spine_2400x550.gif

Spine Center

Our spine center is not a place so much as a multidisciplinary team of spine specialists who work closely together to provide the most effective treatment for neck and back pain.

The Team

Depending on the diagnosis, your treatment plan for neck or back pain may include physical therapy, pain management, minimally-invasive procedures, surgery, or — frequently — a combination thereof. With a range of medical backgrounds and training, our team of spine specialists provide an unmatched continuity of care to get you back to 100% faster.

Dr. Daniel Heller, Interventional Pain Management Doctor  at Blue Ridge Orthopedic & Spine Center

Daniel Heller, MD

Interventional Pain Management

Britton Thodal, Medical Assistant at Blue Ridge Orthopedic & Spine Center

Britton Thodal

Medical Assistant

spine_patient_1470x980.jpg

Our Approach to Spine Care

We are focused on exhausting non-operative treatment to help you get better without surgery. However, if those efforts fail to provide relief, and surgery is indicated, we strive to offer less invasive, non-fusion, and/or motion-sparing options.

When to Give Us a Call

Persistent Pain — Most of the time, neck and back pain will go away in a matter of days or weeks with rest, ice/heat, and over-the-counter medications. However, if the pain persists for several weeks, gets worse, or you find yourself taking more and more pills to manage the pain, that’s your cue to make an appointment to see a spine specialist.


Trauma — This may seem obvious, but if you fall from a ladder, get in a car wreck, or sustain some other type of traumatic injury that results in spine pain, seek treatment quickly.

 

Imbalance and/or Limb Weakness — If you experience pain or stiffness of the neck along with problems with fine motor skills, an imbalance while walking, or weakness in your arms and legs, seek urgent consultation with a spine surgeon.

Pain Occurring with Other Symptoms or Conditions— You will also want to seek urgent consultation for spine pain accompanied by any of the following red flags:

  • History of cancer

  • Urinary retention

  • Bowel or bladder incontinence

  • Saddle numbness

  • Unexplained fever

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Osteoporosis

  • Steroid use

  • Night pain

calling_the_spine_doctor_1470x980.jpg

Common Spine Issues 

Fractures — Spinal fractures can result from major trauma or lower-impact events, such as a minor fall in someone with osteoporosis. 

Spondylolysis — Stress fractures are typically associated with the foot and ankle, but they can also occur in your spine. Spondylolysis is most common among young athletes but can occur at any age.

Spondylolisthesis — This condition is when a vertebrae slips out of place, resting on the bone below it. It can happen as a result of spondylolysis, aging, or it may be congenital in nature.

Spinal Stenosis — Due to a number of causes, the spaces within your spine can become narrower, putting pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine, resulting in pain, tingling, numbness and/or muscle weakness.

Herniated Disc — Typically occurring in the lower back, the rubbery pads that sit between your vertebrae can sometimes partially slip out of their position, causing pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg.

Cervical Myelopathy — Symptoms of this disorder include clumsiness of the hands, an imbalance while walking, or weakness in your arms and legs. It is most common in persons older than 55 years of age.

Radiculopathy — Commonly referred to as a pinched nerve, this condition may cause pain radiating down your legs or arms. Radiculopathy can have different names (sciatica, for example), depending on where in the spine it occurs.

Degenerative Disc Disease — One of the most common causes of low back and neck pain, this condition affecting the spinal discs can be described simply as “wear-and-tear” and is considered a natural part of aging. Despite the name, degenerative disc disease is not an actual disease, but a condition.