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Back and Neck Pain

Back pain keeping you from activities you enjoy? Whether you suddenly hurt your back, or it has been painful for awhile, the Gundersen Comprehensive Spine Center can help. Don't wait any longer. Our team of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Management experts can get you in for an appointment and start to help you find relief.

It can be difficult to diagnose the cause of back and neck pain. The spine is a complex group of muscles, nerves, joints, ligaments and tendons that can all cause pain. Some causes of back or neck pain may include:

  • Injuries (e.g. slips, falls, lifting, sports-related, etc.)
  • Poor posture
  • Poor muscle structure or imbalances
  • Myofascial or muscle pain
  • Ruptured discs
  • Degenerative discs
  • Compression fractures
  • Spinal stenosis

At-home treatments
If you suddenly hurt your back, get into a position that is as comfortable as possible and rest. While rest is important, that doesn't mean you should get into bed and not move for a week. Many people find it helps to move as much as they can. The key is not overdoing it.

Other at-home treatment options that may offer some relief include:

  • Applying heat or ice to the area that hurts
  • Taking an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that you typically take for pain, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen

Seeking medical treatment
It is important to note that some people should not wait to see a clinician. If you are having back pain along with any problems in your legs or feet, such as weakness, you need to be seen by a healthcare professional right away.

For most people, however, trying at-home treatments for a few days is fine. If the pain persists and continues to interfere with daily activities, then it's time to seek medical advice.

Non-surgical options
A typical first appointment would involve an evaluation by a specialist to help determine the problem. If appropriate, they may recommend:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Chiropractic care
  • Proper posture
  • Exercises to strengthen back muscles
  • A variety of injection treatments are available to help with back and neck pain.

Surgical options
If these less invasive treatments don't provide pain relief, you may be a candidate for one of our surgical options:

  • Decompression such as
    • Laminotomy
    • Laminectomy
    • Diskectomy
    • Fusion
  • State-of-the-art disc replacement surgery called disc arthroplasty can eliminate pain and restores movement for those with a degenerative disc.
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