Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find links to frequently asked questions about Suburban Orthopaedic Medical Center's specialties including: Chiropractic, Interventional Pain Management, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy and Orthopedics. Click on the links to navigate or scroll.
Genreal Chiropractic FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is chiropractic care?
Are chiropractors doctors?
Yes. Doctors of Chiropractic (also known as chiropractors) are not medical doctors, but go through a similar education process to become licensed in the field of chiropractic care. In fact, educational requirements for chiropractors are among the most stringent of any health care profession.
What types of pain do chiropractors treat?
Chiropractors are known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain, and headaches. They also treat sports injuries and other disorders involving muscles, ligaments and joints. The benefits of chiropractic care go beyond this and extend into general health as our core body structure affects overall function and health.
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is the art of using a specific, controlled force in a precise direction that is applied to a spinal joint not moving properly or “locked up.” The purpose of this natural and safe procedure is to correct structural alignment and eliminate interference in the nervous system. For the patient, this means improved spinal function, reduction in pain, and an overall improvement in health and wellness.
Do adjustments hurt?
Chiropractic manipulation is a highly controlled procedure that rarely causes discomfort because minimal force and gentle pressure are used. In fact, most patients feel relief immediately following treatment. Any reported soreness after an initial adjustment has been described as similar to that associated with starting a new exercise program. Drinking plenty of water, using an ice pack, and engaging in light stretching after your first visit can help ease any discomfort promote healing.
Are adjustments safe?
Chiropractic care is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of most back and neck problems. Spinal adjustments are extremely safe when performed by a licensed chiropractor.
Are all patients adjusted the same way?
Will a chiropractic adjustment completely remove back pain?
Can I see a chiropractor if I am pregnant?
Many pregnant women find that chiropractic adjustments improve the pregnancy experience and make delivery easier. Adjustments are adapted to accommodate the stage of pregnancy and the unique needs of each patient.
Is back pain common?
More than 80 percent of people experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, it is one of the most reported reasons people miss work and is the second most frequent reason patients visit the doctor.
Will I be required to remove my clothing at my appointment?
Can I learn to adjust myself?
Chiropractors are trained to adjust in a very specific location and direction. As a result, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself correctly and accurately.
Pain Management FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an interventional pain management specialist help me even if I’ve been in pain for years, and everyone says there’s nothing that can be done to treat my pain?
Does interventional pain management treatment involve the prescribing of pain medications?
Interventional pain management treatment utilizes therapeutic approaches to alleviate pain without the use of prescriptions. The majority of pain sufferers will have pain relief by multidisciplinary approaches. However, some patients will have better results with the use of prescribed medications.
I’m diabetic (or have another illness). Would this effect my ability to undergo interventional pain management treatment?
What kinds of symptoms do interventional pain management specialists treat?
Interventional pain management specialists treat symptoms closely related to chronic pain. These can range from discomfort, difficulty sleeping, soreness, and tightness, to burning, aching, or electrical feelings. Treatments can help relieve pain related to Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, neuropathy, headaches, bone pain, back pain, and muscle pain.
What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?
Acute pain is typically the result of an injury, illness, or surgery. In most cases, acute pain can be relieved in less than six months. Chronic pain is persistent pain that lasts longer than six months even after an injury has been healed. One in five adults are living with what they describe as chronic pain.
If I choose to undergo interventional pain management treatment, will there be any limits on my activity afterward?
If you have received a sedative for your procedure, you are required to have someone available to drive you home afterwards. We recommend that a patient who has received an interventional pain management treatment take it easy following their procedure. The patient can then determine what their limitations are for getting involved with certain activities.
Are interventional pain management treatments successful?
Yes, they are successful for most patients. Some patients will have post-procedural pain where they have received treatment. However, that pain often quickly resolves. Based on the severity of your pain, further treatments may be required for effective results and significant pain reduction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I apply ice or heat to an injury?
Ice should be used in the acute stage of an injury (within the first 24-48 hours), or whenever there is swelling. Ice helps to reduce inflammation by decreasing blood flow to the area in which cold is applied. Heat increases blood flow and may promote pain relief after swelling subsides. Heat may also be used to warm up muscles prior to exercise or physical therapy.
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy is the treatment of musculoskeletal and neurological injuries to promote a return to function and independent living. Physical therapy incorporates both exercise and functional training. Exercise restores motion and strength while functional training facilitates a return to daily activities, work, or sport.
What is a tendon? ligament? cartilage?
A tendon is a band of tissue that connects muscle to bone. A ligament is an elastic band of tissue that connects bone to bone and provides stability to the joint. Cartilage is a soft, gel-like padding between bones that protects joints and facilitates movement.
What is a cortisone/corticosteroid injection?
Cortisone is a steroid that is produced naturally in the body. Synthetically-produced cortisone can also be injected into soft tissues and joints to help decrease inflammation. While cortisone is not a pain reliever, pain may diminish as a result of reduced inflammation. In orthopedics, cortisone injections are commonly used as a treatment for chronic conditions such as bursitis, tendinitis, and arthritis.
What is an epidural?
An epidural is a potent steroid injection that helps decrease the inflammation of compressed spinal nerves to relieve pain in the back, neck, arms or legs. Cortisone is injected directly into the spinal canal for pain relief from conditions such as herniated disks, spinal stenosis, or radiculopathy. Some patients may need only one injection, but it usually takes two or three injections, given two weeks apart, to provide significant pain relief.
What are NSAIDs and how do they work?
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are non-prescription, over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. They are popular treatments for muscular aches and pains, as well as arthritis.
Physiatry, Physical Medicine, and Rehabilitation FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the rehabilitation physician’s role in treatment?
Once they have a diagnosis, rehabilitation physicians design a treatment plan that can be carried out by the patients themselves or with the help of the rehabilitation physician’s medical team. This interdisciplinary medical team may include medical professionals such as neurologists, psychiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, and urologists, and non-physician health professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, vocational counselors, psychologists and social workers. The team is different for each patient, and the team's composition changes during treatment to match the patient's shifting needs. By providing an appropriate treatment plan, rehabilitation physicians help patients stay as active as possible at any age. Their broad medical expertise allows them to treat disabling conditions throughout a person’s lifetime.
What is the scope of the rehabilitation physician’s practice?
PM&R; is often called the quality of life profession because its aim is to enhance patient performance. These specialists treat any disability resulting from disease or injury involving any organ system. The focus is not on one part of the body, but instead on the development of a comprehensive program for putting the pieces of a person's life back together – medically, socially, emotionally, and vocationally – after injury or disease. Rehabilitation physicians manage issues that span the entire spectrum, from complicated multiple trauma to injury prevention for athletes. Some rehabilitation physicians have broad-based practices that encompass many different types of patients. Others pursue special interests and focus on specific groups or problems. For example, sports medicine has grown as a special interest. Rehabilitation physicians who focus on sports medicine treat sports-related injuries, develop programs to help athletes avoid injury, and may do research in the field.
How did the specialty develop?
The field of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R;) began in the 1930s to address musculoskeletal and neurological problems, but broadened its scope considerably after World War II. As thousands of veterans came back to the United States with serious disabilities, the task of helping to restore them to productive lives became a new direction for the field. The American Board of Medical Specialties granted PM&R; its approval as a specialty of medicine in 1947.
Where do rehabilitation physicians practice?
Rehabilitation physicians practice in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and in private offices. They often have broad practices, but some concentrate on one area such as pediatrics, sports medicine, geriatric medicine, brain injury, and many other special interests.
Physical Therapy FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I wear?
In general, be sure to bring loose-fitting comfortable attire (T-shirts, shorts, athletic shoes, etc.) to allow for evaluation and movement. In the event that you forget to wear appropriate attire, cloth gowns are available for patients with shoulder, neck or back injuries. Patients with hip, knee, ankle, or foot injury should wear shorts or loose fitting pants to allow proper exposure. Female patients with shoulder dysfunction should wear a tank top or a loose fitting short sleeved shirt to minimize the necessity for a gown while allowing adequate exposure of the shoulder girdle complex.
What should I bring with me?
For your first visit you will need your insurance card, and any paperwork that was sent to you that needed to be filled out. If you have any operative reports, MRI or X-ray results, and you may bring those as well. Additionally, if you are utilizing any type of brace, splint, or crutches, those should come with you.
Why should I choose physical therapy?
In physical therapy, the goals should be to resolve your problem, not just temporarily relieve it. Although medication and other forms of treatment can be helpful in relieving symptoms, physical therapy produces a long-term result. The physician may opt to utilize medication in conjunction with physical therapy depending on your diagnosis. Additionally, physical therapy unlike some other forms of treatment, is not designed to go on as a maintenance program. Because we look to resolution, maintenance is not generally necessary.
What is my responsibility in physical therapy?
Each patient is ultimately responsible for their success in their rehabilitation program. Your physical therapist cannot do it without you! We can provide you with the tools to recover but we ask that all patients and clients cooperate by following through with their home exercise programs and instructions. Your recovery is greatly dependent upon your compliance with your Physical Therapy program. Please help us to help YOU.
How long will I need therapy and how often will I need to come to P.T.?
That depends on many factors. Many times your doctor will prescribe how often and/or how long you should receive physical therapy. Occasionally, insurance companies dictate this. But mostly your therapist will predict how often and how long you may need P.T. based on the findings at your initial evaluation.
What education requirements/standards do your therapists have/need/possess?
All physical therapists must graduate from an Accredited Physical Therapy Program at the University level. As a graduate Physical therapists must pass a National State Board Licensure Examination and possess an active state license for the state which they will practice in. Therapists are required by the State Board of Professional Regulation to maintain and increase their level of education through continuing education courses each year.
Can my spouse/significant other/caregiver come with me to P.T.?
It would be very appropriate for you to bring with you who ever will be assisting you at home in any way. With a family member, significant other and/or caregiver your therapist will be better able to assist you with a comprehensive home program and/or teach someone else how to better help you at home in your own environment.