Working Through Back Pain: July 19, 2014

Chronic back pain can overtake a person’s life, making even a small movement a chore. Adding to the stress and strain is the constant struggle to find relief.

“There’s definitely patients out there that have been so accustomed to getting pain relief from pills that they’ve never really thought about the other side of it,” says Tom Reid, who is a physical therapist for Lee Memorial Health System.

The other side being therapy. While it may not fix the underlying problem, many times the right treatments can lessen the dependence on meds and help avoid surgery. Patients can explore their options at Lee Memorial Health System’s Spine Center.

“We do range of motion assessment, strength assessment. We’ll check functional movements. We try to do some diagnostic tests, special tests for neurological tension, things like that to try to develop an idea of what’s going on with the patient,” says Reid. “Is this more related to joint pain? Is it more related to neurological tension? Is it a weakness problem?”

A team of professionals look at the evaluation and draw up a treatment plan. It may involve aspects of pain management along with physical therapy. Studies find the team approach has been proven to go the distance in giving patients long-term satisfaction.

The Spine Center houses a variety of medical specialists able to give assessments, injection treatments, and referrals. People can also do their physical therapy here.

“We want to make sure we’re treating the patient in this clinic, so that they’re exposed to the doctors right there,” says Reid.

The Spine Center model is becoming widely adopted. By working together, patients can many times push through their pain.