An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can help prevent injuries from occurring by warming up properly, stretching, and knowing your limits before engaging in physical activity. Making healthful choices can also help you stay active and injury-free for a lifetime.

Unfortunately, some injuries are unavoidable. When they occur, a trained physiatrist is the right choice for treatment. Dr. Dwight Lin involves his patients in the treatment process by discussing and explaining the diagnosis and treatment options, an approach that he believes is essential to the rehabilitative process.

Most Pain Doesn't Require Surgery
The good news is that, statistically speaking, most back injuries don't require surgery. However, there are conditions for which surgery is the only solution. If surgery is necessary, we have close relationships with the best specialists in Hawaii.

Non-operative treatments of spine, muscle, and joint pain

Some of the common injuries that respond to non-operative treatment include:

  • Back pain. Caused by intervertebral disk injury, arthritis, and muscle strains and sprains.
  • Sciatica. Typically due to a pinched nerve or radiculopathy (where the root area of one or more nerves is affected and does not function properly, causing pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness, difficulty controlling specific muscles).
  • Spinal stenosis. Caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal and compression of the spinal cord and nerves, symptoms can be low back pain and pain or abnormal sensation in the legs, thighs, feet, or buttocks.
  • Neck and shoulder pain. Neck and shoulder pain call for a thorough exam and evaluation, as each area requires very different treatment.

EMG and nerve conduction studies
These tests can help determine whether pain, numbness, or tingling in the arms, hands, and legs is due to nerve damage, including carpal tunnel syndrome or a pinched nerve in the neck or lower back.

Interventional, xray-guided spine care
When symptoms do not respond to conservative treatment, the injection of an xray-guided, short-acting anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroid may offer relief. In joints and spine, the anesthetic can provide immediate pain relief and confirms the source of pain.

The injection is guided by fluoroscopy (an X-ray machine that rotates around the patient,) which enables the precise positioning of the injection. Injections play both a therapeutic and diagnostic role, and work best when combined with a rehabilitative exercise program.

Rehabilitative exercise
Dr. Dwight Lin works with patients to develop an individualized exercise regimen to strengthen muscles around the spine and improve posture. Often this can help to relieve symptoms and prevent pain from returning.

However, to achieve the desired result, the exercise prescription (like a prescription for medication) must be very specific to the person and his or her lifestyle. There must also be an appropriate dosage, frequency, and duration.