Aimee Gindin's Story: Living without the Fear of Pain, The Rewards of Physical Medicine

Living with chronic back pain can be draining, especially when it dictates every aspect of what you can and can’t do. At 29 years old, Aimee Gindin knew the toll back pain had taken on her body. Though Aimee had spent over a decade coping with pain caused from a genetic condition, she had grown tired of not being able to comfortably live the active lifestyle she so desired. When her primary care physician referred her to the Spine Center located in South Shore Hospital’s Center for Orthopedics, Spine and Sports Medicine, Aimee was ready to conquer chronic back pain once and for all.

She met with physiatrist, Janet Limke, MD, Medical director of the Spine Center and was instantly impressed by her recommendations. “I can honestly say, Dr. Limke’s the best doctor I’ve ever worked with, someone who thoughtfully looked at non-surgical approaches to treat my pain while also boosting my confidence,” Aimee said. Physiatrists or doctors of physical medicine specialize in diagnosing, treating, and often helping in the prevention of impairment caused by acute or chronic pain and disease.

After ordering an MRI to assess Aimee’s back, Dr. Limke reviewed the results, which revealed four herniated discs—one severe. She devised a conservative treatment plan for Aimee, combining supervised physical therapy, at-home exercise, and changes in her work and home environment to support healthy body movement.

“Dr. Limke gave me wonderful tips that began to replace my fear with an increased desire to be more active,” Aimee said. Unfortunately, just as Aimee’s new regimen was successfully taking off, she experienced a devastating setback while horseback riding on vacation. A back spasm left Aimee in severe pain, reaching a nearly intolerable level. Aimee immediately returned to Dr. Limke for help, who arranged a consultation with the Pain Clinic at the Center for Orthopedics, Spine and Sports Medicine.

At the Center, she received an epidural injection that provided immediate and sustained relief. “Having everything under one roof at the Orthopedics Center was not only incredibly convenient, it also gave me an added sense of assurance—knowing that these specialists were all working closely together on my behalf,” Aimee commented.

Aimee’s experience gave her the confidence to get back to living life to the fullest. Today, she feels terrific, is exercising regularly and living a more active lifestyle, including running up to 6 miles, 3-4 times a week. The Spine Center treats patients with a diverse range of spinal ailments and disorders. The main objective is to help patients like Aimee return to normal function and activity.