When you have a spine condition diagnosis, it’s time to think about treatment options. Many people fear that surgery is the only long-lasting solution for a back or neck problem. The reality is quite different.
Surgery is an effective treatment for some people — but not all. For most, non-surgical interventions are equally effective and less invasive. We offer a wide variety of non-surgical treatments in our multidisciplinary Spine Program. We try conservative therapies first so you can find relief sooner.
No matter what kind of spine problem you’re facing, there’s an expert in our Spine Program who can help. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is home to some of the region’s leading spine experts. They provide the latest therapies with a personalized touch.
Unless you’ve been referred directly to a surgeon, the first doctor you’ll likely see is a physiatrist. Physiatrists are spinal experts who specialize in helping patients regain physical function. They will evaluate you and reach a diagnosis before recommending the best non-surgical treatments for your situation.
Physical therapy for back pain focuses on helping you regain strength and range of motion in your spine. It may include exercise, stretching and strength training. Your therapist shows you how to do day-to-day activities with less pain. They also teach you techniques to prevent further spine issues, such as maintaining good posture and properly using ergonomic equipment.
You often can receive your first physical therapy session on the same day as your initial appointment with our Spine Program doctors. This streamlined approach helps you start your treatment plan sooner.
We may recommend injections for back pain or neck pain. Relief from injections is temporary, usually lasting a few months. Injections, in combination with physical therapy and rehabilitation, can help reduce pain and regain function. Your spine doctor works with providers in our Interventional Pain Clinic to provide this treatment.
We use X-ray or ultrasound guidance to deliver targeted doses of anti-inflammatories (steroids) or other pain medication directly to your spine. Types of injections include:
Spinal cord stimulation is an option for some patients with chronic pain. During the procedure, we place electrodes inside your spinal canal. We connect the electrodes to an electrical pulse generator that we place under your skin, usually in your buttocks or abdomen.
While this treatment is not appropriate for everyone, spinal cord stimulation can provide significant benefits for select individuals. We use the latest technology and have a team of pain management specialists who can help you decide if this approach would be right for you.
You control the frequency and strength of the stimulation with a handheld remote control. A minor surgical procedure is needed to implant the spinal cord stimulator. Your spine doctor and a pain medicine specialist work together to provide spinal cord stimulation.
There are many lifestyle adjustments and easy self-care techniques that can help relieve back pain without surgery:
Contact us to learn more about our non-surgical spine treatment program or to schedule an appointment with a specialist.