Non-surgical treatment has been an integral part of the National Center for Spinal Disorders ever since its inception in 1995. The patient evaluations, examinations and conservative treatments follow the institution's own diagnostic and therapeutic patient care guidelines.
Evaluation serves the purpose of diagnosing spinal diseases related to physical activity (i.e., mechanical) in order to:
- require patients, who have been designated for surgery (but not emergency) on the basis of their symptoms, X-rays and MRI or CT scans, to take part in a pre-rehabilitation and physical therapy program for building up muscle strength for the post-operation phase;
- decide, at the end of the five-day hospital stay and after evaluation of the radiological results, symptoms and condition, whether the borderline surgical Patient might be capable of improving with conservative therapy;
- measure and properly document the Patient's pain intensity level, the quality of life index, the upper body muscle strength and endurance, the lower extremity strength and check the functional condition of the spine with specific questionnaires to help evaluate the results of conservative treatment or surgery.
Condition evaluation is the basis of a complex planning program for surgical as well as conservative treatment.
Purposes of conservative treatments
- decrease the pain level associated with a spine disease,
- help normalize the daily activities and restore work capability,
- increase the spine's functional capacity and, thus, its weight bearing capacity.
- Countless conservative treatment methods exist for treating disorders of the spine. These differ from institution to institution as dictated by the particular needs and experiences.
The conservative therapies offered by us include: various pain relief treatments such as infusions, injections, block injections administered into joints, nerve roots and the spinal canal, physiotherapy treatments (emphasizing personal exercise programs), packs, psychotherapy and a spine school for teaching and training patients.
Reasons for examinations
- Should X-rays show several diseased intervertebral discs as the possible source of pain, a discography examination, an in-hospital procedure, will help to precisely pinpoint the source of pain. The diagnostic nerve root or facet joint block injection serves this same purpose.
- The in-hospital examinations help us rule out, or confirm, other possible differential diagnostic clinical picture(s) or psychosocial factors, such as symptoms imitating pain of spinal origin, as the cause of back or extremity pain.
The patients are admitted to the hospital based on the physician's opinion following examination in the out-patient clinic. Laboratory and radiological examinations, evaluation by a physiotherapist, screening by our pain research group, as well as, other required angiological and neurological examinations pertaining to the diagnostic guidelines that precede the actual admission.
Following patient groups are admitted
- intervertebral disc degeneration;
- herniated discs not needing surgery;
- spinal canal compression symptoms;
- patients previously operated (principally, at this institution) who continue to be symptomatic;
- patients suffering from osteoporosis and are awaiting a decision on surgery;
- postoperative rehabilitation for Patients who underwent surgery at this institution.
The Conservative Department include rheumatologists, physiatrists, spine specialists, orthopedic-spine specialists, neurologists, psychologists and physiotherapists, as well as, massage therapists.