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Effective Treatment

A Results Driven Process

A 25-year-old woman named Glenda was involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustained low back injury, so she visited an MSR-supported physiatrist. His Initial evaluation revealed painful and restricted range of motion of the lumbar spine, with lumbar spine spasms throughout. Glenda's physiatrist placed her on a conservative course of physiatric physical therapy treatment. Her treatment plan included ultrasound and electric stimulation application to the lumbar spine, then active range of motion (as tolerated) following a review of normal lumbar spine x-rays. Throughout the course of treatment, Glenda's back pain persisted and she developed lumbar spine MRI in the course of her treatment, revealing a disc herniation of L5/S1 level.

Based on lumbar spine MRI findings, her physiatrist modified Glenda's overall physiatric therapy program to incorporate spine traction. He placed her on a muscle relaxant, Skelaxin and encouraged her to continue normal customary ADLs.

At Glenda's re-evaluation a month later, she received paravertebral steroid injections with a mixture of Marcaine and Depot Medrol to the lumbar paravertebral muscles with good results. At her next re-evaluation nine months later, she reported no further back pain - no radiating pain, numbness or tingling down her legs. At the time, she regained full range of motion of the lumbar spine (flexion 90/90 degrees, extension 30/30 degrees without pain).

Glenda's physiatrist advised her to continue with a home physiatric therapy program including McKenzie low back extension/William's low back flexion exercises and encouraged her to contact him if her back pain returned and/or if she developed radicular symptoms.

The ability of a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) to provide multidisciplinary and multimodal care, as well as the ability to focus on patient function and the patient as a whole separates the physiatrist from other medical specialties. It is what makes the physiatrist a unique provider of medical care.

Case study by Joseph Gregorace, D.O.
Island South Physical Medicine & Rehabilitiation, P.C.

Learn more about Dr. Gregorace


Take the Next Step

Are you ready to take the next step in being free from pain and injury? Contact an MSR supported physician.

TOP 10 REASONS to Visit a Physiatrist

  • 1. Physiatry is a medical specialty
  • 2. Physiatrists are medical doctors (M.D.s and D.O.s)
  • 3. Physiatrists treat the whole person, not just a condition
  • 4. Physiatrists use the latest treatments and modalities
  • 5. No problem is ever too small or too big for a physiatrist
  • 6. Physiatry treatment is highly individualized to meet the specific needs of the patient
  • 7. Physiatry can often help people avoid surgery
  • 8. The physiatrist's job is restore as much function and independence as possible—to put the pieces of people's lives back together
  • 9. The physiatrist works with a team of health care professionals that includes physicians of other medical specialties, and therapists
  • 10. Physiatrists can help with acute and chronic pain management issues