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Q&A with Dr. Tingan of the Penn Spine Center

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Alexis S. Tingan, M.D., CAQSM is a physiatrist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Penn Medicine. Specializing in the treatment of musculoskeletal and sports medicine injuries of the neck and back, Dr. Tingan practices at the Penn Spine Center at Penn Medicine Valley Forge and at the Penn Musculoskeletal Center at Penn Medicine University City.

Dr. Tingan recently took some time to answer a few questions about the services he provides:

What conditions do you treat at the Penn Spine Center?

I treat a variety of neck and back conditions, including disc related pain, radicular pain, facet joint arthropathy, spinal stenosis, myofascial pain and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. I also perform fluoroscopic (X-Ray) guided injections in the lumbar spine.

What is the most exciting thing about being a part of the Penn Spine Center?

The opportunity to collaborate with colleagues across different specialties. I enjoy running into other Penn Spine Center physicians at different clinic sites and discussing mutual patients. It’s also great to be able to seamlessly refer patients to other Penn Spine Center physicians and for those physicians to seamlessly refer patients to me.

What is your philosophy on patient care?

My patient care philosophy can be summed up as patient-centered functional treatment. ‘Patient centered’ in that I believe the best care is provided when patients are involved in the decision making related to treating their condition. Part of this process involves the patient understanding their diagnoses. My goal at the end of each of my patient visits is that my patients leave the office completely understanding their condition. I often find that understanding what is going on (and also what is not) is an important component in a patient beginning the healing process. 

My treatment is also functional-centered. Everything I do, whether it's prescribing or performing injections, is focused on improving my patients’ function in every day activity, as well as the sports and physical activities they enjoy. The most important part of this functional treatment is an appropriate physical therapy program. All of my patients for whom I prescribe therapy are sent to specific therapists who have additional training in spine therapy so that they get maximum benefit from their therapy program.

What kinds of research are you involved with at Penn?

I am involved in collaborative research with the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department and the Sports Medicine divisions at Penn. Currently, I'm involved in a study assessing Achilles tendon injuries in the University of Pennsylvania track team.

What do you enjoy doing outside of practicing medicine?

I love both watching and playing sports. I'm a big fan of my hometown teams in Texas, and as a former track athlete, I'm still an avid runner.

Outside of sports, I enjoy reading, watching and discussing American politics. I also love spending time with my wife and two dogs, exploring the Philadelphia area and traveling around the world.

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