Comprehensive spine, neck and back care in Denver

If you have neck or back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is the second-leading reason someone will see his or her doctor. Sometimes, the pain can be alleviated through simple treatment, but other times neck or back pain can become a persistent problem.

Our team can help you determine what level of treatment will ease your back or neck pain, whether it’s conservative therapies or surgery. We will fully discuss your options for managing pain and help you decide what treatment is most appropriate for you.

Spine, back and neck injuries we treat

Swedish Medical Center offers treatment for a wide variety of spine, neck and back injuries and conditions, including:

  • Spinal disorders, including conservative treatment using interventional pain procedures and rehabilitation services
  • Acute and long-term surgical management cases
  • Cervical, thoracic and lumbar fractures and disc injury requiring spinal fusions, including minimally invasive procedures
  • Complex deformity surgery and scoliosis
  • Fractures requiring kyphoplasty to correct an injured or collapsed vertebra
  • Pain management via spine pain stimulators/implants
  • Patients needing painful hardware removal
  • Spinal tumors
  • Traumatic spine and spinal cord injuries
  • Alternative therapies

Our experienced spine surgery team

With our seasoned nursing staff and fully equipped, state-of-the-art facility, Swedish provides a team approach to support our spinal surgeons, physicians’ offices, post- and pre-operative care providers and rehabilitation specialists.

Back pain

Lower back pain is often described as a dull, continuous pain and muscle tenderness along the spine and lower back. There are four types of back pain:

  • Acute low back pain: back pain for less than six weeks; pain does not move down your leg
  • Chronic low back pain: back pain for more than six weeks; pain does not move down your leg
  • Acute sciatic pain: low back pain for less than six weeks with pain that moves down your leg
  • Chronic sciatic pain: low back pain for more than six weeks with pain that moves down your leg

Although low back pain can greatly restrict your mobility, 90 percent of people with low back pain improve with conservative home treatment and without the need for surgery.

Low back pain can happen after activities such as shoveling show, lifting a heavy object, making a sudden movement or experiencing an injury or accident.

When back pain occurs there is usually an underlying cause. Some of these include:

  • A ruptured disc
  • Tiny fractures in the spine caused by osteoporosis
  • Degeneration of the spinal discs
  • Muscle strain
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis and kyphosis
  • Spasms of the supporting muscles in the back
  • Kidney stones
  • Bladder infections
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cancer or cysts

There are many activities you can do that will prevent low back pain, but one of the most important steps is to learn how to bend and lift properly. Losing weight, quitting smoking and stress reduction all contribute to preventing or reducing back pain. If your back pain is not relieved by non-surgical treatments, surgery may be recommended.

Advanced spine surgery technology and techniques

Medical technology and techniques always are advancing. As such, our team of experts works hard to regularly update technology and perfect the latest techniques. For spine surgery patients, this is great news. With the incorporation of robotic-guided spine surgeries at Swedish, our patients’ recovery times and outcomes are getting better and better. This innovative technology is allowing our surgeons to plan more precisely before surgery and gives them greater accuracy during procedures. The result is smaller incisions, less scarring and faster recoveries. The Swedish robot-guided spine program is a part of our Surgical Robotics Institute—a center designed to enhance and advance surgical techniques.

Swedish also employs highly advanced imaging resources for patients undergoing back, spine or neck surgery. With this tool, surgeons can obtain three-dimensional, visual pictures of your back, spine and neck bones, allowing them to see and place hardware in precisely the right location. Hardware placement is checked before leaving the OR, minimizing the need for follow-up adjustment procedures. This can be used during surgeries to repair highly complex orthopedic trauma, such as repairing a shattered pelvis. Benefits of this technology include faster imaging, reduced radiation, reduced recovery times and improved outcomes.

Spine surgery preparation

At Swedish, we offer a class to help patients feel more comfortable about their upcoming hospital stay and to create appropriate expectations about the surgery and post-operative care. You can register online or call (866) 779-3347.

Spine center rehabilitation and recovery

After your spine surgery at Swedish, our team of back pain experts will help you recover and rehabilitate to get back to the activities you enjoy. You will receive therapy assistance to help restore your strength, decrease swelling and pain and promote your return to being functional with walking, bathing, dressing and grooming.

A therapy program is determined by your physical and occupational therapists and approved by your surgeon.

Spinal examinations we offer

We offer a variety of tests to determine the cause of pain in the spinal column, including:

  • Cervical spine exam: determines whether your condition is appropriate for physical therapy—evaluates the ligaments, spinal canal, spinal cord and vertebrae
  • Lumbar spine exam: helps to determine the cause of lower back pain; evaluates the ligaments, spinal cord, intervertebral discs and lumbar vertebrae
  • Spine sacrum: examination of the bottom of the spine
  • Thoracic spine: examination of the area of the spine that helps protect the heart, lungs and chest