Spine Care - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Spine Care

A healthy back helps you face the world with confidence. But at some point in your life, you may experience serious back pain—just like nearly eight out of 10 adults. That’s when PIH Health can help.

Spine Conditions We Treat

Join the thousands of adults, teens, children, athletes, workers and seniors who have benefited from top-quality spine care at PIH Health. Conditions we treat include:

  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) evaluation and conservative treatment
  • Degenerative conditions – Torn, bulging or slipped discs; osteoporosis; arthritis
  • Work-related injuries to the back and neck
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Overuse injuries from improper movement while lifting, standing, walking or sitting
  • Spine fracture
  • Sprains or strains
  • Chronic back pain
  • Acute and  chronic disc diseases

Comprehensive Spine Care Services & Treatments

As often as possible, we recommend procedures that don’t involve surgery. This is known as conservative treatment. We take this approach as long as it’s helpful. Many conditions may be treated by physical therapy, bracing, water/pool therapy and other rehabilitation services. Our rehabilitation physician and therapists coordinate these treatments for you.

Fewer than five percent of PIH Health spine patients need surgery. But when surgery is the best choice, you benefit from our team approach and our advanced facilities. We use the latest surgical techniques, and our technology helps you regain as much mobility as possible. We also consult with other medical specialists to give you the best follow-up care after surgery.

Spine care services and treatments at PIH Health include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pain management
  • Spinal injections
  • Spinal pumps and stimulators
  • Disc replacement
  • Laminectomy
  • Discectomy or microdiscectomy
  • Spinal fusion (anterior, posterior)
  • Khyphoplasty or vertebroplasty
  • Cervical spine surgery
  • Electrodiagnostic services

More About Spine Care

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about spine conditions.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a term for pain that runs along the nerve from the back of the buttocks down the thigh to just below the knee.

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the space inside the bones of the spine (vertebrae) that surround the spinal cord. This can result in discomfort or pain from pressure on the spinal cord or nerve root. Pain is often greater when standing or walking and less when resting.

What is degenerative disc disease?

As we grow older, the discs of spongy cartilage between the bones of the spine can lose flexibility. They become less elastic and able to absorb shocks. Worn-out (degenerated) discs may create back pain or leg pain and weakness. The entire lower back may become stiff and painful, especially toward the end of the day.

What is a bulging, herniated or slipped disc?

Think of the discs between the bones in your back as jelly-filled donuts that act as shock absorbers. A bulging disc is the donut with a jelly bulge, but the jelly is still inside. A herniated (torn or slipped) disc is like a jelly donut with a hole where some of the jelly-like material has squirted out. If this “jelly” pushes on a nerve or makes a nerve swell, it can cause pain in the back and/or legs.

What are muscle spasms?

Muscle spasms are long, uncontrolled contractions. When muscles or related nerves are injured, sore or swollen, they may shrink on their own for a longer time. Muscle spasms in the back may be signs of injury or damage to bones (vertebrae), discs or ligaments.

What if my leg hurts after I injured my back?

Sometimes, a back injury such as a herniated disc may result in pain that extends below your knee. Tell your doctor about your pain, so you can find out if and how it needs to be treated.

What was the loud pop I heard when I hurt my back?

You may hear a popping sound when surfaces of the bones in your back (vertebrae) are slightly separated. The sound doesn’t mean your vertebrae are out of place. Normal joints can be popped by moving them just beyond the normal range of motion. But the pop may be a sign of a torn disc that can be very painful, so talk to your doctor.

What kind of exercise will help keep my back in shape and reduce the risk of injury?

Swimming involves almost all muscle groups without putting stress on joint muscles. Swimming also has a lower risk of injury than other sports. In addition, exercises to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles can help support your spine and reduce the risk of back pain or injury.

Explore related orthopedics and sports medicine services at PIH Health.

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