University Hospital Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinic – Aston
The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program provides non-surgical treatment options for patients suffering from back and neck pain, including conditions such as low back pain, degenerative disc disease, and herniated discs.
Who We Are
Our goal is to work with patients to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility to alleviate pain and improve quality of life without resorting to surgery or long-term medication. Physicians use medical histories and physical examinations to gain a thorough understanding of your symptoms, and technologies such as X-rays, computerized tomography (CT scans), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to diagnose conditions and assess their severity. Once a diagnosis is complete, appropriate rehabilitative techniques can be prescribed.
Rehabilitation techniques 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
- Targets specific nerves and relieves pain with painless electrical stimulation by using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) unit
- Heat/cold application
- Reduces muscle spasms and inflammation; often used alternatively through the course of treatment
- Topical application of steroids
- 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
- 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 your 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.