Updates

BJC and Saint Luke’s Officially Combine as BJC Health System

Why choose us for neck and back pain care?

BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. You receive services from internationally renowned neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons specializing in neck and back pain. We use research-based approaches to tailor therapies based on whether they affect the upper or lower spine. Our careful attention throughout your care journey gives you the best chances for healing.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Focus on non-surgical therapies: Many patients get better without surgery, even when other neck and back pain treatments have failed. Care may include custom braces, physical therapy or cortisone injections. Get more information about physical medicine and physical therapy.
  • National recognition: Some BJC hospital locations maintain High Performing Hospital designation from U.S. News & World Report for back surgery. This accolade represents our commitment to high-quality spinal fusion. We perform a high volume of medically appropriate surgeries and patients speak highly of their experience with us.
  • Innovation: If you have slipped and bulging discs, artificial disc replacement instead of spinal fusion may be right for you. We also offer decompression surgery to relieve narrowing (stenosis) in the tissue surrounding your spine. This minimally invasive procedure may be an option if non-surgical therapies aren’t working. It may prevent or delay the need for a more invasive procedure.
  • Connected care: You receive more of the services you need in one location when you come to us. Many of our clinics have spine surgeons, physical medicine doctors, physical therapists and imaging services on site. All specialists work together to tailor your care experience so you achieve outstanding results.
  • Easy access: You deserve the neck and back pain care you need when you need it. This is why we often see patients within two business days. Some of our specialists also offer virtual visits, enabling you to receive a consultation from the comfort of home.
Neck and back conditions

Neck and back conditions treated include:

  • Herniated or ruptured discs
    A herniated disc is when the pocket of tissue separating your vertebrae slips out of place. With a rupture, the cushioning substance inside leaks out.
  • Sciatica
    This is a complication of other spine issues, such as a herniated disc that puts pressure on a nerve running down your legs.
  • Spinal arthritis (spondylosis)
    This condition causes ongoing pain due to wear and tear on the cartilage cushioning your spine. It can affect joints in your back or neck.
  • Spinal stenosis
    Narrowing in the hollow spaces of the vertebrae through which your spinal cord passes. This puts pressure on nearby nerves.
  • Sports injuries
    These injuries, such as sprains, strains, bursitis or tendonitis, occur in active people.
  • Traumatic injuries
    Orthopedic emergencies in the upper limbs include open fractures, rotator cuff tears and dislocations.
Neck and back treatments

We treat many sources of neck and back pain with non-surgical therapies. Even if previous treatments haven’t worked, our expertise helps more patients feel better without surgery.

You may need medications to relieve pain or reduce swelling. Other non-surgical neck and back pain care includes:

  • Acupuncture
    Physical medicine doctors (physiatrists) insert tiny needles into specific areas at different depths to unlock the body's healing energy.
  • Aquatic therapy
    Doing exercises in water takes pressure off painful joints so you can get moving earlier in your recovery. Available at select locations.
  • Physical or occupational therapy for spine
    Therapists help you gain strength and flexibility with gentle exercises. We also provide guidance on postures and methods of promoting spine health.
  • Therapeutic massage for spine care
    Licensed massage therapists loosen stiff tissue and increase blood flow to the source of your pain.
Neck and back pain surgeries

Our surgeons perform more than 3,000 spine procedures every year, making us one of the nation’s largest programs. This depth of experience helps our patients consistently achieve exceptional results — even for complex conditions.

At BJC, we offer inpatient and outpatient spine rehabilitation (rehab). You will receive specialized care after surgery that helps you resume daily activities while lowering your risk of future neck and back issues.

Surgeries we perform include:

  • Artificial disc replacement
    We replace damaged or worn-out intervertebral discs (pockets of protective tissue between the vertebrae) with artificial devices.
  • Spina
    This procedure is for spinal stenosis. Surgeons widen the opening of one or more vertebrae, which creates more room for your spinal cord.
  • Microsurgical discectomy
    Surgeons use small incisions and a surgical microscope to remove a portion of a herniated or bulging disc.
  • Spinal decompression procedures
    Procedures such as laminectomy, discectomy and laminotomy remove tissue to alleviate pressure on your spine.
  • Spinal fusion
    Surgeons use pieces of bone, medical-grade cement or surgical hardware to join (fuse) two spine bones permanently.
Neck and Back Pain News & Resources
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