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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on December 12, 2002

LifeSpine Provides Comprehensive Approach to Lower Spine Management

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Georgetown Outpatient Rehabilitation Services at Georgetown Hospital System has announced the development of a program designed to treat lower back pain and spinal dysfunction. John LaRochelle, PT, Executive Director for Georgetown Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, describes the program as unique.

“With LifeSpine, we use a wide variety of treatment methods to manage lower back problems,” says LaRochelle. “Relying solely on one therapy technique or philosophy may not be effective in every case. In order to determine the right course of treatment for each person, we perform objective tests to assess his or her ability level.”

In the initial evaluation, the therapist takes into account problems with movement, ability to stabilize and protect the spine, overall muscle strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning. Following this analysis, the therapist develops a customized treatment program, which addresses the person’s specific needs.

“The comprehensive evaluation and treatment approach of LifeSpine is based on widely published scientific data on low back pain and effective treatments,” LaRochelle says.

Lower back pain is one of the most prevalent health problems in the U.S. The National Institute of Health estimates that lower back pain is the most frequent cause of activity limitation in people younger than 45. Factors contributing to low back pain include poor body mechanics, strenuous activity, trauma, degeneration, and sedentary lifestyle.

“Often, people with lower back problems have developed movement patterns that aggravate their condition,” LaRochelle says. “Therefore, the emphasis of LifeSpine is on education. We teach people proper body mechanics and how to perform the activities of daily living without re-injury. We also show them how to increase the strength and flexibility of their spine and offer information on lifestyle changes to prevent future problems.”

To gauge the effectiveness of the program, Georgetown Outpatient Rehabilitation Services utilizes standardized outcome tools, which measure functional abilities both at initial evaluation and program completion. This information is shared with all program participants and their physicians.

“Almost everything you do, every way you move, affects your back,” LaRochelle says. “With LifeSpine, we are trying to help people understand the reasons for lower back problems, how to correct them, and how to protect their body’s chief support – their spine.” For more information, please call us at:

Georgetown Outpatient Therapy Center (843) 545-5188, Andrews Medical Center (843) 264-8933, HealthPoint (Pawleys Island) (843) 237-5956, Waccamaw Medical Park (843) 65


Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.