Do you frequently suffer from back pain and don’t know the right way to treat them? Or do you think your home exercises are making the pain worse? Patients often mistake the difference between being physically active versus going to physical therapy to treat a specific injury, causing them to worsen the pain and fail to properly recover from herniated discs or muscular back strains.
In this episode of Back Talk Doc, our host Dr. Sanjiv Lakhia, welcomes Dr. Eleanor McMillan, a physical therapist who loves to exercise and enjoy a healthy lifestyle; she’s also helped numerous patients recover from painful back injuries. Dr. McMillan shares the virtues of physical therapy and how it can help you regain control of your life when suffering from back pain.
Dr. McMillan stresses that physical therapy has a specific purpose, a particular strength, and a frequency to help people; all patients are different, and you may wonder, what makes my pain better? What makes it worse? “Are your hamstrings tight? Are your hips weak? What’s your core look like? Or are your hip flexors very tight because we’re sitting at an office desk all day? Those are the kinds of things that we…look at.” (12:17)
Primarily, she wants to give her patients their lives back when they feel there is nothing they can do, like activities around the house or even gardening. “It’s just…teaching them activity modification, getting them the right dosage of standing tolerance, activity tolerance, how we can kind of slowly manipulate those variables to help out the patient and kind of give them their life back because they feel like they can’t do anything!” (16:44)
Dr. McMillan also tells us the steps to follow after recovering from disc or sciatic pain; how important it is to maintain your cardiovascular activity and the different exercises that can be done from home so as not to fall into the same physical pains again: ellipticals, swimming, static bicycles, etc.
For more information on patient education, visit our webpage backtalkdoc.com.
If you enjoyed this episode with Dr. Eleanor McMillan, check out our episode on Spinal Stenosis with Joe Cheatle MD.
Back Talk Doc is brought to you by Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, with offices in North and South Carolina. To learn more about Dr. Lakhia and treatment options for back and spine issues, go to backtalkdoc.com. To schedule an appointment with Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates, you can call us at 1-800-344-6716 or visit our website at carolinaneurosurgery.com.