Julie Woodard's job keeps her on the go. As a real estate agent, she's in and out of the car, showing houses and writing contracts. So when she couldn't get up after an evening at home with her grandchildren, Julie knew something was wrong.
"During the night, I was awake all night," she explains. "24/7 I was up in terrific pain and it moved into my leg."
Julie had such severe back pain – she knew a trip to the doctor was in order. A relative suggested she call 717-BACK, an Alegent Health hotline that connected her directly to the back experts – fast.
"It's the best phone call I made because in no time they had me in there," she says. "I had five physical therapy sessions and after the second session I was able to sleep all night – because I'd been up day and night."
So what is 717-BACK? It's a lifeline for people who suffer with back pain, a part of the Alegent Health Back and Spine Institute, which puts all of the experts in back and spine care under one umbrella.
"Back pain is the second most common reason why someone will see a physician in the United States – second only to the common cold," says Chris Anderson, D.O., a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with Alegent Health.
65 million Americans will experience some sort of back pain this year – and since no two cases are alike, 717-BACK and the Back and Spine Institute offer specialized care to people, like Julie, who have never really had back pain, as well as those who live with it every day.
"Many people don't even have a primary care doctor and don't know where to start so this gives them a starting point," says Dr. Anderson. "They now talk to someone who will give them guidance to get the help they need to get better."
Julie saw a doctor and a physical therapist on her first visit and was feeling better in no time. Her prescription for a stronger back: exercise to build a stronger body. 717-BACK helped Julie find relief when she needed it.