Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation Medicine in New York

Chronic or reoccurring back pain can have a major impact on your life, limiting your mobility, interfering with your work and normal activities, and reducing your quality of life.

Ongoing back pain can lead to what our spinal therapists call the “ terrible triad” of suffering: You become preoccupied with your back pain, growing increasingly depressed and irritable.

This leads to insomnia and fatigue, which creates yet more depression, pain, and irritability. It’s a vicious cycle, but there is hope with the right treatment program.

Physical Therapy Programs to Address Back Pain

Weill Cornell Medicine offers back and spine physical therapy in New York to help put an end to the “terrible triad.” We recommend physical therapy (and, in some cases, rehabilitation medicine—more on that below) for reoccurring lower back pain.

The general goals of spinal physical therapy are to decrease pain, increase back function, and empower patients with the information they need about back health in order to prevent future injuries.

Passive and Active Physical Therapy

There are two common components of physical therapy:

  • Passive physical therapy, which temporarily decreases back pain through the use of ice packs, heating pads, electrical nerve stimulators, and other methods.
  • Active physical therapy, which involves stretching daily and performing specialized exercises to help strengthen the lower back for greater stability; this in turn increases the production of muscle around the spine and discs, putting less strain on the back.

Another form of physical therapy is spinal decompression therapy, which treats aching of the lower back and neck, and pain associated with herniated discs. Decompression therapy is most effective for post-surgical patients.

Weill Cornell Medicine’s Center for Comprehensive Spine Care prides itself on its three-part program for each patient:

  1. Accurate diagnosis
  2. Comprehensive treatment
  3. Collaborative partnership with the clinical team

Collaborative Partnership with Rehabilitation Medicine Specialists

Patients who need additional care beyond physical therapy may be referred to the department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, whose specialists treat a broad range of conditions and issues, from musculoskeletal/joint pain to pelvic pain to traumatic brain injuries.

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians (called physiatrists) in the department of Rehabilitation Medicine provide a full spectrum of care, working with an interdisciplinary team of physical, occupational, and speech therapists, among other specialists.

A leader in advancing the science of rehabilitation, the department of Rehabilitation Medicine has launched research programs to improve outcomes in the management of back pain and related disorders, among other major research areas.

Your Treatment Begins at the Center for Comprehensive Spine Care

The experts at our spine care center will perform a thorough physical exam and learn more about your medical history in order to determine the best treatment approach for your specific needs. Come see us at the Center for Comprehensive Spine Care—we are New York’s back pain rehabilitation and therapy doctors.

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