One of the key features that differentiates us from other clinics that treat back and neck pain is our spine-specialized therapy department.
In many unspecialized clinics, a physician will see the patient, perform an examination, and then refer the back pain sufferer to a physical therapy clinic all the way across town. This general "evaluate & treat" prescription for physical therapy is all too common. Often, a general physical therapist will start from scratch by forming their own evaluation and assessment, without the benefit of knowing what the original physician found out through diagnostic tests.
This general physical therapist often sees a wide variety of problems every day, such as patients with sore elbows, sore knees, and sore shoulders. In most cases, this general therapist has a very limited understanding of how to treat specific types of back problems. At best, a general physical therapist has taken a couple courses on how to perform therapy for a back or neck injury.
A general physical therapist may also rely too heavily on passive "modalities," such as ice, heat or ultrasound, to treat back pain. This may not be a good choice, as research has shown that using these passive treatments is NOT the best way to return someone to activity efficiently.
How our spine center differs:
Instead of sending a patient across town, they will be able to come directly into our rehab department. They will also be connected with a spine-specialized therapist who has advanced training in McKenzie therapy—one of the most well-respected spine therapy methods in the country. Rather than starting from scratch, this therapist works off of information gleaned from the previous physician's evaluation, picking up where they left off.
What does this mean for you?
Instead of receiving a general treatment approach, your therapist is specialized in the treatment of back and neck pain. Our therapists have advanced, hands-on skills that can help relieve your pain and get your injured muscles, tissues and spinal structures moving again. Instead of a single school of thought, you get the benefit of being treated by a specialist with a variety of skills who can choose the ones that best match your particular problem.
TriCities Spine in Bristol, TN is a by-product of discussions with case managers, rehab nurses and managed care experts on a local and national level who believe that spine care can be improved through a multidisciplinary team approach. TriCities Spine includes a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in spine, Dr. Jim Brasfield, teamed with a pain management specialist and spine-specialized physical therapy. TriCities Spine physicians already see a variety of complex cases from across Eastern Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. TriCities Spine emphasizes a nonsurgical approach to back pain, recognizing that in most cases spine surgery should be the last card to be played after nonsurgical options have been tried. About half of patients are referred to TriCities Spine by other doctors in the region. TriCities Spine also cares for those who injure themselves at the workplace. The strength of TriCities Spine lies in the medical expertise brought in by a variety of specialists who complement each other, including experts in physical medicine and neurosurgery. An internal pain specialist is often able to relieve some back and neck pain symptoms with special injections that enable a patient to bridge to therapy. Dr. Fred Terry specializes in pain relieving lumbar spinal injections and as well as myelograms, which may reveal the amount of damage in the spine. Therapists who specialize in spine use customized hands-on treatments to relieve pain symptoms, along with special exercises to help make the back stronger, more flexible and resistant to injury. If nonsurgical treatments are not successful, Dr. Jim Brasfield is trained and proficient in the latest techniques in minimally invasive spine surgery. Because of the minimally invasive techniques used by Dr. Brasfield, many patients are able to have their spine surgery and then return home the same day to recover in the comfort of their own home.