Living With Back Pain? 3 Ways A Physiatrist Can Help

Health & Medical Blog

Living with persistent back pain can be incredibly challenging, especially if you have small children who need to be picked up frequently or you work in a field that requires constant physical movement. Fortunately, with the help of a physiatrist, you can address back pain appropriately and alleviate discomfort. Here is a little extra information about how a physiatrist can help you. 

1.    Physical Therapy

Physiatrists, also called PM&R doctors for their understanding of physical medicine and rehabilitation, focus on helping people through the rigors of physical disabilities, such as back problems. Because of their innate understanding of the mechanics of the human body, physiatrists typically start with helping with physical therapy. 

After ordering diagnostic imaging such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to understand your specific anatomy and injuries, physiatrists may recommend a course of physical therapy to help you to overcome targeted challenges. For instance, if range of motion actoins are difficult for you, your physical therapy sessions may target specific issues that could inhibit your movement. During physical therapy, your movements will be carefully monitored to prevent additional injuries. 

2.    Spinal Injections

To make it easier to move without pain, your doctor may prescribe spinal injections to alleviate back pain. While there are a variety of injections that can be helpful, corticosteroid injections placed into the epidural space can help to quell inflammation and reduce pain, improving your ability to move without pain.  

Injections can be helpful for a wide range of conditions that contribute to back pain, including spinal stenosis, disc herniations, and sciatica. However, the procedure is not without risks, so talk with your physiatrist about the risks before you move forward. 

3.    Nerve Stimulation Sessions

Another way that physiatrists may help to soothe your back pain comes by way of gentle electroshock therapy. By applying small, electrically conductive pads to your back and running a controlled current through the lines, physiatrists can gently stimulate the muscles of the area, prompting the spot to relax. 

Nerve stimulation sessions are typically only a few minutes long, but they can provide lasting relief, especially when combined with treatments such as physical therapy and medications. 

If you are thinking about meeting with a physiatrist, ask for a referral from your normal family doctor, and don't forget to check things like patient reviews and clinic websites beforehand. Look for a physician with experience and positive client recommendations, and don't be afraid to ask for a tour of the back pain management facility before you get started with your sessions. 


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