Four out of five Americans will have an attack of back pain during their lifetime. Many people are doomed to endless visits to the back doctor. That's because once you have your first back pain attack, you are four times more likely to have a recurrence. If you have back or neck pain, we are now in a position to help.
Augusta Back is a spine center that takes a multidisciplinary “team approach” to spine care.
Augusta Back has six neurosurgeons who do a large volume of spine surgeries, teamed with a pain management specialist and spine-specialized physical therapy — all under one roof.
The problem with back and neck pain is that care is often fragmented, forcing the patient to travel to multiple offices in the quest for relief of back pain. Patients often have to drive from a spine physician’s office for X-rays, a second location for an MRI, a third location for pain-relieving injections, and then a fourth location for physical therapy. By putting all these services under one roof, the patient can benefit from improved coordination of care with the entire team of specialists in spine talking to each other about your case all in one location. The end result is that the patient is often able to return to activity with a non-surgical approach.
The Augusta Back physicians already see a variety of complex cases from across Georgia and South Carolina. Augusta Back emphasizes a non-surgical approach to back pain, recognizing that in most cases spine surgery should be the last card to be played after non-surgical options have been tried. About half of patients are referred to Augusta Back by other doctors in the region. Augusta Back also cares for those who injure themselves at the workplace. We recognize that the injured worker AND THE EMPLOYER both want a fast recovery and a quick return to work. We are sensitive to the needs and feedback related to work comp patients.
Pain relief through a focus on function
Pain is a signal from the body to the brain that something is wrong. Either the back is too weak, too inflexible, something lifted was too heavy or the wrong body mechanics were used. Too many times, however, well-intentioned doctors can focus exclusively on pain symptoms and often recommend a course of treatment that is the exact opposite of what the individual needs to recover from the back problem.
Years ago, for example, doctors treated back pain with bed rest and heavy drugs to mask the discomfort. It was found, however, that this type of treatment was actually damaging to the back, because it caused muscles in the back to get weaker, in turn, causing more strain and pain. Patients became more dependent on drugs and grew more inactive and disabled.
Augusta Back recognizes that recovering from back and neck pain is best accomplished with an emphasis on exercise.
An internal pain specialist is often able to relieve some back and neck pain symptoms with special injections that enable a patient to bridge to therapy. Spine specialized therapists in turn use customized hands-on treatments to relieve pain symptoms, along with special exercises to help make the back stronger, more flexible and resistant to injury. If non-surgical treatments are not successful, AugustaBack surgeons are trained and proficient in the latest techniques in minimally invasive spine surgery.
Augusta Back physicians are able to care for any type of back or neck problem, from the simple back or neck strain all the way to the most complex spine surgery. Because Augusta Back has MRI, X-ray and injection suite capabilities in close proximity, the back or neck pain patient no longer has to drive around town for care. Having all the necessary diagnostic testing and non-operative treatment under one roof eliminates multiple referrals, delayed care and confusion.
In some cases, a patient may have emergency symptoms that need to be seen within 24 hours by a spine specialist. This can include numbness, weakness or pain that extends down a leg or arm past the knee or elbow, or when you have loss of control of bowel or bladder. Secondly, any time a person has suffered a traumatic injury like an abrupt fall or car accident that causes back or neck pain, this is an emergency signal. This educational web site covers many of these symptoms related to back or neck pain problems.