Physicians trained in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (also known as Physical Medicine or Physiatry) finish four years of medical school and continue training in a four to five year residency/fellowship program. Training focuses on the neurological system, brain, spine, bones, joints, muscles, and nerves. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation focuses on restoring patients to their best functional level without surgery. Through methods such as physical therapy, SpineMED, spinal injections, electromyography (EMG), and pain management, your Physical Medicine physician will tailor a custom treatment plan to fit your needs and medical condition.

SpineMED, a non-surgical disc decompression treatment, is an alternative to spine surgery for many suffering with neck and back pain. Reaching up to 86% in effectiveness, this treatment works for degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, disc hernation, facet syndrome, and failed back surgery syndrome. SpineMED is an FDA approved treatment that does not involve surgery, injections, or anything invasive. Treatments are painless, and patients often watch TV or fall asleep during treatments. This therapy reduces the pressure inside the discs and spine, allowing fluids and nutrients to enter to help heal the problem and restore function. For each treatment you lie on a state-of-the-art computer controlled table that does all the work for you. Click here to learn more.

Your doctor may prescribe a cause of physical therapy as part of your treatment plan. This involves seeing a physical therapist at a physical therapy center. After a detailed initial evaluation, you will work with your physical therapist for multiple treatment sessions. A personalized hands-on approach is used to help reduce pain and restore function. Afterwards, a custom exercise program is developed for you to continue with exercises at home.

Spinal injections are a much less invasive, conservative treatment option for patients struggling with spine pain. They are often considered before spine surgery is offered. Injections can be useful for relieving pain and often for determining the source of a patient’s pain. Because the medication is delivered right to the spine, they often can be much more successful than oral medications. Usually a steroid medication is used to provide strong anti-inflammatory properties to reduce swelling, promote healing, and reduce pain. Because an experienced doctor has many alternatives to choose from an office visit is suggested so a thorough history and physical exam can be conducted to determine the best course of treatment for you.

The cause of your muscle pain or spasms may be one or more trigger points. Your doctor may decide to inject these spots to relax the muscle and help relieve your pain. Relaxing the muscle can also make movement easier.

An EMG/Nerve Conduction Study (EMG) is a specialized test to determine if nerve or muscle damage is present. The physician will stimulate your nerves just as your brain stimulates them. To accomplish this, small electric shocks are delivered to the surface of the skin and electrodes (like stickers) are placed in specific positions to pick up your nerve response. The second part of the test requires the physician to insert a small acupuncture-like pin into a few selected muscles, one at a time. This is done so he can look and listen to your neuromuscular electrical activity.

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