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April 16, 1993 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-04-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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SPRING1993 ISSUE



SINAI HOSPITAL

THE CONQUEST OF PAIN:

SINAI'S OUTPATIENT PHYSICAL MEDICINE PROGRAMS

ou knew it as soon
as it happened.
You must have
bent down wrong.
When you tried to
stand up and twist with that
crate in your arms, your back
muscles cramped and a pain
shot down your leg. You
approached your supervisor
with your torso angled at about
45-degrees. Silently, you both
shook your heads, despairing
the disability absence and pos-
sible surgery that would ensue.

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It Ain't
Necessarily So

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12

But your employer had been
in touch with Sinai Hospital
and suggested that you consult
its outpatient programs to
reduce your pain, improve your
strength, help you avoid
surgery, and teach you
prevention on the job. In fact,
to get you back to the job where
you really want to be.
"Our mission is one of clini-
cal excellence provided in a
cost- effective manner," says
William H. Restum, Ph.D.,
Assistant Vice President for
Clinical Programs, about the
Department of Physical Medi-
cine and Rehabilitation at
Sinai.
The goal, Physical Medicine
and Rehabilitation Chairper-
son Joseph C. Honet, M.D.,
says, is to help the patient
restore function with the most
conservative treatments pos-
sible. "Our strength is the
conservative care of various
pain and motion problems; for
example, pinched nerves in the
back and neck; repetitive
motion nerve injuries, as in
carpal tunnel syndrome; and
various hip, knee and shoulder
problems. Among the patients
who entered Sinai's program
and Back School with herniat-
ed or slipped discs, only five
percent went on to have
surgery," Dr. Honet reports.
You may undergo a diag-
nostic electromyogram, or
EMG, by a physiatrist such as
Dong Lee, M.D., which tells the
consulting physiatrist just
what the injury is and permits
him or her to design an
individualized treatment
program for you.
Those who suffer from sports
injuries are also eased into the
culprit activity, starting with
stretches and abbreviated par-

ticipation. Some- times the
advice gets very basic. "Our
tennis players learn to use two
words," says Dr. Honet: "Nice
shot."

Return to Work
Program, Aptly
Named

Sinai's Return to Work
Program aims to conquer
disability before it becomes
chronic. Consulted soon after
an injury, Sinai's multidisci-
plinary team of rehabilitation
experts can keep you on the job
or get you back to work much
sooner, restoring your self-

and others with nerve or mus-
cle injury-induced pain will be
scrupulously evaluated and
precisely treated.
The Functional Recovery
Program (FRP) is designed for
individuals with long-standing
pain problems, those lasting
more than six months. The
FRP has had outstanding suc-
cess relieving painful disabili-
ties that have plagued people
for up to eight years and get-
ting them back to work,
says Dr. Maury Ellenberg,
Associate Chairperson of the
Physical Medicine and Reha-
bilitation Department and
Medical Director.
"Pain does reduce," Dr.

You've Been
Recruited for
the Team

In FRP you will benefit from
a team of professionals
including physical, occupa-
tional and recreational thera-
pists, psychologists, vocational
counselors, nurses, physicians
and outside consultants. With
their help, people who have
been debilitated by nerve or
muscle pain return, not just to
work, but to the tennis courts
and ski slopes.
As part of the industrial
medicine program, you will
be assigned a rehabilitation
case manager
who will follow
you while you
are in therapy
and who will
follow-up after
you've resumed
your normal ac-
tivities. And
you'll be invited
to join what is
fondly called the
Team meeting
that gives you
the opportunity
to pose any
problems you
may be having.
"We feel
strongly that
every person is
extremely
important and
we want every-
one to have
a voice," says
Dr. Honet.

Cutting
Out
Surgery

Families are also involved in rehabilitation treatment. Children, particularly, are taught
with disabilities.

esteem along with your
function. To your employer it
means a reduced worker's com-
pensation payroll and reduced
losses of productivity.
If you have more limiting
pain, you may enroll in Sinai's
Functional Recovery Program
which is primarily held at the
Jewish Community Center in
West Bloomfield. Here you

Ellenberg says, "but the focus
is on functional rehabilitation
— the resumption of normal
activities. We retrain the body
and the mind. The pain no
longer tells our patients what
to do and not do. The body can
compensate, and we can help
people exploit that through
treatment and education."

A recently
published clini-
cal study was
conducted at
about living
Sinai and pre-
sented at the
American Acade-
my of Physical Medicine and
Rehabilitation using non-in-
vasive C-T scans after the pa-
tient completed non-surgical
treatment. Sinai's physiatrists
determined that half of the
discs had shrunk significantly
in size and, while the other half
were still protruding from their
natural spaces, they were no
longer irritating the nerves.

Healing Is Only
Part of the Job

At Sinai, physical medicine
professionals recognize it is not
enough to heal you if you must
return to a situation that
threatens re-injury. So they
will also try to alter the cause
of the injury. "We evaluate the
job site," says Dr. Restum. "We
help the employer make mod-
ifications which facilitate
returning to the job."

A Body Rebuilding
Department with
Muscles of Its Own

Dr. Honet's department has
some muscles of its own to
flex. It hosts one of the most
respected residency programs
in the State.
"All of our residents have
passed their Boards," boasts
Dr. Ellenberg, who is Chair-
man of the National Academy's
Committee responsible for
writing physician and resi-
dency training assessment ex-
ams. Dr. Ellenberg has been a
guest award-winning lecturer
on the subject of back pain to
the national organization.
Dr. Restum is an influential
member of the Michigan Asso-
ciation of Hospital Rehabilita-
tion Program Administrators
(MAHRPA), of which he is past
Chairman
A Past President of the
Academy of Physical Medicine
and Rehabilitation, Dr. Honet
chairs the National Residency
Review Committee of the
Accreditation Agency for
physical medicine and reha-
bilitation residency programs
in the U.S. and also serves as
a director of the American
Board of Physical Medicine and
Rehabilitation.
Each describes his work as
"gratifying." Thinking of, for
example, stroke patients, Dr.
Honet says, "We have a
specialty that doesn't always
cure people. But most of our
patients can still get to live a
much more normal life. You
get tremendous gratification."

For information on support
groups.
and programs.44
call Sinai I lospit al at

,

1-800-248-3627.

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