The Spine Center at New England Baptist Hospital
At the Spine Center at New England Baptist Hospital, our physiatrists (medical specialists in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) are all experts in the evaluation, treatment and management of the full spectrum of spinal disorders. Following a thorough evaluation of a person’s spinal problem, our physiatrists provide extensive education about their problem, prognosis and treatment options. With this information our patients are able to make an informed decision about which treatments are best for them. Once treatment choices are made, our spine specialists help patients access the latest in non-surgical treatments, or help them to access the most appropriate member of the NEBH spine surgery team.
The physiatrists and treatment team will spend time with you to clearly understand your problem and help you decide what treatment option will get you the results you are looking for. We offer a broad scope of treatment options for a variety of problems:
- Education & informed decision making: All patients are fully educated about the natural history, prognosis and treatment options available for their specific problem as well as given practical expert advice on the management of their symptoms.
- Exercise-based physical therapy: For many patients, specific exercise-based treatments are offered to improve strength and physical function and to reduce pain. The Spine Center has developed an intensive exercise-based program, often referred to as “boot camp” which is internationally recognized for its effectiveness and multiple clinical studies. Our program uses extensive testing of physical function to identify areas of the body in need of improvement. These areas are then the focus of an intense, supervised exercise program. Our patients’ hard work is often rewarded with a marked improvement of physical abilities and reduced pain.
- Spinal injections: After a comprehensive evaluation by your physiatrist, spinal injections may be offered for the management of pain. You will be educated about spinal injections and will be offered a variety of services including precise fluoroscopic-guided spinal injections of local anesthetics and corticosteroids.
Based on your needs, injections may be performed by your physiatrist, an interventional neuroradiologist or a pain anesthesiologists. At New England Baptist, all of our interventionalists are experts in performing a variety of spinal injections aimed at treating pain and symptoms.
Epidural and Nerve Root Blocks inject steroid and anesthetic medicine into the space next to the covering of the spinal cord and spinal nerves ("epidural" space). This procedure is typically used to relieve leg or arm pain that may be due to a disk herniation or spinal stenosis that has “pinched a nerve”. Technically, these arm symptoms are called cervical radiculopathy, and leg symptoms are called lumbar radiculopathy or sciatica.
Lumbar/Cervical Facet Joint Blocks inject steroid and anesthetic medicine into the outer capsule of the facet joint. The facet joints are located in the back of the spine where they help control the position and movements of the vertebrae. As people age, the facet joints become arthritic, and in some people these arthritic joints may become painful. Facet joint blocks help to reduce this pain, and are especially useful in older patients.
- Medications: Thoughtful, limited use of medications is offered for select patients.
Research and Academics:
The Spine Center holds great pride in past academic achievements as well as rigorously constructed peer-reviewed articles published by our clinicians. The spine research conducted by our physicians has served to expand the knowledge base as well as enhance clinical assessment and treatment of numerous spinal conditions.
Due to our advanced expertise in musculoskeletal diseases, NEBH is a major Boston teaching site for physicians in training. During your visit to the Spine Center you will likely meet a Resident physician as The Spine Center serves as a teaching site for the Harvard Medical School, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency program. Additionally, you may meet The Spine Center’s full-time Fellow or a visiting fellow from a Harvard program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center or Children's Hospital Boston. Fellows are fully trained physicians undergoing an additional year of focused training in spine medicine. Our patients report that they enjoy their encounters with these enthusiastic young physicians, while they still get full attention from our highly experienced spine experts.