Back and neck pain are both common for adults of any age, but should never prevent you from living the full, active life you want. This pain can range from minor discomfort that resolves on its own to a chronic problem that limits mobility and decreases your quality of life.
The back and neck specialists at Weill Cornell Medicine are here to help. With our compassionate care, you can live fully with minimal pain.
Our back and neck specialists aim to improve your quality of life using an interventional, empathetic and patient-centric approach. We collaborate with you to understand your goals — and then individualize all treatment to help you achieve optimal health and well-being.
Contact your physician or go to the ER immediately if you have been injured and are experiencing low back pain with fever, chills, leg weakness or sudden bowel and/or urinary incontinence. This may be a sign of more serious conditions that need prompt care.
Individualized, non-surgical back and neck care: Our expert and compassionate team of rehabilitation specialists are here to help you achieve the functional health you want to pursue a full and vibrant life. Our doctors prioritize listening to you, understanding your condition and goals.
We create an individualized treatment plan to alleviate your pain — while also improving your quality of life, mobility and range of motion.
Focus on empowering our patients: We are passionate about educating our patients. We empower you with information, exercises and other tools so that you can manage and improve your back and neck health, as well as make confident decisions about your care.
Multidisciplinary back and neck care from leading experts: When you choose Weill Cornell Medicine, you have access to a network of doctors and specialists. Our rehabilitation medicine specialists are experts in diagnosing the conditions that can lead to back or neck pain.
Our team approach includes physiatrists — physicians who help patients restore movement and alleviate pain — as well as nurses, physical therapists, who work together to provide comprehensive and expert care.
Weill Cornell Medicine partners with NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the top hospital systems in New York City and the U.S.
About back and neck pain: The spine (or backbone) is your body’s central support system. It is made up of bones (vertebrae), discs, nerves and the spinal cord. The top seven vertebrae are called the cervical spine; they support the weight of the head and enable smooth movement. The cervical spine is the part of the spine located in the neck. The rest of the spine is divided into the thoracic spine (mid-back), lumbar spine (low back) and sacrum/coccyx (tailbone) areas.
Back and neck pain refers to any discomfort as a result of injuries or conditions affecting the muscles, ligaments, nerves and bones of the spine. Thankfully, most types of back and neck pain are not life-threatening and can be alleviated with expert care.
Our team helps diagnose and treat all causes of back and neck pain, including:
● Back or neck pain caused by muscle strain, trauma, spine infections or tumors
● Spinal nerve injuries: The nerves in your spine can become damaged in several ways, causing spinal stenosis, sciatica or a pinched nerve. Spinal nerve injuries can cause uncomfortable tingling, pain, weakness or numbness.
● Bone spur on the spine: A bone spur (osteophyte) is a bony growth extending from the original vertebrae. It can cause pain, pressure and wear on nearby parts of the body.
● Herniated disc: The bones that form the spine are called the vertebrae. They are cushioned by small, sponge-like discs that act as shock absorbers for the spine. They help keep the spine flexible and mobile. A herniated disc is a damaged disc that has bulged or broken open. Sometimes this is called a “slipped disc,” “ruptured disc” or “lumbar radiculopathy.”
● Lumbar spondylosis: As the body ages, the vertebrae can break down, causing stiffness and pain.
● Curvatures of the spine: Many people have a curve to their spine. Sometimes, however, the curve can be severe or cause pain or difficulty breathing. Scoliosis is one type of spine curvature condition.
● Degenerative disc disease: As the body ages, spinal discs start to break down, causing degenerative disc disease. For some, this can cause back or neck pain.
● Compression fractures: This type of fracture is a small break in the bones of the spine that occurs because of the spine being compressed or pressed together. This compression can occur as a result of osteoporosis or other diseases that weaken the bones in the spine.
At Weill Cornell Medicine, our team offers the most advanced and comprehensive interventional spine treatments available. Our approach includes careful evaluation of your pain and anatomy to understand your specific condition. Then, we develop a treatment plan designed to alleviate your pain and help you achieve your lifestyle goals.
Your treatment plan may incorporate physical therapy to improve your back and neck’s functional health, medications to manage pain, education to help modify activities to reduce pressure on the spine, bracing and interventional spine techniques to manage pain (link to interventional spine procedure section).
Whether you visit us virtually through a video visit or you see us in person, you can be assured that we will deliver the highest standards of care with compassion.
The physicians at the Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Rehabilitation Medicine offer patients the highest level of safety and care. As a top-ranked academic medical center, you have access to our extensive network of specialists who provide seamless care throughout your treatment — to promote long-term physical and mental health.