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An alarming increase in low back pain is being reported in the medical literature. A recent study found that the prevalence of chronic, impairing low back pain increased from 3.9 percent in 1992 to 10.2 percent in 2006. Nationally, the number of low back pain suffers is estimated to be over 30 million.
So what options are out there for the 30 million or more back pain suffers?
In the case of Mary Anne, a vibrant 61-year-old mother from Garden City, NY, the inability to walk, sit or sleep comfortably was taking its toll. She had undergone physical therapy and did not want to spend her life on pain killers.
After an initial evaluation by her orthopedist, an x-ray and MRI revealed arthritis of the spine. She was referred to Dr. Edward Rubin, the Director of Chronic Pain Medicine at Winthrop Hospital.
Dr. Rubin has extensive experience in pain management, having completed a fellowship in Pain Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and training at Columbia University, the Hospital for Special Surgery and Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center. He is a board certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist. He works in collaboration with many other specialties to help patients manage their pain.
“Pain management is a multidisciplinary specialty,” says Dr. Rubin. “I am committed to providing patients with the latest interventional techniques that target the source of pain, and creating a treatment plan that focuses on improvements in functionality as well as quality of life.”
Dr. Rubin specializes in the treatment of pain in the joints and spine, chronic pain of the low back and neck, and muscle pain related to sports injuries. He emphasizes the use of nonnarcotic techniques when appropriate.
There are many practitioners in the community that can offer “shots.” It is important for patients to understand that not all back injections are the same. Additionally, not all specialists are equally trained to administer these injections.
Mary Anne travelled to Winthop’s Ambultaory Surgery Center on Zeckendorf Blvd in Garden City. She received a minimally invasive treatment done under x-ray guidance called radiofrequency ablation. This procedure targeted the facet joints – small joints on either side of the spine – which are commonly overlooked as a cause of low back pain.
Her back pain was relieved and she was thrilled.
Today, years later, Mary Anne continues to live pain-free. What’s more, she’s getting to do some of the things that she enjoys most – like playing golf.
Dr. Rubin offers a variety of interventional pain management treatment options – ranging from epidural cortisone injections to high-tech spinal cord stimulators and high power laser therapy – to treat patients with acute and chronic pain.
For more information about pain management services call 516-492-3100.