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Musculoskeletal Therapy and Treatment

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s Center for Neurosciences & Spine offers specialized musculoskeletal services as part of our comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation. 

Our highly experienced doctors and physical and occupational therapists evaluate and treat patients with a wide variety of diagnoses. These include:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Overuse disorders, such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Joint injuries to the knee, shoulder, ankle or arm
  • Headaches
  • Balance problems
  • Difficulties with walking

In partnership with other Virginia Mason Franciscan Health experts, our team also provides specialty care for body mechanics training, women’s health, surface electromyography (SEMG), and pelvic floor problems, such as incontinence.

Our therapists strongly believe education is key to the rehabilitation process. Education helps those we care for minimize pain and time lost from work and feel more empowered in the rehabilitation process.

The Spine Program

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health's Spine Program treats acute back pain right away with physical therapy. Our physiatrists focus on what may be limiting your ability to do your normal activities and develop a plan to help you become as functional as possible.


Osteoarthritis is the gradual loss of cartilage from joints. Cartilage is a cushion for your bones that allows them to glide smoothly when you move. Losing cartilage can cause pain and stiffness in your joints. Osteoarthritis worsens over time, but the pain and disability can be controlled.

Treatment for osteoarthritis

  • Treatment without medications includes physical therapy and exercise and devices to assist in everyday life (e.g., canes, walkers, raised toilet seats, well-cushioned shoes and orthotics).
  • Treatment with medications includes acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroid joint injections for pain flare-ups.
  • Joint replacement surgery is required in only a minority of patients with osteoarthritis and is based on the severity of arthritis seen on X-rays and pain and limitation of everyday activities.

Vestibular rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation is the most effective and efficient method to treat balance problems.

Vestibular disorders stem from problems with the inner ear, acoustic nerves, acoustic fluids, or other areas of the inner ear. Symptoms may include extreme dizziness, vomiting, vertigo, headaches, heavy pressure in the head, or difficulties with balance and/or walking.

Outpatient physical therapy has several physical therapists specifically trained to assist patients with vestibular disorders.

For more information, please call 206-223-6746 or 253-426-4400.

Community mobile resources

Driving and community mobility are activities of daily living that allow us to move about our respective environments with a high degree of independence. When this ability becomes threatened, so does our independence. We believe it's important to maintain safe levels of community mobility and maximize the sense of independence our patients feel.

Driving rehab programs

We also offer in-clinic screening measures completed by trained occupational therapy practitioners. These measures help you or your loved one determine whether independent driving is still safe as a form of community mobility. There may be alternatives available to driving. 

For more information, call 206-223-6746.