doctor looking at patient's backMillions of people suffer from back or neck pain every year. The burden of back pain on a person’s daily life can be debilitating. It can affect their productivity at work, interfere with family responsibilities, cause depression and anxiety, and contribute to an overall decline in one’s health and well-being.

Back pain is extremely common, affecting up to 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lifetime. But with the right diagnosis, lifestyle changes and a treatment plan, back and neck conditions can be treated successfully, pain can be relieved and a person’s quality of life can be restored. Back and neck pain can be caused by a number of factors. Depending upon the diagnosis, some treatments will be more effective, and individuals often benefit from a combination of treatments.

Most people who experience back or neck pain first see their primary care physician. A primary care physician may then recommend that the patient see a spine care specialist. Our spine specialists see a wide range of cases including athletes with sports injuries, individuals with age-related spine problems, those with general back or neck pain from injury or overuse, those with spinal deformities and those with spinal tumors.

It is recommended that people with back or neck pain see a provider when pain:

  • Lasts longer than two weeks
  • Causes new bowel or bladder problems
  • Is accompanied by a fever
  • Follows an injury or trauma
  • Is severe and does not improve with rest
  • Spreads down one or both legs or arms
  • Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs or arms
  • Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss

Back and Neck Conditions We Treat

Spine conditions we treat include:

  • Back pain
  • Cervical stenosis
  • Cervical herninated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
  • Facet joint pain
  • Failed back or neck surgery
  • Lumbar stenosis
  • Lumbar herniated disc
  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Herniated disc disorders
  • Kyphosis
  • Neck pain
  • Nerve irritation
  • Nerve root pain
  • Pinched nerve (cervical radiculopathy)
  • Spondylosis
  • Spondylolisthesis 
  • Spinal deformities
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Spinal cord disorder
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis
  • Vertebral fractures
  • Spinal cord and spinal column tumors     

Causes of Back and Neck Conditions

There are many different factors that cause back and neck pain including lifestyle choices, age-related issues and disease. No matter the cause, individuals seeking care at Penn Spine will be seen by an expert who specializes in their particular problem. Common causes of neck and back pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer pain
  • Chronic pain following trauma or injuries
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1 (CRPS -1), formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 2 (CRPS -2), formerly known as Causalgia (pain from major nerve injury, such as amputation)
  • Disc disease: a disease that occurs when discs in the spine begin to degenerate or weaken, causing pain in the spine
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache, including migraine
  • Muscle strain
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Nerve impingement: caused by either a disc compressing a spinal nerve or the spinal nerve canal being narrowed (stenosis). This can cause pain in the spine as well as symptoms that radiate to the legs or arms.
  • Neuropathic pain, including:
    • Peripheral neuropathies
    • Post-herpetic neuralgia
    • Pain associated with herniated discs (cervical and lumbar)
    • Stenosis: occurs when the open spaces in the lower spine begin to narrow, causing pressure to be placed on the nerves, which causes pain and leg or arm symptoms.
  • Osteoarthritis

In This Section

Adult Spinal Deformity Program

The Penn Spine Center combines the expertise of leading specialists in complex spinal deformity with the latest, advanced technology and treatment approaches to diagnose and treat all types of spinal deformities.

Spinal Tumor Program

The Penn Spine Center provides leading edge evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for all types of primary and metastatic spinal tumors using the most advanced diagnostic, and medical and surgical techniques.

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