Non-Surgical Spine Treatment Options

In managing pain, the critical initial step is identifying the pain generator. Our focus is on decreasing pain, swelling and disability, and correcting the bio-mechanical imbalances that may be contributing to the problem.

Our specialists are also experienced in Discography, IDET, Neucleoplasty, and were among the first physicians in Cleveland to offer Spinal Cord Stimulation, making MetroHealth one of the leading providers of this technology in Northeast Ohio.


To schedule an appointment by phone, please call 216-778-3700. You can also request an appointment online.

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Your treatment depends on our spine specialists making the right diagnosis. So you can expect your doctor to go the extra mile by performing a comprehensive diagnostic workup. Your doctor will discuss all your symptoms and you will undergo a thorough examination. In addition to other tests, your doctor might order X-rays, a CT scan or MRI.

If you have back pain, physical therapy is often the first line of treatment. That might include exercises to strengthen your core muscles, treatments with hot and cold packs, electrical stimulation and massage therapy. The goal of physical therapy is to improve the biomechanics of your spine and restore body posture and function so your body can heal naturally.

Depending on your diagnosis, you may be referred to one of our interventional spine specialists. Interventional treatments, such as imagery-guided injections of anti-inflammatory or anesthetizing agents, can offer more effective and longer-lasting relief than oral medications, without resorting to surgery.

We understand that spine problems can have a debilitating effect on your physical, emotional and social life. Our individualized approach always includes your emotional and social well-being as well as your physical recovery.

In addition, we treat the severe pain caused by cancer that has spread to the spine with Intra Thecal Pump technology.

Non-Surgical Treatments We Offer

These options are helpful in treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions including:

  • Cervical and lumbar sprain/strains
  • Cervical and lumbar disc herniations
  • Sacro-iliac joint Dysfunction
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Facet arthropathy
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Scoliosis
  • Fibromayalgia
  • Leg length discrepancy

Pharmacologic Interventions

To reduce pain and swelling.

  • Steroids
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Muscle Relaxants
  • Opioids
  • Nerve membrane Stabilizers
  • Anti-depressants

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is very effective in alleviating the stress that is dynamically experienced from the skull all the way down to the pelvis and tail bone.  Physical rehabilitation is one of the most trustworthy and effective options available for spine care.

After a diagnosis has been determined by a qualified physician, the physical therapist will work with you.  The goal of physical therapy is to manage pain by re-conditioning or rehabilitating the spine to be able to handle stress and decrease pain by improving the biomechanics of the spine, restoring body posture and function, to allow the body to heal naturally.

Once the soft tissues and muscles of the body are functioning better with the joints, discs, ligaments and nerves of the spine, the result is better distribution of stress throughout the body, thereby alleviating pain from the structures that are generating pain.

Three Phases

 1. Acute: Focus on reducing pain and swelling using:

  • Heat packs
  • Ice packs
  • Electrical stimulation (TENS)
  • Traction
  • Massage
  • Joint and soft tissue mobilization
  • Craniosacral manipulation
  • Myofascial release
  • Gentle Stretching
  • Postural Re-education

2. Sub-acute: Focus on improving range of motion and strength using:

  • Williams Flexion & Mckenzie Extension exercises
  • Dynamic lumbar stabilization
  • Core strengthening
  • Individualized progressive stretching and strengthening programs

3. Maintenance: Reinforce and advance stretching and strengthening program; assuring smooth transition to an independent home exercise program.


 Three types:

  • Soft tissue (trigger points)
  • Peripheral joint
  • Spinal
    • Fluoroscopic and ultrasound guided
    • Epidural
    • Medial branch block
    • Facet blocks
    • Radiofrequency ablation
    • Sacroiliac joint

Rehabilitation Psychology

Focuses on emotional impact of chronic pain and return to work adjustment issues.