August 17, 2010Health News You Can Use, TexPTS In The News

Finding Relief with TexPTS’ Spine Experts

Patients Avoiding Risky Back Surgeries Find Relief With Austin-Based Spine Experts At Texas Physical Therapy Specialists

(Austin, TX – August 17, 2010)

The Austin-based Spine Experts at Texas Physical Therapy Specialists (TexPTS) can help patients avoid surgery for complex fusion surgeries for lumbar spinal stenosis and see significant improvement with non-invasive physical therapy. There has been an alarming increase in the number of complex fusion surgeries for lumbar spinal stenosis, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported in April 2010. In just five years, from 2002 to 2007, these surgeries increased nearly 14 times, while the number of lumbar stenosis cases have remained the same. Physical therapy at TexPTS is a low cost, low risk, and effective alternative to surgery.

“I avoided surgery which was my main focus,” recalls a recent patient after being treated by Austin-based spine experts at TexPTS. David Browder, DPT, OCS, is a physical therapist and Clinic Director at TexPTS in Austin, TX. He cautions, “The bad news is that some back surgeries are extremely risky and put your life in danger. You may not be any better off after the procedure. The good news is that patients with lumbar spinal stenosis report sizable decreases in pain after physical therapy.”

Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spine that causes low back pain. Unfortunately from just 2002 to 2007, the number of complex fusion surgeries for lumbar spinal stenosis has increased nearly 14 times, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in April 2010. The number of lumbar stenosis cases remained the same. The physicians who did the study question whether the patients’ need for this surgery could have increased by 14 times over the same five years. More than 1 out of 20 patients who had complex fusion surgery had life-threatening complications. Patients who had complex fusion stayed in the hospital longer. They had to return to the hospital more often. They also had three times more serious complications such as heart attack and stroke. The authors also report that there is little agreement by physicians on whether or not these procedures are helpful or should even be used at all for lumbar spinal stenosis.

“This study highlights what we have seen in our clinics for years. Older adults come to physical therapists following major back surgeries. They often have problems that weren’t there prior to surgery. And they still have back and leg pain,” says Browder.

Fortunately there is another option for patients. Recent highly regarded research showed that patients with lumbar spinal stenosis get significant improvement after physical therapy. Patients who made the most gains had hands-on physical therapy, exercise, and a specialized treadmill walking program. Browder noted that, “It just makes sense to try physical therapy first. It’s low cost and low risk. Most importantly it works for chronic low back pain due to lumbar spinal stenosis.” Patients should actively seek care from a qualified physical therapist for their low back complaints.

For more on the benefits physical therapists can provide in the management of back and neck problems, contact Texas Physical Therapy Specialists.

About Texas Physical Therapy Specialists:
Texas Physical Therapy Specialists (TexPTS) is a private physical therapy practice with locations throughout San Antonio, Austin, and Tyler. Known for teaching and training physical therapists all over the US, TexPTS physical therapists pride themselves in being spine experts. They deliver hands-on physical therapy based on the newest research to achieve the best results for patients with bad backs, achy joints, wounded hands, and work injuries. Along the way, the TexPTS family has fun and makes friends with their patients (and their pets, their kids, their in-laws, and neighbors….) Perhaps this is why they were voted the Best Private Physical Therapy Practice in the U.S. in 2009 by their peers in the American Physical Therapy Association. For more information visit our website at TexPTS.com or find us on Facebook.

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