Health Watch — Back Pain: Active Rehabilitation

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about treating back pain. Previously, we talked about some passive rehabilitation methods such as heat, electrical stimulation and ultrasound that can ease back pain. But strengthening muscles and improving flexibility through active rehabilitation may also help patients relieve pain without surgery or long-term medication.

Dr. Samuel Bierner, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says home exercise programs, exercise at a gym or physical therapy can help patients function better without surgery. Therapy programs usually focus on aerobic conditioning, strengthening back muscles to stabilize the spine, and stretching the back. Exercise may be used along with other treatments and is important for long-term back health.

Next: When surgery might be necessary. 

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UT Southwestern’s clinical services in rehabilitation


March 2008

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