The spine is your body’s central support system. It is a complex structure made up of bones (vertebrae), discs, nerves and the spinal cord. The spine connects different parts of your musculoskeletal system, supporting your body as you walk, twist and move.
The seven vertebrae located in the neck are called the cervical spine; they support the weight of the head and enable smooth movement. The rest of the spine is divided into the thoracic spine (mid-back), lumbar spine (low back) and sacrum/coccyx (tailbone) areas.
At Weill Cornell Medicine, we understand that any spinal condition or pain can negatively impact your quality of life, making it difficult to enjoy the active life you want.
Our interventional spine specialists improve your quality of life using a holistic, 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. All of our interventional spine physicians are fellowship trained in interventional spine procedures.
Individualized, non-surgical spine 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.
Our patients include children, adolescents and adults of all ages and activity levels. We care for all types of spine pain by creating an individualized treatment plan to improve each patient’s quality of life, mobility and range of motion.
Focus on empowering you: We are passionate about educating our patients. We empower you with information, exercises and other tools so that you can manage and improve your spine health, as well as make confident decisions about your care.
Multidisciplinary care from leading experts: When you choose Weill Cornell Medicine, you have access to a network of doctors and specialists. Our experts specialize in diagnosing the conditions that can lead to spine pain.
Weill Cornell Medicine partners with NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the top hospital systems in New York City and the U.S
Our team helps patients suffering from all spinal conditions, including:
● Spine injuries
● Persistent spine, back or neck pain
● Spinal nerve injuries: The nerves in your spine can become damaged in several ways, causing spinal stenosis, sciatica or a pinched nerve (radiculopathy). 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.
● Arthritis or degeneration of the spine: Arthritis is a long-term form of arthritis that occurs in the spine that can cause pain, stiffness or swelling in the back, buttocks, neck, hips, chest or heels. It can limit mobility significantly.
● 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” or “ruptured disc.”
● Lumbar spondylosis: This condition is often called “degenerative disc disease.” 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, it can occur in adults, as well as children and adolescents.
● 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, in addition to physical therapy to improve the functional health of your spine and medications for pain management. Interventional spine treatment options include:
● Epidural steroid injection: This treatment treats spinal nerve injuries. During this procedure, a rehabilitation medicine specialist administers medication (corticosteroid) to the outer part of the spinal canal, the epidural space, as close as possible to the affected nerves. This injection takes about 20 minutes and can alleviate pain for several months
● Medial branch block: This injection helps to determine if the facet joint is causing the neck or back pain.
● Radiofrequency ablation: Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment option for lumbar spondylosis or facet arthritis. During this procedure, the physician guides a thin needle to the spinal area. A high-frequency electrical current is carried through the needle, delivering heat. This heat deadens the nerves that are causing pain. This can help alleviate pain for up to a year or more.
● Spinal cord stimulator: This minimally invasive procedure is sometimes referred to as a “pacemaker for pain.” A small device that produces low currents of electrical stimulation is implanted under the skin, with an internal wire that extends into the spine. This blocks pain signals from traveling to the brain.
● Sacroiliac joint injection: During this minimally invasive procedure, a steroid medication is injected into the joint linking the lower spine to the pelvis (sacroiliac joint).
● Regenerative procedures for the spine and discs
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 interventional spine care specialists 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.