimes it requires a few days to experience maximum relief.

Selective nerve root block

This procedure is similar to epidural steroid injection, but is more localized. It may be utilized also for diagnostic purposes. By numbing a specific nerve, information is gained about whether or not that specific nerve is the source of pain. Steroids are usually injected as well.

Facet blocks

This procedure involves injecting the joints of the spine usually in patients with degenerative arthritic conditions or instability. Local anesthesia is used to block the small nerves to the joints, and steroids are used to reduce the inflammation.

 


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