A center of excellence
AUGUSTA BACK: A TEAM APPROACH TO CARE
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 multidisciplinary, regional center of excellence for the treatment of back and neck problems. 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. It includes physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians dedicated to the nonsurgical management of spine problems, spine surgeons who can handle complex spine problems and spine-specialized physical therapists and diagnostics — all under one roof. Because Augusta Back has MRI, X-ray and injection suite capabilities nearby, the back or neck pain patient no longer has to drive around town for care. All the necessary diagnostic testing and non-operative treatment under one roof eliminates the need for multiple referrals, delayed care and confusion.
A nonsurgical approach to back and neck pain
What makes our spine center unique is its emphasis on a nonsurgical approach to back and neck problems. Augusta Back has specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation (also called physiatrists) and an anesthesiologist specialized in pain management treatment options. These physicians have advanced training in back and neck pain and are successful in helping people return to activity—without surgery.
However, if your back or neck problem requires surgery, Augusta Back has neurological surgeons specialized in spine surgery. These spine surgeons are referred the area's most complex surgical cases.
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. And, unfortunately, those doctors who focus exclusively on pain symptoms 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.
In fact, pain relief actually can come through movement. Low-impact sports like walking and swimming are the best way to make the back feel better and stronger.
Working with a therapist may also be necessary for a recovery from back or neck pain. A therapist is trained to know how hard a patient can push themselves. They are able to relieve pain with specialized therapy techniques, tissue and joint mobilization and special exercises that can relieve pain symptoms.