Back, Neck and Spine Care

Almost everyone will experience back pain at some point. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health orthopedic and spine specialists offer relief from back pain, as well as neck pain relief, with comprehensive therapy options and advanced spine surgery to get you moving comfortably again. Our spine doctors and other specialists provide personalized treatment plans to yield the best results for both back injuries and chronic back pain. We listen to your needs, taking into account your lifestyle and health goals, and recommend a comprehensive plan for your spine care. Your back or neck pain treatment plan may include physical therapy, pain management, the latest in medications and injections, and when conservative treatment is no longer effective, surgical options such as minimally invasive spine surgery, including minimally invasive robotic-assisted spine surgery

What is minimally invasive spine surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery is a type of surgery done on the bones of your spine (or backbone). This type of surgery uses smaller incisions than standard surgery and is used for some specific types of surgery such as lumbar discectomy, laminectomy or spinal fusion.

What are the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery?

Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery can include:

  • Smaller incisions for less blood loss and less scarring
  • Lower risk of infection and other complications
  • Faster recovery
  • Reduced surgery time with less time under anesthesia
  • Preserved muscle tissue, as surgeons can separate, rather than cut through, muscles along the spine

Your surgeon will discuss surgical options with you.

What provider should I see for back pain?

Everyone experiences back pain at some point during their life. Often back pain can be self-managed with proper movement and gentle exercise. Try these techniques for mild or occasional back discomfort. If you experience pain or discomfort with any of these activities, please discontinue and have an evaluation with your medical provider. Spine Clinic patients are seen at multiple Virginia Mason Franciscan Health locations.

Conditions we treat

The spine supports our weight and protects the spinal cord responsible for carrying messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The spine is divided into three parts: cervical spine, thoracic spine and lumbar spine. Cushioning discs separate the vertebrae and serve as shock absorbers for the spine. Over time as we age, these discs can wear out and cause pain and problems. This is called degenerative disc disease.

Another common age-related condition, spinal stenosis, occurs when the space through which the nerve roots and spinal cord travel narrows.

When should I see a back provider for my back or neck pain?

Most back pain gets better within a few weeks without treatment. If you're very uncomfortable, you can rest in bed for a day or two, but longer than that does more harm than good. Over-the-counter pain medications often help reduce back pain, as does the application of cold or heat to the painful area.

Call your provider if your back pain hasn't improved at all after three days of home treatment or if your back pain:

  • Is constant or intense, especially at night or when you lie down
  • Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below your knee
  • Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
  • Occurs with unintended weight loss
  • Occurs with swelling or redness on your back

Please have your referral from your primary care provider ready before you call for an orthopedic spine care or neuro spine care consult. Thank you.

What can I expect if I need spine surgery?

Should you require spine surgery, we empower you with knowledge and support. Our nurse navigator walks with you every step of the way, from education and scheduling through recovery, to optimize your surgery experience and healing process. Our electronic patient portal gives you free resources to help you prepare for surgery, track your progress and stay connected to your care team as you work toward your best outcome and recovery. Both St. Francis Hospital and St. Joseph Medical Center and have earned national recognition with Blue Distinction® Center for Spine Surgery status for their expertise in delivering hospital specialty care, safely and effectively.

Need a primary care provider?

Call our patient access line for an appointment: 1-844-364-2778.

Already a patient and have begun your surgical journey?

Access the Wellbe Patient Portal.

Spine surgery

From initial evaluation to nonsurgical or surgical treatment, our expert team of orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and other specialists provide a comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation plan that will keep you moving.

Our expert surgeons specialize in a range of spine surgical procedures:

Diskectomies

The most common surgical treatment for ruptured or herniated discs of the lumbar spine.

Fusion surgeries

Surgery to fuse portions of the spine to minimize pain often associated with conditions caused by degenerative changes in cervical discs.

Laminectomy

Typically performed to alleviate pain from spinal stenosis.

Decompression surgeries: Various surgical procedures intended to relieve symptoms caused by pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots.

Take the first step

Schedule an appointment with a Virginia Mason Franciscan Health specialist. Find an orthopedic provider near you or attend a free health talk to meet a provider on our team and have your questions answered.