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October is Spine Health Awareness Month

22 Oct 2023

Patient education is key to improving spine health

By: Mauricio Collada, Jr., MD, Medical Director of Salem Spine Center of Excellence, Salem Health Chair of Surgical Department, MEC Member

At Salem Spine Center of Excellence, we celebrate “Spine Health Awareness Month” because we believe strongly in patient education, despite our role as a spine center that optimizes medical management for patients undergoing spine surgery. Educated patients can make improvements in their lifestyle habits to help reduce or avoid spine problems.

Some of these important lifestyle changes or modifications include:

  • Smoking cessation
  • Weight loss
  • Regular physical activity, including aerobic and strengthening major muscle groups
  • Attention to ergonomics while sitting
  • Attention to biomechanics in physical activities

Our Spine Center was first conceived in 2008 and created to provide the best science and best practice concepts in a more coordinated and timely way to serve patients needing spine care in our community.

With input from PCPs, therapists, pain management specialists, physiatrists, nursing specialists and spine neurosurgical specialists, we set up a comprehensive program that helps outpatient spine care management as well as those requiring hospitalization and surgical management.

Over the past three years, we have averaged 3,500 referrals per year, of which roughly 17% end up requiring spine surgery. Our triage nurse navigators help coordinate our patient care, confirming our commitment to streamlining evidence-based care, getting patients in touch with specialists who can educate and empower through lifestyle management.

We look forward to continuing to partner with you and your patients!