Comprehensive Spine Care

Spine experts at Overlake Medical Center and EvergreenHealth offer unparalleled nonsurgical and surgical spine treatments through the Eastside Neuroscience Institute. 

Back or neck pain can significantly limit your ability to get around, work and do the things that bring you joy. At the Eastside Neuroscience Institute, our team of specialists, including neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and neurologists, combine world-class expertise to ease your pain and improve your quality of life.

When suffering from pain, whether from an accident, overexertion or age-related changes, you want both relief and the best treatment available. You will have confidence in our team of specialists that you will receive the very best care from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up care.

Diagnosing and treating the cause of back and neck pain

Our experts use a multidisciplinary approach to evaluate and treat back and neck problems. Our specialists collaborate to develop a treatment plan that works best for you. Not everyone with a spinal condition needs surgery. After we evaluate your condition, we’ll work closely with you to identify the best options to better your quality of life.

If you do need surgery, our spine surgeons have the expertise to provide the highest standard of care and help ensure the best possible outcome. They are trained in both open spine surgery and minimally invasive techniques.

An accurate diagnosis is critical to providing you with the best treatment and alleviating symptoms. Our team uses the latest diagnostic tools to get to the precise source of your pain.

Testing:

  • X-rays: Provide images that show alignment of your bones and whether arthritis or broken bones are present. The images alone will not show problems with your spinal cord, muscles, nerves or discs.
    MRI or CT scans: The scans generate images that reveal problems with bones, muscles, tissue, nerves, ligaments and blood vessels.
  • Nerve studies: The Electromyography (EMG) measures the electrical impulses produced by the nerves and the responses of your muscles. The study can confirm nerve compression caused by narrowing of the spinal canal or herniated discs.
  • Bone scan: In rare cases, you may need a bone scan to look for tumors or compression fractures caused by osteoporosis.
  • Blood tests: This type of testing can help determine if there is an infection or another condition that may be causing your pain.

Treatment

Back pain can get better with the appropriate diagnosis, however, everyone is different, and back pain is a complex condition. For many, the pain doesn’t go away for a few months, and severe pain may persist.  We offer non-surgical and surgical interventions.

Nonsurgical treatments

Our team tailors a care plan to address your unique diagnosis and symptoms. We connect you to the right place, at the right time.

Nonsurgical treatment options for neck and back pain include:

  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach exercises to increase flexibility, strengthen muscles and improve posture. Regular utilization of the techniques can help alleviate pain, and reduce the risk of pain returning.
  • Medications: Depending on the type of pain you have, we may recommend using medication to alleviate symptoms. Our team listens to your goals and determines the most appropriate medication for your specific condition.
  • Alternative treatments: A number of alternative treatments may ease symptoms of back pain. Yoga, massage and other options may be considerations, and depending upon your specific condition, you and your physician will discuss the best course of care.

Surgical spine treatments

Some spine conditions require surgery. We may also recommend surgery if your symptoms don’t improve with nonsurgical treatments. At the Eastside Neuroscience Institute, you’re in the hands of some of the region’s top spine surgeons. The technology we use allows us to tailor our surgical approach to your specific need. Our surgeons lead and participate in educational conferences and stay up to date in the latest research to further advance the capabilities to treat conditions better, and faster, with less risk.

  • Spinal cord stimulation: This type of intervention delivers stimulation through electrodes and disrupts pain signals traveling between the spinal cord and the brain. It is a less invasive technique and alleviates pain symptoms.
  • Spinal injections: The goal of an injection is to control pain by reducing inflammation. The injection can treat inflammation or damage to a nerve, easing symptoms.
  • Spine decompression: The procedure is performed to ease pain caused by pinched nerves. During decompression surgery, a small portion of the bone over the nerve root and/or disc material from under the nerve root is removed to give the nerve root more space.
  • Spine fusion: Depending on your condition, this type of procedure may be an option. The procedure is performed to limit pain and provide stability to the spine. It involves removing the spinal disc(s) between two or more vertebrae, and the adjacent vertebrae are fused by bone grafts and instrumentation. This surgical intervention requires a longer recovery period to allow bone grafts to grow and fuse the vertebrae together.
    Minimally invasive spine surgery: Minimally invasive spine surgery is performed for a variety of problems, and may be a viable option, based on your condition. The less invasive technique provides many benefits, including less blood loss, reduced infection risk and shorter recovery time. You and your care team will determine if this is an option for your ailment.
  • Complex spinal reconstruction: Complex spinal reconstructive surgery may be necessary for severe spinal deformity or scoliosis. Reconstruction is typically an option when the spinal curvature or deformity is severe, and non-surgical methods are not successful. The surgical intervention seeks to reduce/improve the curvature of the spine and stabilize the spine with instrumentation. Spinal reconstruction is a complex surgery, and recovery time may be longer than other types of spine surgeries.
  • Arthroplasty/motion preserving surgery: Conventional techniques for spinal surgery have relied on the fusion of spinal bones to each other to provide adequate support and to treat pain. Select patients can benefit from replacement of cervical and/or lumbar discs, preventing the need for a fusion surgery, and allowing for normal spine movement following surgery. Recovery time is often quicker, and there is no need for special bracing.
  • Multidisciplinary spinal tumor surgery: The proper diagnosis is vital when determining suitable surgery for spinal cord and nerve sheath tumors. Surgical intervention can be an effective method of preserving the ability to walk while decreasing the tumor burden. Surgery is performed under a specialized microscope and surgeons continually monitor function of the spinal cord through the surgery.

Dedicated multidisciplinary teams provide prehab and rehab to ease neck and back pain

In addition to surgical interventions, we are dedicated to providing a multidisciplinary approach to best address your specific goals and needs. We will connect you to the right service, at the right time, while offering additional services to enhance your quality of life such as:

  • Ergonomic and postural assessments to improve your posture and comfort at home and work.
  • Gait (walking) and running analysis to identify and correct areas of weakness that can contribute to pain.
  • Pain-reducing methods like heat, massage and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
  • Postoperative rehabilitation to help you safely recover from spine surgery while in the hospital and after discharge.
  • Sacroiliac joint therapy, such as exercises to strengthen your pelvis.

The Eastside’s leading spine experts

Our multidisciplinary team has unmatched spinal expertise on the Eastside, and we’ve received many regional and national awards for our care. Many of our doctors are continually rated as tops in their fields by Seattle Met and Seattle Magazine.

Our experts work together to deliver a fast, accurate diagnosis and start you on a treatment plan that eases your pain so you can get around better.