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We understand that back pain affects every aspect of your lifeThat’s why we created the WESTMED Spine Center.

 

Our experts take a team approach to spine care, collaborating to solve the reason for your back or neck pain – and providing you with the treatment plan that will have you feeling better fast. You won’t be going from doctor to doctor, trying to figure out whose advice makes the most sense. Instead, you’ll be evaluated by a team that includes specialists in orthopedic spine surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, behavioral health, pain medicine and chiropractic care. 

 

Our goal is to make your life better. And we’ll work together to get you there.

 

Why We Are Unique

 

 

  • We’ll get you in to see our spine specialists quickly. You won’t have to wait weeks to get the care you need.
  • We stress a nonsurgical approach to back and neck pain. Unless it’s an emergency, we always use conservative measures first.
  • We work together as a team and collaborate to develop a treatment plan best suited to your unique condition.
  • Our facilities offer all the tests you may need, including MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, electrodiagnostic testing (EMG/nerve conduction studies) and discography.
  • All your medical records are in one place, and can be accessed easily by all the specialists on our team.
  • We recognize that back or neck pain may be caused by stress, tension or other issues that affect your mental and emotional health. Our behavioral health specialists and experts in stress reduction are an important part of our spine-care team.
  • We work closely with the Spine Center’s physical therapists, keeping track of your progress as you go through therapy.
  • We are open to alternative treatments, including chiropractic. 

 

 

Comprehensive Care 

 

At the WESTMED Spine Center, we evaluate and treat a wide variety of conditions that affect the back or neck, including muscle strains, pinched nerves, herniated discs, arthritis and spinal stenosis.

 

Very often, medication combined with physical therapy will provide relief from the pain. This conservative approach gives your body a chance to heal by calming down inflammation and strengthening the muscles that support the spine.

 

In the event that you do need surgery, our board-certified spine surgeons are trained in the latest minimally invasive procedures that will address the cause of your back or neck pain. With less pain after surgery, and a shorter recovery time, so you can take back your life.

 


For more information or to make an appointment, please call  914-43-SPINE.

 

Physical Medicine & Rehab - Interventional Spine

 

The Physical Medicine & Rehab - Interventional Spine physicians at the WESTMED Spine Center are specialists in the non-operative management of spine and musculoskeletal disorders.  They combine rehabilitation medicine with advanced interventional spine treatments to offer patients an innovative nonsurgical approach to the treatment of back pain and spine disorders.  The Spine Center’s board-certified and fellowship-trained Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians utilize a variety of diagnostic tools, including X-ray, MRI, CT scan, diagnostic spinal injections, discography, and electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies to pinpoint the source of pain and develop a targeted treatment plan for each patient. 

 

 

Conditions We Treat

 

The majority of patients with back pain can be treated successfully without surgery.  Our specialists offer nonsurgical treatments for numerous spine-related conditions, including disc herniations, spinal stenosis, sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy), low back pain, sacroiliac joint pain, degenerative disc disease, arthritis of the spine, spondylolisthesis, spinal compression fractures, tail bone pain (coccydynia) muscular back pain, neck pain and cervical radiculopathy.

 

 

Nonsurgical Treatments

 

The specialists at the WESTMED Spine Center perform advanced interventional spine procedures for the precise diagnosis and treatment of painful spinal conditions. Anti-inflammatory medications, radiofrequency waves and other treatments are delivered precisely using state-of-the-art digital fluoroscopy to the painful spinal areas. These treatments facilitate participation in physical rehabilitation and allow patients to return to normal function sooner. 

 

 

Interventional spine treatments include:

 

 

  • Epidural injections
  • Facet joint injections
  • Sacroiliac joint injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Coccyx injections
  • Muscle trigger point injections
  • Ultrasound-guided muscle, joint and bursa injections

 

 

 

Unique expertise, specialized care

 

The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists with the Spine Center have completed advanced training in spine care, and stress a nonsurgical approach to treatment.  They work closely with other members of the Spine Care team, including physical therapists and spine surgeons, to give you coordinated and comprehensive spine care.

What We Do

 

Orthopedic spine surgeons are physicians who specialize in surgical procedures of the spine. Patients often consult with a spine surgeon when medications, physical therapy and/or injections have failed to relieve radicular pain from the back and neck. For conditions that do not require emergency surgery, our spine surgeons generally begin with a non-operative approach to treatment. 

 

Conditions We Treat

 

Our specialists treat numerous conditions that affect the spine, including herniated discs, sciatica, pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, fractures, spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis, radiculopathy, scoliosis, kyphosis (unnatural curvature of the spine), spinal deformities, degenerative disc disease, arthritis and tumors.

 

Modes of Treatment

 

Our board-certified surgeons are highly skilled in the latest minimally invasive techniques of spine surgery, which allows for less post-operative pain, smaller incisions and faster recovery time. Many of our minimally invasive procedures are done on an outpatient basis, preventing the need for overnight hospitalization. We can often avoid the use of general anesthesia, relying instead on highly effective regional anesthetic techniques. Our physicians are also experienced in traditional open spine surgery. Depending on the procedure, surgeons may use an anterior, posterior or lateral approach to the spine. Their areas of expertise include:

 

 

  • Microdiscectomy
  • Laminectomy 
  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion (90 percent of our patients are walking a few hours after surgery and go home the next day.)
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
  • Posterior Cervical Spine Surgery

 

Why We Are Different

 

Our board-certified spine surgeons are highly experienced in numerous forms of surgery that involve the spine. They use the latest minimally invasive techniques whenever possible, employing computer-assisted image guidance.  Our surgeons work with patients to ensure that all pre- and post-surgical protocols are followed. Surgery is performed in state-of-the-art operating rooms. Patients are informed of all options for treatment, and play an active role in decision-making. 

 

 

Our interventional pain management specialist at the Spine Center is an anesthesiologist who uses minimally invasive techniques to reduce and eliminate back and neck pain without the use of prescription medications. He is double board certified, in pain management and anesthesiology.

 

Conditions We Treat

 

The Spine Center’s interventional pain management physician is specially trained to diagnose and treat numerous painful conditions that affect the spine, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, whiplash, back strains and sprains, bulging discs in the neck or back, arthritis of the spine, spondylolisthesis, spinal compression fractures, sacroiliac pain, muscular back pain and degenerative disc disease.

 

Modes of Treatment:

 

Our physician uses a variety of treatments to relieve pain, including:

 

  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Facet joint injections
  • Sacroiliac joint injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Medial branch blocks
  • Selective nerve root blocks
  • Lumbar sympathetic blocks
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Kyphoplasty

 

Why We Are Different

 

Our double board-certified specialist recognizes the importance of an accurate diagnosis when it comes to pain management, and uses state-of-the-art techniques and tools to pinpoint your source of back pain. The physician will create a customized plan that aims to eliminate pain as quickly as possible and improve your quality of life. He works in partnership with other members of your medical team, ensuring coordination of care. Pain-relieving therapies are done on an outpatient basis, and do not require hospitalization.

Physical therapy is an integral part of nonsurgical spine care. Our physical therapists see patients with all types of back and neck pain, and work closely with physicians to tailor a treatment plan specific to each condition.

 

For patients undergoing spine surgery, physical therapy is also critical in speeding recovery and improving function.

 

The exercises and treatments used in physical therapy aim to reduce pain, increase strength and flexibility, and return you to an active lifestyle. If your physician prescribes a course of physical therapy, you’ll generally go two to three times a week, for four to six weeks. Treatment may extend longer for post-surgical physical therapy.

 

During all phases of treatment, our physical therapists will keep your physician updated on your progress.

 

Physical therapists at the Spine Center treat a wide range of painful conditions, including herniated discs, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, muscle spasms, sciatica, strains and sprains, facet joint dysfunction, low back pain, stiffness or pain in the neck or cervical spine, pain in the thoracic spine, kyphosis and compression fractures.

 

Treatment plans include:

 

 

  • Full evaluation of strength, flexibility, balance, alignment
  • Manual therapy, soft tissue massage
  • Joint mobilization to increase range of motion
  • Exercises to strengthen core muscles that support the spine
  • Ultrasound, heat and ice, electrical stimulation
  • Education on posture, body mechanics and correct ways of moving, lifting and sitting 
  • Exercises to increase flexibility of hips and legs
  • Pre-hab physical therapy to increase strength and flexibility before surgery
  • Training, before spine surgery, on post-surgical movement patterns (getting out of bed, using stairs, etc.)
  • Full course of rehabilitation after spine surgery
  • Home exercise plans to supplement treatment

Pain is multidimensional, and can affect us physically, emotionally and spiritually. Our comprehensive back pain program at the Spine Center includes services from our experts in behavioral health, the field of medicine dedicated to mental and emotional well-being. Patients with back pain are evaluated and treated holistically, by a team that includes specialists in psychiatry, social work and psychology. Our aim is to help eliminate your pain safely, and get you back to living a full, active life.

 

Services We Offer

 

 

  • Complete psychiatric assessment
  • Evaluation of current medication regimen
  • Assessment of substance abuse issues
  • Safer medication regimens (lower doses of narcotics and tranquilizers)
  • Treatment with a full range of non-opiod medications
  • Pain management using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Stress management
  • Therapy for PTSD
  • Individual and group psychotherapy
  • Chronic pain support group
  • Mind-body therapies, including visualization, relaxation, meditation, hypnosis
  • Evaluation of disability issues related to chronic pain

 

 

Why We Are Different

 

Our team of behavioral health specialists at the Spine Center is led by a board-certified psychiatrist with many years of experience treating patients with issues related to chronic pain. We understand the mind-body connection as it relates to back pain, and help you achieve better psychological and emotional health so that you can feel better faster. Our specialists work in partnership with your other physicians, ensuring comprehensive care that addresses all causes of your back pain.

Mind-Body Medicine includes the use of meditation, mindfulness, visualization/imagery and hypnosis for the treatment of chronic pain. It offers training in these modalities as part of our chronic pain support group with Dr. Melinda Massoff and Dr. David Janeway.

These are proven to work to help patients reduce the dosages of their pain medications utilizing the natural ability of the mind through deep relaxation to reduce muscle spasm and nerve irritation.


Neurologists are physicians with expertise in treating conditions or diseases that affect the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles. Disorders of the spine can often involve damage to the spinal cord or nerve roots.

 

Our board-certified neurologists are specially trained to evaluate symptoms and physical signs that may indicate nerve involvement related to back and neck pain, and can determine the most appropriate forms of treatment.

 

Conditions We Treat 

 

Our neurologists at the Spine Center evaluate patients with a variety of conditions  that can affect the nerves and spinal cord, including sciatica, herniated discs and tumors of the spine. Symptoms may include pain that radiates to the extremities, weakness in the arms or legs, or a change in reflexes.

 

A full workup by our specialists includes a detailed physical examination to pinpoint sources of pain, and diagnostic tests as needed, including electromyography (EMG) and other forms of electrophysiological testing. Patients may also be required to have an MRI.

 

Many patients with back or neck pain that involve the nerves will respond well to conservative care with medication and physical therapy. In certain cases -- in the event of spinal cord compression or significant signs of nerve damage, for example -- patients will be referred for a surgical consultation.

 

Why We Are Different

 

As an integral member of the Spine Center team, our board-certified neurologists work closely with your other physicians, ensuring that your back or neck pain is treated most effectively. We encourage conservative care whenever possible, and make sure every patient understands the full scope of his or her condition.

At the WESTMED Spine Center, we recognize that pain in the back or neck can be caused by many factors. Alternative medicine may work well to ease that pain, either in combination with traditional treatments, or as a stand-alone form of therapy.

 

Alternative medicine, also known as complementary medicine, refers to a variety of healthcare practices that fall outside the realm of mainstream medicine, including massage, meditation and guided imagery.  

 

We offer several alternative treatments that have helped many people with back pain: chiropractic care, Tai chi, and a specific yoga regimen targeted to the spine.      

 

Chiropractors treat spinal and musculoskeletal conditions through manipulation of the back and neck, a form of alternative medicine known as chiropractic. Practitioners have a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, and have completed advanced training at an accredited institution. 

 

Conditions We Treat

 

Many patients with back or neck pain have found relief through chiropractic care, a conservative, drug-free, noninvasive form of treatment. Our chiropractor works closely with other members of the Spine Center team, and is available to treat a variety of conditions, including muscular back and neck pain, whiplash, degenerative arthritis, sciatica, spinal stenosis, herniated and bulging discs, and pain caused by stress-related conditions.

 

Modes of Treatment

 

Our chiropractor with the Spine Center has extensive experience treating patients with all types of back and neck pain. He uses a variety of techniques and treatments, including: 

 

 

  • Hands-on spinal manipulation (also called chiropractic adjustment)
  • Spinal decompression (using a machine that opens up space between the vertebrae in the cervical and lumbar spine)
  • Electric stimulation
  • Spinal mobilization

 

 

Why We Are Different

 

All of our alternative medicine providers, including our chiropractor, are an integral part of the Spine Center team, and work closely with your other physicians and practitioners to help eliminate your back or neck pain. Our chiropractor uses treatments that will be most effective for your individual situation, and never does anything that will cause increased pain.

 

 

    

  

 

 Yoga can be a highly effective treatment for back pain. 

 

Our instructor within the Spine Center practices Viniyoga, a form of yoga that uses mindful movement coordinated with breath to support the spine, create space between the vertebrae and increase blood flow. Every student in our yoga classes is assessed individually, so that movements can be tailored to specific needs and abilities. You won’t be doing pretzel poses or pushing through painful contortions. Instead, you’ll be learning how to work with your body and your breath to alleviate back pain gently and naturally. 

 

In between weekly classes, you’ll be encouraged to follow up at home with a 15-minute series of poses. As you practice the routine, your body will become acclimated to moving differently as you pay more attention to and begin to change dysfunctional movement patterns that could be causing or exacerbating your back pain.

 

Conditions Yoga Can Help

 

Patients with sciatica, compressed discs, herniated discs or asymetries in the lower back and sacroiliac joint,  in addition to conditions of the upper back, neck and shoulders -- have frequently found pain relief through the practice of yoga. You don’t need to be flexible to try yoga, but yoga can help you to become more flexible. Just be sure to talk to your doctor first. 

 

Why Yoga Works

 

Many of our dysfunctional movement patterns and daily habits — including slouching in front of the computer and hunching over digital devices — can put a strain on the neck and back. The regular practice of yoga can strengthen the muscles that support the spine and teach you new ways of sitting, walking and breathing that can help minimize or alleviate pain. Yoga also focuses on oppositional movement – moving one part of your body in one direction as another part moves in the opposite direction. This can help to relieve pain in conditions where bones and joints are compressed.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

What is Tai Chi?


Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition and today is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.  Tai chi is a non-competitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.

 

How does Tai Chi Improve Balance?

 

1. Movement control: Tai chi movements are slow, smooth and continuous, helping to strengthen internal muscles, like the deep stabilizers that support and strengthen the spine. 

2. Weight transference: Tai chi practitioners are mindful of transferring weight with each step, helping to improve mobility, coordination and balance. This, in addition to emphasis on upright and supple posture, further strengthens muscles.

3. Integration of mind and body: Tai chi stresses the integration and balance of mind and body. Tai chi practitioners focus, calm their minds, and loosen and relax their joints and ligaments. Practicing a mind-body exercise builds confidence, thus alleviating the fear of falling. 

 

WESTMED’s Tai Chi 

 

Led by a Tai chi-trained instructor, the program focuses on improving functional ability, especially balance, to reduce fall-related risks and fall frequency.

This program improves:

Balance

Postural stability

Awareness of body positioning in space

Movement symmetry and coordination

Range of motion around the ankle and hip joints

Lower body muscle strength

 

 




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