Water Works Wonders for Man with Severe Back Pain

September 3, 2009

majd“Mr. Luckett had a number of very painful conditions in his back. So, we started with steroid injections to ease the inflammation, and then proceeded with aquatic therapy. It has worked exceedingly well for him. We were able to avoid surgery entirely.”

Mohammad E. Majd, MD
Orthopedic and Spine Surgeon
Spine Surgery, PSC

Severe back pain was not only agonizing for Roy Luckett, it also threatened to stop him from doing just about all the things he loved. With the help of aquatic therapy, however, he is nearly pain free and back to his active life faster than he ever thought possible.

“The problem started this past December,” said Roy. “The pain in my back and hip became so intense I could barely walk. After studying my MRI, my primary care physician referred me to Dr. Majd. I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear him say that surgery would be the last resort for my treatment.”

As Orthopedic and Spine Surgeon Mohammad E. Majd, MD, explained, “Mr. Luckett’s pain was caused by a combination of disk degeneration, spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the channel around the spinal cord, and dysplasia of one vertebra onto another. Surgery is always a last resort in my hands, particularly for patients his age. So, we started with a series of three steroid injections provided at the Floyd Memorial Pain Management Center to decrease inflammation. Then, Mr. Luckett began aquatic therapy through Floyd Memorial’s new aquatic therapy program at the New Albany YMCA. If that had not been successful, we would have had to do a surgical intervention. Fortunately, he responded very well to the treatment.”

Aquatic Therapy Eliminated the Need for Surgery

aquatictherapyAccording to Sean Coverdell, PTA, the physical therapy assistant who worked with Roy, “Aquatic therapy offers a number of advantages to patients like Roy. The buoyancy lifts much of the weight off bones and joints, and allows patients to perform movements that would be much harder on land. The warm water is soothing, and provides gentle resistance to start building strength. For Roy, it meant he could start lower body exercises earlier. It was a less painful way for him to ease into his activities.”

“I warmed up in the water by walking back and forth the length of the pool five times,” Roy said. “I would start with leg exercises, then do bicycle movements and squats. Afterward, I would sit in the Jacuzzi for about 15 minutes. I just kept getting better and better!”

“Roy was wonderful to work with,” said Coverdell. “So much of therapy is having a positive approach. He really applied himself. That’s why he was so successful. And now, he has the motivation to continue on his own. He has transitioned to using some of the land-based exercise equipment available at the YMCA. I am sure he will continue to feel good and do well.”

“Floyd Memorial arranged for me to do my physical therapy in the water at the YMCA in New Albany. It helped me tremendously. I can do the things I want to do now, even yard work. And even though my therapy is over, I’m continuing to work out twice every week, one time in the gym and one time in the water.”

Roy Luckett, 85
Retired Post Office Clerk
Volunteer at Floyd Memorial

actionThe New Albany YMCA is home to a satellite location for Floyd Memorial Physical Therapy. The warm water aquatic therapy available there offers patients a number of special benefits:

  • The warmth helps patients tolerate the exercise more comfortably
  • The buoyancy reduces stress on the joints
  • The resistance of the water helps build strength

For more information about the program, call 812-948-7416.