Published on March 27, 2018

We’ve got your back—and neck

Wincing from back or neck pain?

Neck painThen here’s good news: In most cases, soreness gets better on its own in a few weeks. But if your pain lingers—or it’s severe—you might want to turn to the new Neck and Back Pain Program at Mercy Fitzgerald and Mercy Philadelphia.

The program’s team of specialists crafts a personalized treatment to restore function and improve quality of life. Whether you have a bulging disk, pinched nerve or arthritis in your spine—to name just a few possibilities—you’ll receive expert care from specially trained physical therapists to fellowship-trained pain interventionalists and neurosurgeons.

What’s more, “We always try to manage back pain conservatively,” says Mercy Pain Management’s Paige McLaughlin, MD, who leads the program. Surgery may be advised when it’s likely to have significant benefits and other treatments aren’t working.

Among the nonsurgical treatments available at the center are:

Oral pain medicine. The program emphasizes non-opioid approaches to pain management. There are many safe and effective medication options—and some might surprise you. For example, low doses of certain antidepressants can help ease some types of chronic back pain.

Physical therapy. This can strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility and help you move without pain.

Nutrition therapy. A registered dietitian can help you trim down if extra pounds are straining your back.

Injections. Dr. McLaughlin can administer spinal injections—under x-ray guidance—to diagnose or treat back pain.

If these or other treatments don’t make your back pain better and surgery is necessary, Mercy’s partnership with Jefferson Neurosurgery, led by Henry Kesler, MD, provides minimally invasive surgical options.