If you’re like many people, you’ve been putting up with back or neck pain for years. You don’t need to "just live with it" anymore. The multi-disciplinary team of spine specialists at NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin and ThedaCare will determine the cause of your pain and work with you to create a plan for relief.
Treating back and neck pain can be complex. Diagnosing the cause of your pain determines whether you’ll need to see a spine specialist. Your initial diagnosis and care typically begins with your primary care doctor or chiropractor.
If you need more specialized spine care, you’ll be referred to one of our spine specialists. Because we partner with your primary care doctor or chiropractor, you may continue to see these providers in addition to a specialist, or a specialist may take over managing and coordinating your care.
Your spine specialist will listen as you explain your condition, ask questions about your back or neck pain and overall medical history, and perform a thorough physical exam. Diagnosis may also include imaging tests such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CAT/CT (computed tomography) scan, or x-rays.
Throughout your treatment, your care providers will work with each other, and with you, to get the best outcomes possible. You’ll always know what the next steps are in your care path, from the minute you walk in our door until your treatment is complete.
Types of Treatment
Because no two people are alike, the type of treatment you receive depends on the cause and severity of your condition, and what your specific needs are.
Treatment generally falls into one of three categories: conservative care, surgical care, and rehabilitation, either individually or in combination. It’s common to see more than one doctor or specialist when receiving care—it ensures you receive the most tailored treatment to get you well as quickly as possible.
The majority of patients get relief from conservative, non-surgical treatment. Rest, pain reliever, cold or heat therapy, changes in activity, and strengthening exercises—all of which can be done in your own home—can provide relief in as little as four weeks for conditions such as lower back pain, disc herniation, or a pinched nerve.
If you need more advanced treatment, we may recommend medication, joint mobilizations, or injections. Your care will typically be handled by a physiatrist, someone who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
We view surgery as a last resort rather than a quick fix. However, some conditions may require surgical treatment to help provide relief. After you and your doctor or spine specialist have explored all your options, and have determined that more advanced treatment is necessary, you’ll likely be recommended to one of our surgical spine experts.
You and your surgeon will discuss your back or neck pain, and what procedures will provide the best relief. Common surgeries we perform include microdiscectomies, fusions, and decompression procedures.
Because of their extensive experience and advanced clinical techniques, the NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin physicians who operate at Theda Clark Medical Center are able to provide patients with one of the shortest lengths of hospital stay for spine surgery in Wisconsin (typically a day and a half), so you’ll be on a quick path to recovery. Many patients are amazed to discover how much pain relief they feel immediately after surgery.
If you need surgery to treat your back or neck pain, rehabilitation is the next step in your recovery. Your spine surgeon will coordinate the care you need, and may connect you with a physiatrist, who will handle your rehabilitative care. Recovery from surgery may involve home therapy, outpatient physical therapy, joint mobilization, or inpatient rehabilitation for more complex procedures.
Inpatient facilities are located right in Theda Clark Medical Center, where your surgery will be performed. If you need additional care during your recovery time, you can be moved to a skilled nursing facility to continue your rehabilitation.
Learn more about home care and skilled nursing facilities
What to Expect From Treatment
We take every kind of pain seriously, and provide the highest level of care to treat your condition. As the largest spine care program in northeastern Wisconsin, we have the expertise and experience to connect you with the right doctors and specialists, no matter how minor or severe your pain is.
Because people experience pain emotionally as well as physically, our Behavioral Health Specialists can provide psychological therapies to help reduce pain including individual counseling, group therapy, biofeedback, relaxation techniques and much more. So that while ThedaCare’s providers work to address the biological source of your pain, our behavioral therapists can help you better manage the psychological and social impacts of chronic pain.
Your care team will be in constant communication with you, making sure your treatment plan is getting you the results you want. And, because our spine services are offered at locations throughout northeastern Wisconsin, you’ll have close-to-home access to all your care needs.
View NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin and ThedaCare spine care locations
Learn more about the treatment services provided by NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin and ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus
Learn more about our Behavioral Health treatment options