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Back And Neck Pain

Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center

Spine & Orthopedic Surgeon in Pittsburgh, PA, McKees Rocks, PA, Washington, PA and South Florida, FL

Back and neck pain are among the most widespread causes of musculoskeletal discomfort and loss of function. If you’re experiencing back or neck pain, board-certified spine and orthopedic surgeon Jocelyn Idema, DO, at Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center can help. Dr. Idema and her team provide both conservative therapies and cutting-edge surgeries for patients with back and neck pain, including minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS). Call the office in Pittsburgh, McKees Rocks, and Washington, Pennsylvania, today or book an appointment using the online form.

Back and Neck Pain

What causes back and neck pain?

Back pain is often due to soft tissue injuries like strained muscles and tendons, or sprained ligaments. You might have a degenerative condition like osteoarthritis that’s causing back pain, or pain from nerve compression in your spinal canal.

Soft tissue injuries are also a common cause of neck pain, and tension is a frequent trigger for neck pain and stiffness. Poor posture, sleeping with your neck at an unnatural angle, and sudden jerking movements are all common causes of neck pain.

Some of the conditions that are most likely to cause back and neck pain include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Compression fractures
  • Spondylolysis
  • Radiculopathy (nerve compression)
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Whiplash injuries

Back pain can be acute, causing immediate pain that typically goes away after treatment. Or it can be chronic, lasting for months and sometimes years. Neck pain can radiate into your shoulders and arms, while lower back pain can extend into your hips and legs.

How are back and neck pain diagnosed?

To find out what’s causing your pain, Dr. Idema conducts a thorough physical exam and takes a detailed medical history. She might also use diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography), and EMG (electromyography) tests, or a bone density scan.

Blood tests can show indicators for some diseases. For example, measuring the levels of rheumatoid factor in your blood could help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. Blood tests can also help rule out causes of back and neck pain that aren’t musculoskeletal, like kidney infections or meningitis.

How are neck and back pain treated?

To begin, Dr. Idema uses conservative approaches to resolve back and neck pain. Your treatment program could consist of therapies such as:

  • Activity modification
  • Cold packs
  • Heat packs
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Painkillers
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy
  • Manual manipulation

Some patients might require epidural steroid injections and other injectable treatments to relieve inflammation and reduce back and neck pain.

Do I need surgery for back and neck pain?

Conservative treatments are generally very effective, so most of Dr. Idema’s patients recover from their back and neck pain without needing surgery. 

However, if you’ve been receiving nonsurgical treatments and they aren’t relieving your symptoms, surgery could provide a resolution for your pain.

Surgeries Dr. Idema can perform for neck and back pain include:

  • Discectomy
  • Spinal fusion
  • Laminectomy
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Vertebroplasty
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Spinal cord stimulator implantation

Sometimes these techniques are used in combination, such as an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) procedure.

Dr. Idema excels in carrying out disc replacement surgery, using state-of-the-art implants such as the Mobi-C® cervical disc replacement from Zimmer Biomet, the BRYAN® cervical disc replacement from Medtronic, and the activL® artificial lumbar disc from Aesculap® Implant Systems.

Wherever possible, Dr. Idema uses minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) to carry out your operation, which minimizes tissue damage and aids a speedy recovery.

If you have back or neck pain, call Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center today or schedule a consultation using the online tool.