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A woman performs shoulder exercises to try to strengthen her back and take care of her spine.

Chronic Back and Neck Pain

Back pain is the second leading cause of visits to physicians. Statistics show that 80% of people will experience severe back pain during their lifetime, presenting issues that impact the quality of life. Take our Spine Health Assessment to discover where you should begin in your journey toward relief.

What causes back and neck pain?

There are several potential causes for back or neck pain, such as a muscle strain or sprain, a herniated disc, or a sedentary lifestyle. Mild pain often goes away within a few weeks. However, if yours lasts longer or is severe, you should consider visiting a specialist.

What are treatment options for chronic neck or back pain?

Doctors often start by recommending nonsurgical treatment options such as rest, heat, medication, injections, and physical therapy.

Physical therapy strengthens muscle groups that support your spine, helps reduce the need for opioids (highly addictive pain relievers), and improves your mobility. For optimal outcomes, a physical therapist will analyze your condition to create a personalized plan.

If noninvasive treatments don’t address your issue, your physician may consider a procedure. Our team only recommends surgery if we truly believe it is your best option. The surgeons at St. Luke’s Health use the most advanced minimally invasive techniques to treat spine pain.

Who is eligible for spine surgery?

If conservative treatments fail to provide a solution for persistent or disabling neck or back pain, you may be a candidate for a surgical solution. Operations are typically most helpful in reducing peripheral pain or numbness that travels down the arms and legs.

Your doctor may recommend spine surgery even before exhausting noninvasive therapies if:

  • You have a spinal infection.
  • You need a spinal tumor removed.
  • You experienced severe spinal trauma.
  • Your condition causes spinal instability.
  • You experience a sudden loss of function.

How do I know if my neck or back pain is serious?

Take our Spine Health Assessment to find your best course of action toward recovery.

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U.S. News & World Report

U.S News & World Report has recognized Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties. 

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