Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Physicians Will Address Spine and Neck Injuries During Panel Discussion

Almost everyone has felt some back or neck pain at some point in their life – an over-enthusiastic workout, heavy lifting on moving day, or just roughhousing with the grandkids can cause a twinge or two.

But when the pain is consistent or severe, it may be time to visit a spine specialist; a presentation on October 12 may help you decide when to make that call. Orthopedic experts in spine surgery and pain management from Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center will present a panel discussion called “Spine and Pain” at 7 p.m. in the Fauquier Hospital Sycamore Room. The presentation will address common back and neck problems and answer questions about specific concerns.

On the panel will be orthopedists Charles Seal, M.D., and Jeffrey Wise, M.D., as well as pain management specialists Daniel Heller, M.D., and David Kim, M.D. Bruce Edwards, physical therapist for Fauquier Health Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, will also be on the panel.

Dr. Heller said, “Some people think that surgery is the only answer to severe back pain, but only about 10 percent of our patients ever need spine surgery. Depending on the individual situation, we can use a host of other non-surgical and minimally invasive methods to free our patients from nagging back or neck pain.”

Dr. Heller added, “Spine issues can be really confusing. A patient might have pain in their legs or arms. They might be having trouble with their hands, and find themselves dropping things. Any of these might indicate a spine or neck injury or condition.”

Dr. Seal, a spine surgeon, explained for instance that sciatica – pain shooting down the legs – could be caused by a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, depending on the patient’s age. Pain in the shoulder or arm may stem from a neck problem. Muscle cramping in the arms and legs or balance issues may also be caused by a problem with the spine or neck. “Our job is to help sort out the root cause and provide treatment options. Sometimes it requires surgery, but most of the time, it doesn’t.”

“There are so many treatment options,” said Dr. Heller. “We even have a psychologist who can help patients with behavioral therapies including biofeedback, and a registered dietitian who can counsel patients whose weight is contributing to their back problems. And of course, as pain management specialists, we have many, many tools available to address patients’ discomfort.”

The panel discussion will take a multi-disciplinary approach to neck and back disorders, and will cover:
• Testing and diagnosis
• Non-operative treatment options
• Minimally invasive treatment options
• Common surgeries

To register for the discussion, call 540-316-3588 or go to

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