Your First Step for Back or Joint Pain
Wed, 11/30/2011 - 11:59am | Chirag Kalola, M.D.
Do you have back pain? Do you experience joint pain? The first step toward regaining function may be a visit to a physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physician.
PM&R physicians are specialists who complete four years of residency training in the diagnosis, non-operative treatment and rehabilitation of neurological and musculoskeletal disorders that impact function.
The vast majority of patients referred to a surgeon for a back or joint pain complaint do NOT require surgery, so these patients may better be served by a PM&R physician who offers a number of diagnostic and therapeutic options.
PM&R physicians prescribe evidence-based medical treatments, such as physical, occupational and/or aquatic therapy and interventional spinal injections. As part of a patient’s care, PM&R physicians may order laboratory and radiology tests as needed, evaluate for and prescribe assistive devices to enhance function, perform fluoroscopic guided injections and recommend and manage medications.
PM&R physicians may also perform an electrodiagnostic study (EMG), which involves the recording of responses to electrical stimulation in order to evaluate the nerves and identify nerve problems that could cause pain.
Spine pain can be one of the most frustrating of all health problems because the spine’s complexity makes diagnosing the exact source of pain immensely difficult. In fact, many musculoskeletal problems can mimic spine pain. Although somewhat rare, abdominal or pelvic problems can also present with back pain. This is why it is important that a patient with spine pain receive a thorough evaluation by a PM&R physician.
At the Good Shepherd Spine & Joint Center, we treat a variety of spinal disorders, including neck and back pain, sciatica, discogenic pain, herniated disc pain, facet joint pain, sacroiliac joint pain and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The musculoskeletal disorders treated, but not limited to, include: shoulder, knee and hip joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, bicep tendonitis, tennis elbow (epicondylitis), bursitis, osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tendinitis, muscle injuries and pain, and nerve entrapment.
Non-operative therapies offered include injections for: epidural, facet joint/dorsal medial nerve blocks, selective nerve root, sacroiliac joint, wrist/carpal tunnel, joints (including hyaluronic and knee injections), and tendonitis/bursitis.
To schedule an evaluation with a PM&R physician, call the Good Shepherd Spine & Joint Center at 610-778-1050 or visit the Spine & Joint Center webpage.