FAQs from Patients
Common Questions about the SpineCare Program
How do I know if the SpineCare program is right for my situation?
The SpineCare representatives will help you determine whether SpineCare is right for you by asking you a series of questions. These questions will deal with your current symptoms and any treatment you might have received for your present condition. From there a determination will be made if further information is needed or if you would benefit from a referral for another type of treatment.
Why should I seek care for my spine disorder at an academic medical center?
One of the benefits of being part of a leading-edge academic medical center is that we know what works and we have the clinical evidence and research to prove it. Your individualized treatment program is based on this evidence. Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin is recognized for exceptional physicians, research leadership, specialty expertise and state-of-the-art treatments and technology. Our physicians participate in significant national research and help discover new and better treatments.
What makes the SpineCare program unique in treating neck and back pain?
Several factors make SpineCare different from any other clinic or practitioner you might have encountered in the past. Bringing together board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists from all the appropriate disciplines in one clinic is the most effective and efficient way to diagnose and treat neck and back pain. Some of SpineCare’s experts include physiatrists, chiropractors, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists and nurse case managers. Our transdisciplinary team (a team composed of different professions cooperating to improve patient care) collaborates to find the cause of your pain and to design an individual treatment plan, all with the patient’s participation. Thus treatments are done simultaneously and supported with close communication between the various specialists that are working together on your treatment plan.
How do I know if the SpineCare program is the right course of action for me?
To help you determine if your condition would be appropriate for the SpineCare program, we will ask you a series of questions that pertain to your current symptoms and any treatment you have already had for your condition. If necessary, we may request records for additional review by one of our physicians. We will then discuss our recommendation with you and the proposed SpineCare program that would best fit your condition and needs.
What do each of the specialists on the SpineCare team do to help improve my condition?
Physiatrist / Neurologist: The physiatrist/neurologist will work with you to manage your treatment plan which may include medical management, determining if additional testing is necessary to identify and treat your pain and to monitor your progress throughout the program. This is a non-surgical approach to treating your neck and back pain.
Chiropractor: The chiropractor will provide spinal manipulation, if appropriate, to restore joint mobility to restricted movement of the spine, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, allowing you to participate more comfortably with your SpineCare program.
Physical Therapist: The physical therapist will provide treatment to help you learn how to manage your spine condition through education, instruction in specific exercises and postural retraining. The physical therapist will encourage you to embrace lifestyle changes which will promote the health of your spine long term.
Occupational Therapist: The occupational therapist/Certified Ergonomic Evaluation Specialist identifies risk factors associated with the physical requirements of your work and home tasks and will provide ergonomic recommendations to protect your spine when performing these tasks. An on-site ergonomic evaluation may be requested for a work related injury.
Pain Psychologist: The psychologist can help you to understand your own emotional and behavioral responses to your ongoing/chronic pain. Additional testing may be useful to help the psychologist to determine treatment options that would focus on coping/management with your chronic symptoms.
Surgeon: Our surgeons take a conservative approach to ensure that non-operative treatment, if indicated, has been exhausted prior to considering surgery. If surgery is considered, the use of imaging and/or other testing is used to confirm if a surgical procedure is the best solution for treating your pain.
What if my pain does not improve after treatment at SpineCare?
Over 97% of SpineCare patients get relief from the treatment offered. However, if your condition does not improve, our team will work with you to investigate benefits of alternative treatment, including the surgical options available. If surgery is indicated, your team will work to make your transition through surgery into rehabilitation as seamless as possible with the focus on getting you back to work and the activities you enjoy.
Does SpineCare treat people who are injured at work?
Yes. If you are injured at work and currently working, our goal is to keep you working safely. If you are unable to work due to an injury, our goal is to help you to return to work as quickly and safely as possible.
Practical Answers to Common Questions Related to Back Pain
What should I do when I have back pain?
Should I use ice or heat?
Will exercise help my recovery?
When should I seek medical attention for my neck or back pain?
Most back pain lasts for a limited time and goes away without special treatment. However, if you have weakness, pain going down your arm(s) or leg(s) and/or pain lasting for more than a few weeks, a doctor should be consulted.