Treatment Options

Our world-class physicians have access to cutting-edge technology, which allows them to provide our patients with innovative treatment options for even the most complex conditions.

At UT Southwestern Medical Center, we offer conservative treatments, rehabilitation, and surgical interventions.


Rehabilitation techniques offered at UT Southwestern generally fall into two categories – active and passive.

Passive Physical Therapy

These techniques focus on decreasing the pain without requiring much effort from the patient. They include:

Electrical stimulation of nerves
A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) unit uses painless electrical stimulation to target specific nerves and relieve pain.
Heat/cold application
Heat and ice help reduce muscle spasms and inflammation. They are often used alternatively through the course of treatment.
Topical application of steroids
Steroids are applied to the skin through a process called iontophoresis, which uses a mild current that causes the medicine to migrate to soft tissue and reduce inflammation.
Ultrasound deep heating
The ultrasound machine uses sound waves to penetrate the body’s soft tissues to relieve pain and promote healing.

Active Physical Therapy

Active physical therapy in the form of stretching and strengthening exercises is critical to the rehabilitation and long-term health of the spine. Depending on the patient’s condition, the following may be included in the treatment plan:

  • Dynamic lumbar stabilization
  • Low-impact aerobic conditioning
  • Muscle strengthening exercises
  • Stretching the back and other areas