For patients undergoing surgery for back and spine conditions, pain management and rehabilitation is an integral component of OACM’s multidisciplinary approach to overall care. According to OACM’s Director of Pain Management, Mark Matsunaga, M.D., the goal of OACM’s program is to “address underlying problems as a multidisciplinary team and to offer patients treatment options that decrease pain and improve quality of life and daily function.”
OACM’s pain management program combines multidisciplinary and advanced pain management modalities. The program also allows physicians to follow patients through the entire surgical process to manage pain pre- and post-operatively. Dr. Matsunaga adds that OACM’s pain management program offers patients a “tool box of treatment options,” both conservative and interventional treatments. These options range from medications for controlling pain symptoms and spinal injections to numb pain or treat inflammation to nerve stimulation for pain control as well as physical therapy for regaining strength and function.
Rehabilitation Focuses on Coordination of Care
According to Timothy Yoon, M.D., Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Interventional Spine Care, “Spine care typically involves a team approach in that these patients can be complex. It’s important to have an integrated path of care from the moment a patient steps into the office until their symptoms have resolved.”
Dr. Yoon stresses that being able to identify patients who require urgent surgical treatment versus patients who may be responsive to more conservative, non-operative treatment requires the ability to discuss ideas and information with every member of the OACM orthopedic team.
For patients with acute back pain, treatment pre- and post-surgery can include a number of rehabilitative techniques.
“In addition to medication to manage symptoms, physical therapy plays an important role in strengthening supporting back and neck musculature prior to surgery, and for many people, can provide enough symptomatic relief to avoid surgery,” adds Dr. Yoon. Other adjunctive treatments can include the use of a TENS (transcutaneous electric neurostimulation) as well as acupuncture to provide relief from back pain. Additionally, injections to structures in the neck and back (facet injections, medial branch blocks, epidural injections) can provide relief as well.”
The goals for back and spine pain management pre operatively are:
1. Manage pain to prevent suffering and to maintain and gain function and quality of life
2. Increase total body wellness and get patients medically ready to undergo spine surgery and anesthesia. This includes helping patient manage weight loss, increase range of motion, increase strength, and improve endurance.
3. Educate and answer questions about the surgical procedure and manage expectations, with continued coordination with the patient’s surgeon.
Goals for pain management and rehabilitation post operatively:
1. Manage post-operative pain through available modalities
2. Provide an environment that maximizes physical therapy and promotes exercise and range of motion.
3. Assist in returning to a better quality of life and adapt to new functionality following the spinal surgery.
For more information on OACM’s pain management and rehabilitation programs, visit www.mdbonedocs.com or call (410) 644-1880.