Spine Therapy

What Is Orthopedic Spine Therapy?

Orthopedic spine therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy for injuries or pain originating in the back, neck, shoulders, and/or pelvis. It is non-invasive, meaning that no surgery is involved. Spine therapy is used to treat a variety of medical conditions or as part of a recovery program following surgery. Whereas physical therapy is a generalized approach to rehabilitation, spine therapy targets the skeletal structure, muscle groups, and intervertebral discs of the spinal column for adjustment, pain relief, posture correction, and functional improvement. Spine therapy is conducted by orthopedic spine therapists rather than physical therapists.

Spinal pain is surprisingly common, with as many as 80 percent of all Americans experiencing it at one point or another during their lifetime. It can be debilitating and is often recurrent. If back or a related pain is troubling you, arrange to see the orthopedic specialists at Baptist Health.

Who Receives Spine Therapy?

Spine therapy is utilized in treating persons with:

  • Chronic or severe neck, shoulder, back, and/or hip pain
  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
  • Spondylolisthesis (slipped disc)
  • Disc herniation
  • Disc degeneration
  • Facet syndrome
  • Sciatica (leg pain)
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sacral dysfunction
  • Post-surgical pain or discomfort

Spine therapy isn’t right for everyone. It is not recommended for persons with bone fractures, cancerous tumors, spinal implants, severe osteoporosis, or abdominal aortic aneurysms. 

How Does Spine Therapy Work?

Treatment of back or related pain by spine therapy typically involves the following steps:

  • Examination and analysis to determine the nature of the medical condition.
  • Development of a treatment plan specific to the individual patient and his or her needs.
  • Treatment of injured muscles and joints by means of stretching and manipulation, physical exercise, hot and cold therapy, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation.
  • Education regarding spinal anatomy and how to perform domestic or workplace activities without harming the back, neck, shoulders, and hips.
  • Strategies for handling progressive or chronic spinal conditions.

Spine therapy encompasses a number of treatment approaches:

  • Specially designed exercise programs
  • Core stabilization
  • Stretching and flexibility regimens
  • Traction
  • Joint massage and manipulation
  • Muscle massage and manipulation
  • Posture and body mechanics enhancement
  • Aquatic therapy

The time required for spine therapy varies according to the nature and extent of the injury. It also depends on the degree of coordination taking place with other forms of medical treatment. A typical session lasts between 30 minutes and an hour. Therapy may be scheduled from one to four times a week, for a period of a few weeks to a few months.

How Do I Start Spine Therapy?

Orthopedic spine therapy is a proven means of healing tissue, reducing pain, and regaining mobility for persons suffering from back injuries and disorders. It accomplishes this without surgery but also works well with other forms of care. Spine therapy has the additional advantage of being an alternative method of pain management, without the risk of abuse associated with opioid and other potentially addictive medications. Contact your Baptist Health physician to get started.

Next Steps with MyChart

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