Spine rehabilitation for patients with spinal cord injuries or debilitating back pain can make a significant difference in the patient’s quality of life. With proper rehabilitation, it is possible for a person who has suffered a traumatic spine injury or spine degeneration to return to maximum spine function.
Ultimately, a failure to adequately treat and recover from a spinal problem can result in limited mobility, poor range of motion, depression, inability to maintain gainful employment, and the loss of ability to enjoy life and pursue hobbies, education, and community involvement.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a back or spine problem, an experienced spinal surgeon can examine you and your medical history to determine which spine rehabilitation measures could most benefit you.
Goals of Spine Rehabilitation
Back rehabilitation is an ongoing process and involves trying an array of spinal treatments to resolve symptoms. Sometimes, spine rehabilitation can be accomplished through a few simple treatments. Other times, spinal rehabilitation involves numerous treatment methods. Regardless of how intricate the spine rehabilitation becomes, a skilled spinal surgeon will keep in mind general treatment goals, such as:
- Pain reduction and management
- Regaining mobility
- Restoring feeling and function
- Improving quality of life for patients
- Providing patient support at every level of recovery
- Helping recovering patients reach performance goals
Spine rehabilitation can be a complex process. No two patients are the same, and similar treatments for similar conditions may not always have the same effect. In most cases, patients opt to pursue nonsurgical treatments and then move on to surgical options if conservative nonsurgical treatments do not produce the desired improvement in back pain or a spinal condition.
Nonsurgical spine rehabilitation treatment options include but are not limited to:
- Physical therapy
- Pain medication
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Spinal decompression therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Rehabilitation exercises
- Steroid injections
- Heat therapy
- Electrical spine stimulation
- Trigger point injections
- Anesthetic or nerve blocking injections
- Epidural injections
Surgical spine rehabilitation may not always be the first step surgeons choose to try, but when necessary, surgical treatment for back, neck, and spine pain can be effective and produce life-changing results. Surgical back rehabilitation includes such procedures as:
- Spinal fusion surgery
- Spine stabilization
- Artificial disc replacement
- Laminectomy, or removal of bony overgrowths
- Discectomy / Microdiscectomy
- Spinal disc arthroplasty for joint repair
- Minimally invasive and image-guided spinal surgery
- Traditional open spine surgery
Consult an Experienced Spine Surgeon
Because spine rehabilitation is not a one-size-fits-all process, it is important to work with a skilled and compassionate spinal surgeon who can create an individualized spine rehabilitation plan for each patient based on a detailed review of their medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing results.
It is also wise to discuss with your spinal surgeon how well they keep abreast of new research and recommendations regarding safety and efficacy of emerging back rehabilitation treatments.
Regardless of what spine rehabilitation therapies are ultimately right for you, an experienced spinal surgeon will be committed to helping you achieve relief of your back, neck, and spine pain with minimally invasive procedures whenever possible.