Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Spine Center

[music] There are a lot of different causes for low
back pain, and there are different therapy treatments for different types of
low back pain. What we try to do as physiatrists is try to
be as detailed as possible in terms of the diagnosis and what’s contributing to each
patient’s low back pain so that the physical therapist can tailor the program,
the physical therapy and home exercise program for that patient. I’m board certified in physical medicine,
rehabilitation, sports medicine and electrodiagnostic medicine. My specialty is often referred to as physiatry. As a physiatrist I specialize in non-operative
treatment of various injuries of the bone, muscle, tendons and nerves. The vast majority of injuries don’t require
surgery. After a detailed history and physical
exam, testing, imaging, things like that, there’s a lot of non-surgical treatment
options available for patients such as physical therapy, such as bracing or orthotics,
medication, sometimes injections. Other treatment options that we sometimes use include acupuncture, include aquatic therapy, myofascial therapy. We have a, we have a lot of different tools
in our toolbox to treat injuries or pain non-surgically. I have a background in public health and patient
education is very important to me. I believe that a patient who understands and
is educated about his or her injury or pain is much more invested in their treatment. The patient who is actively involved in
their plan of care is, is much more motivated, they’re much more empowered, they adhere
to their treatment, they’re much more satisfied with their care. And ultimately I believe they’ll have better
outcomes. And so the education piece to me is something that we try to incorporate in every patient visit. One of the exciting areas in our field is
really the use of ultrasound. We have an ultrasound machine in our clinics and we will use it to diagnose pinched nerves or rotator cuff tears. The advantage of having that available at
the time of the initial visit is really for accurate diagnosis at the time of visit and really to be efficient with our treatment. And so we have very accurate diagnosis
and then we can move forward with a very tailored treatment plan based on that. One of the other exciting areas in our field
is our regenerative medicine treatment options. One of those is PRP, or platelet-rich plasma. We often use those types of injections to help stimulate healing in tendons or early arthritis. We will use the patient’s blood and concentrate
the healing and the growth factors and we’ll use that to inject it into various
tendons or joints to stimulate healing. And I think that’s a very exciting area
of medicine that has a lot of promise. We have a very collegial atmosphere here at
Washington University. Being in an academic medical center and being involved in the teaching of medical students and residents and fellows really
requires you to stay on top of your game and stay up to date on a lot of the research and the evidence behind a lot of the treatment options that we provide. [music]

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