Tips to Achieving the Most Successful Outcome with Back Pain- for Patients
Painful spine disorders can be quite disruptive. A comprehensive approach is required to best provide independence from your painful condition. Here are a handful of themes or tips you may consider when dealing with a bad back:
- Get the right diagnosis so you can get the right treatment.
For example, sciatica, although it is a commonly used term, is not a specific diagnosis; its symptoms may be the result of conditions such as a herniated disc in younger adults or stenosis in older adults.
- Identify the source.
DePalma’s internationally acclaimed research has helped better predict the source of different types of back pain, so he can be strategic in prescribing an effective treatment plan. The first step in any effective treatment plan is an accurate diagnosis.
- Take a team approach.
Healthcare delivery today is more complex than ever and involves many people working together to care for you every step of the way. At Virginia iSpine Physicians, a team of physicians, medical assistants, and administrators collaborate to provide patients access to the care they need.
- Know your options.
Your doctor’s ultimate goal should be to help you become more independent from your spine ailment, but each patient is different. At Virginia iSpine Physicians, specialists engage the patient in physician-patient decision making to outline treatment options.Virginia iSpine Physicians’ specialists use research findings to design sensible treatment plans using minimally invasive procedures.
- Get the facts.
One of the most important things your doctor can do is to provide you with comprehensive, comprehensible information about your condition. As Dr. DePalma says, “In medicine, sometimes we can cure, often times we can manage, but absolutely every time, we can educate the patient about their condition.” Understanding what’s going on with your spine and why, as well as what your treatment options and likely outcomes are, can reassure you and ease your worries.
- Stay up to date.
You deserve access to the best new treatment options. Virginia iSpine Physicians has an active research arm, at the forefront of innovations in the field. Dr. DePalma is an internationally recognized pioneer, who has acted as lead investigator in a number of clinical trials on back pain and has won awards for both his research and his clinical practice. Virginia iSpine Physician’s team of experts give patients access to new discoveries and advanced technologies.
- Change what you can.
There are three broad factors that play a role in degenerative spine disorders: genetics, environment, and biomechanics. Of these three factors, two are modifiable. Virginia iSpine Physicians coaches patients on small biomechanical modifications that can help reduce strain on their back.
- Develop habits for a healthy spine.
For example, when leaning towards the mirror while brushing your teeth or shaving, don’t just bend forward, but lean on one straightened arm instead. This lightens the load on your spine and reduces use of long muscles in the back that can create a harmful compressive force.
- Examine your ergonomic environment.
Employers should look for ways to reduce strain for employees who do repetitive tasks or heavy lifting. Have someone look at the ergonomic environment at work, and see if there are ways to, for example, use leverage rather than bearing when lifting heavy materials.
- Take a break.
Sitting at a desk all day can take a toll on your spine health. Aim to shift position in your seat every 10-15 minutes, constantly loading and off loading your spine. Every 20-30 minutes, get up and walk around, or just stand for a moment. You may also consider raising your chair height.
- We’re here to help.
Virginia iSpine Physicians is your information source, sharing the knowledge it has gathered as an authority on interventional spine care. Take responsibility for your spine health by educating yourself.