Covenant Health Spine Program
Covenant Health Spine Program
Back and neck pain shouldn’t keep you from enjoying all life has to offer. At Covenant Health, we’ll work closely with you to find a treatment that helps relieve your pain and gets you feeling like yourself again.
And we understand that starting your treatment journey can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ll be by your side every step of the way. We’ll discuss all of your treatment options – starting with minimally invasive, conservative care and considering surgical options when appropriate – putting you at the center of the decision making process.
Together, we’ll help you get back to doing what you love.
Our spine care team has experience diagnosing and treating many common (and uncommon) back and neck conditions.
- Back pain – Back pain can occur in the middle (thoracic) or lower (lumbar) spine. Pain can range from mild aches to sharp, radiating pain.
- Back strain or sprain – An injury to a muscle or tendon. A sprain is the stretching or tearing of a ligament in your back.
- Broken vertebrae – May be the result of a compression fracture caused by osteoporosis or a traumatic accident.
- Degenerative disk disease (spinal spondylosis) – This common spine condition occurs when a damaged disk (often from age, gradual wear and tear or an accident or injury) causes pain.
- Diskitis – Occurs when there is an infection in the spinal disks. It can be caused by a virus or bacteria.
- Herniated disk – Occurs when the soft center of your spinal disk pushes through the tough exterior wall of the disk. It is also called a bulging disk.
- Low back pain – The most common type of back pain, low back pain can be caused by several conditions including herniated disks, osteoarthritis, sciatica and more.
- Multiple sclerosis – Back pain can be a common symptom of multiple sclerosis. It can be caused by damaged nerves or other health conditions.
- Myelopathy – Caused by an injury or spine condition that compresses the spinal cord.
- Neck pain – Neck pain that lasts longer than a few days or severely affects your range of motion or daily life should be evaluated by a doctor.
- Osteoporosis – Arthritis in your spine most commonly affects your low back.
- Pinched nerve – Also called radiculopathy, can cause pain in other areas of your body, especially your legs or hips.
- Scoliosis – A congenital condition that refers to a curvature of your spine.
- Sciatica – Can radiate down one or both legs. It’s typically caused by a herniated disk.
- Slipped vertebra – Also called spondylolisthesis, this condition occurs when a vertebra slips out of place and rests on the vertebra below it.
- Spinal stenosis – Most often occurring in the low back or neck, this condition refers to a narrowing of the spaces in your spine.
There are many effective ways to treat neck and back pain without surgery. You can be confident that your spine care team will always start with the most conservative care plan for you. Your team will discuss your treatment options, which may include any of the following.
- Physical therapy –A physical therapist will work with you to create an exercise plan that targets those muscles and helps you regain strength and range of motion.
- Physiatry – A physiatrist is a medical doctor with specialized training in physical medicine and rehabilitation. They focus on your whole body and recommend treatments that address your symptoms.
- Medication management – Medications, like anti-inflammatories and non-narcotic pain relievers can help you take better control of your symptoms – and keep you moving.
- Injection therapies –Injections are a minimally invasive spine care approach that can provide long-lasting treatment.
- Diet changes – A healthy diet (and one that avoids trans fats, refined sugars and processed foods) can help reduce inflammation and maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise – Low impact exercise, such as swimming, biking or yoga, can help you gain strength and improve flexibility – and reduce your back or neck pain.
- Lifestyle modifications – Your doctor can also discuss lifestyle modifications that can help reduce your back or neck pain.
- Alternative therapies – Sometimes, alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage, biofeedback therapy or electric nerve stimulation can help reduce your back or neck pain.
If non-surgical treatments aren’t relieving your pain, your team may recommend spine surgery. Fortunately, advances in neurosurgery mean there are more minimally invasive surgical approaches for neck and back pain than ever before. In many cases, these procedures use technology to precisely guide your surgeon’s movements, meaning smaller incisions and shorter recovery times.
Our spine surgeons are experienced in many procedures, including:
- Spinal decompression – Decompression surgery can help relieve back pain. There are many different types of decompression surgery:
- Laminectomy – One or more lamina vertebra is removed
- Laminotomy – A small portion of the lamina is removed
- Foraminotomy – The area around the affected vertebra is enlarged
- Microdiscectomy – A portion of a herniated disk is removed through a small incision during a minimally invasive procedure
- Disk replacement surgery – Your surgeon will replace a damaged disk with an artificial one. This helps reduce pain and improve range of motion.
- Kyphoplasty – A minimally invasive surgical procedure, kyphoplasty can help treat spinal compression fractures caused by osteoporosis.
- Spinal fusion – Spinal fusion permanently joins (fuses) two or more vertebrae together. This helps reduce instability, improve range of motion and ease pain. It’s used to treat many conditions,
- including spinal stenosis, degenerative disk disease, scoliosis and others.
- Spinal reconstruction surgery – This advanced procedure replaces deformed or misaligned portions of the spine with artificial disks and hardware. This helps align and stabilize the spine, which improves mobility and quality of life.
- Vertebroplasty – A surgeon will insert a special cement-type mixture into your fractured vertebra to help relieve pain and improve your mobility.
Go to the nearest emergency department or urgent care if you have any of these symptoms:
- Loss of bowel control (more than one episode)
- Difficulty urinating or controlling urine (more than one episode)
- Rapidly progressing weakness or paralysis in your arm or leg that is new or getting worse
- Fever with significant back pain
Contact your doctor immediately and seek medical attention if you have:
- Sudden, severe worsening of back pain
- Unexplained weight loss with back pain
Tips for Managing Back or Neck Pain
Neck and back pain can keep you from doing what you love. Learn how to manage your pain, and what treatment options are available.