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Nonsurgical Relief for Your Lower Back Pain at the Rothman Institute

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Caring for her young daughter was no longer an option for Rachel. She slipped a disc while picking her daughter up one day. Afterward, she could do nothing but lie flat, and even then she was in tremendous pain.

Most everyone will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. It is the second most common reason Americans make an appointment with their primary care physician, outnumbered only by the common cold. Interestingly, physicians at the Rothman Institute tend to see more people with back pain during tough economic times, indicating that stress has something to do with it. The pain can range from a dull, persistent ache to a sudden, stabbing pain.

Men and women 30 to 55 years of age are likely to experience back pain resulting from a strain or from the disc space itself, such as disc herniation, as opposed to a structural problem with the spine. Acute back pain typically comes on suddenly and lasts for a few days to a few weeks. Chronic back pain lasts for more than three months. Most cases, acute and chronic, can be treated without surgery.

Rachel made an appointment with a doctor at the Rothman Institute, “My doctor understood exactly what type of pain I was in, and he knew how to help me.”

Rachel’s primary goal was to get back to taking care of her daughter as soon as possible. While surgery was an option, it was not ideal, because it can involve a lengthy recovery time. Rachel was relieved that a steroid injection was all the treatment she needed. She recovered very quickly and was able to get back to her daily activities, including working out.

According to Alex Vaccaro, MD, PhD, a spine surgeon at the Rothman Institute, 80 percent of back pain gets better within three months with nothing more than rest and activity modification. However, staying in bed for more than a day or two can actually make the situation worse.

“Most of the people we see in our clinic are those whose back and leg pain does not get better after three months,” states Dr. Vaccaro. “Even in these cases, 95 percent of them can be treated without surgery. Surgery is only recommended after all other options have been exhausted. Our physicians support modalities with low-risk profiles and limit invasive approaches such as surgery.”

The Rothman Institute has a coordinated, multidisciplinary nonoperative back pain program.

“My preference is for patients to attend a wellness physical therapy program,” comments Dr. Vaccaro. “We have an extensive physical therapy network at various hospitals and clinics throughout the greater Philadelphia area.”Exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain by strengthening the back and abdominal muscles.

Internationally recognized for excellence in orthopaedic science and technology, the Rothman Institute has been providing high-quality, compassionate, and affordable musculoskeletal care for more than 40 years. To find out how the physicians at the Rothman Institute can help you, call 1-800-321-9999 today. Who knows, your success story could be featured on the Rothman Institute website.