Overview

Overview

Each year, Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health helps thousands of patients with conditions of the back and neck, ranging from the most common to the most complex. Whether your goal is to get back to sports, work, hobbies or just enjoying life, the specialists at the Center for Spine Health can help.

Our specialists are nationally recognized in orthopaedic surgery, neurosurgery and medical spine and provide patients with the latest, most innovative, most effective medical and surgical treatments available for back and neck problems.

Back on TREK

Low Back Pain Program

Transform Restore Empower Knowledge

Chronic back pain can be tricky to manage. Many patients seek the advice of multiple healthcare professionals and receive conflicting opinions, which can be confusing and stressful. Cleveland Clinic’s low back pain program, called Back on TREK, is a 12-week program where spine specialists partner with physical therapists and behavioral medicine specialists to improve the outcomes for people experiencing back pain. With a unique team approach to care, the program is designed to promote recovery of function and to empower patients to manage their pain. Behavioral medicine specialists, physical therapists, spine physicians and nurses work collaboratively to develop individualized treatment plans. Treatment plans include individual and group physical therapy and behavioral medicine sessions. Appointments with spine medicine specialists and family education may also be included.
To be eligible to participate in this pilot:

  • Patients need to be willing to receive their care at Cleveland Clinic main campus, C Building – W.O. Walker Center or Lutheran Hospital
  • Patients need to be 18-65 years old
  • Have experienced back pain for a minimum of 3 months
  • Patients who have had no previous back surgeries

If you would like to learn more about the program and to determine your eligibility, please call our appointment center at 216.636.5860 to schedule a phone call with the Back on TREK nurse or email BackonTREK@ccf.org.

Back on TREK in the News

Spine-Related Links

What We Treat

What We Treat

Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health services run the gamut of spine care, including:

  • Interventional spine therapies
  • Mature spine care
  • Medical spine evaluation and treatment
  • Pediatric and adolescent spine care
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Spine care in pregnancy
  • Spinal and pelvic manipulation
  • Spine injury prevention
  • Spine surgery
  • Spine wellness

Conditions we treat include, but are not limited to the following:

Other Conditions Treated

We also treat other spine-related conditions including arachnoid cysts, compression fractures, hip and leg pain, musculoskeletal impairments, peripheral nerve disorders, post-laminectomy syndrome, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, schwannoma, spinal instability and spinal vascular disorders, along with those listed below:

Treatments & Services

Spine patients present with a broad array of complaints demanding accurate diagnosis and appropriate management. At the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health, the conditions we treat include but are not limited to:

  • Overview of the Spine 
  • Degenerative back and neck disorders
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Disc herniation
  • Spinal fracture
  • Deformities, including scoliosis and kyphosis
  • Primary and metastatic spinal tumors

Find detailed information about our services and treatments:

From periodic monitoring to intensive surgical correction, we provide state-of-the-art management for back and spine problems. When you refer to the Center for Spine Health, you ensure your patient the benefits of skilled, experienced specialty and subspecialty care and access to the latest technologies.

Among the many therapeutic options we offer are:

Spine Health surgeons have a high success rate for even the most complex procedures. Moreover, we are skilled in the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques. Although not indicated for all patients or conditions, these techniques may offer specific advantages for selected patients. Lumbar procedures are the most commonly performed surgeries, followed by cervical and thoracic procedures. The most common surgical conditions are degenerative spine conditions such as disc herniation and spinal stenosis followed by spinal deformity, such as scoliosis and kyphosis, fracture/trauma and spine tumor.

Corrective treatments range from minimally invasive decompression to spinal osteotomy, which is highly complex and is regularly performed at only a small number of spine centers in the United States.

Our Team Appointments

Appointments

Thousands of patients from all over the world come to Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health each year for help with all conditions of the back and neck.

Whatever your diagnosis, our specialists are dedicated to restoring your function and relieving pain to the greatest degree possible by applying their knowledge and skill, combined with the latest techniques and advanced technology.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment at the Center for Spine Health, call locally 216.636.5860 or toll-free 866.588.2264.

Call today for a same day appointment.

You can also request an appointment online:

Online Appointment Request

Locations

Whether your goal is to get back to sports, work, hobbies or just enjoying life, the specialists at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health can help.

Patients are seen at multiple locations throughout the region. See below. To make an appointment at any of these locations, please call 216.636.5860 or 866.588.2264.

Research

Research

Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health, a major center for spine-related treatment and research, is on the forefront of developing new technologies and collaborative approaches for effectively managing back and neck disorders.

Clinical Outcomes

Cleveland Clinic is committed to measuring and reporting clinical outcomes data, which promotes continuous quality improvement.

For the clinical outcomes data specific to the Center for Spine Health, click here.

A relationship has been demonstrated between volume and improved outcomes for many treatments, particularly those involving surgical and procedural techniques. For the latest information about the Center for Spine Health surgical outcomes and volumes, including the number of procedures performed, admission rates, and inpatient and outpatient visits, please view the complete Neurological Institute Outcomes book.

Spine Clinical Trials

Below, find clinical trials that are currently enrolling patients:

Cervical Spondylotic Mylepathy Surgical Trial (CSM-S Trial)

The purpose of the study is to determine the best surgical approach for subjects who have spinal cord problems (myelopathy) caused by pressure (compression) from arthritic changes in the neck’s spinal column. There are currently three surgical approaches, all widely accepted and not investigational; these approaches include decompression/fusion from the front, decompression with fusion from the back or laminoplasty from the back. Patients will be randomized to one of the three approaches. Following surgery the subjects will be followed at 3 months, 6 months and annually through the 5 year follow up.

Principal Investigator: Edward Benzel, MD
You may contact a member of the research team for more information at 216.544.7475.

Interested in other clinical trials?

Spine Robotics Testing

'Bender', the Spine Research Laboratory's (SRL) robotic biomechanics tester.

Cutting-edge robotic tests to study spine biomechanics — also called “robo-mechanics” — represent the next frontier in spine research. Cleveland Clinic Spine Research Laboratory (SRL) has completed its first spine robo-mechanics studies with “Bender,” an in-house spine-testing robot.

While traditional spine research test protocols have been limited to use of cables and pulleys to bend the spine (quasi-static test) and simplistic push-pull or twist tests to measure the response of passive spine structures (bones, ligaments, discs) only, Bender allows SRL to conduct six-degree-of-freedom, in vitro spine testing in any conceivable orientation, position or load.

These tests allow for precise characterization of the intact, injured and stabilized spine while providing groundbreaking insights into the theoretical muscular and neural responses of the in vivo spine.

Spins at 615 Degrees per Second

Robots like Bender have a long history in industrial settings such as automotive assembly and precision welding and painting, as well as in modern amusement park rides and movies. Robots are still regarded as novelties in medical research. At the SRL in Cleveland Clinic’s Lutheran Hospital, Bender elevates existing spine research capabilities.

The robot allows SRL researchers as well as Center for Spine Health and Department of Neurosurgery staff, fellows and residents to add measurements of active (muscle) and neural (central nervous system) spine responses to the traditionally measured passive spine responses.

To facilitate these measurements, Bender can manipulate a spine with 0.1 mm accuracy — the thickness of a human hair — and loads as light as a few grams.

Running at full capacity, Bender can move 16 kilograms (35 pounds) at speeds up to 14 feet per second and twist or spin up to 615 degrees per second. Additionally, SRL’s robo-mechanics testing is enhanced through use of a technically advanced Optotrak Certus three-dimensional infrared motion tracking system.

For more information on the Spine Research Laboratory’s robo-mechanical studies, contact Dr. Thomas Mroz at 216.445.9232.

For Medical Professionals

For Medical Professionals

Our goals at the Center for Spine Health: improve patient care, develop unique technology and sub-specializations, and promote cross-fertilization of ideas among our staff.

News for Physicians

Cleveland Clinic Awarded Grant from NFL Charities to Study Concussions in Youth Sports
Researchers in Cleveland Clinic’s Spine Research Laboratory, the Department of Neurosurgery and the Center for Spine Health recently won a $100,000 award from NFL Charities to study the neck’s role in mitigating or exacerbating blows to the head and its influence on concussions in young athletes. Read the full NFL concussions story

Related Content:

Spinal Column Physician Newsletter: Current Issue

Spinal Column

Spinal Column is a physician-to-physician newsletter from Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health. Our specialists in neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, and medical spine provide the latest best practices, clinical advances, innovations and research from our program.

Resources

Resources

Listen to our podcast to learn more about proper posture.

Back Pain

Posture

Listen to our podcast to learn more about proper posture.

What is good posture?

Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or laying down. Good posture involves training the body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments.

Proper posture:

  • Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
  • Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces.
  • Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
  • Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
  • Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
  • Prevents backache and muscular pain.
  • Contributes to a good appearance.
  • Learn more about good posture
  • Learn more about exercise for a healthy back

Scoliosis

Scoliosis Fact Sheet

Discussing Scoliosis in Children and Adults

Web Chat with R. Douglas Orr, MD and David P. Gurd, MD

Spinal Stenosis & Spine Surgery

Help Me Fix It: Dr. Besser Goes in Search of Back Pain Relief. Watch the ABC Good Morning America story with Dr. Edward Benzel

Spine Injections - Fact Sheets

Your Surgical Experience

Having any kind of surgery can be a stressful experience for patients, as well as for your family members and friends. At the Cleveland Clinic Center for Spine Health, our entire staff is not only committed to providing you with the highest quality care available - from surgery to rehabilitation - we’re also committed to making your entire experience with us as comfortable as possible. We share your goal: to restore function and quality of life to you and your family.

Pre-Admission Testing

Your preparation prior to the procedure is a very important part of your overall surgery experience. Pre-Admission Testing, which takes place several days before the surgery, includes conducting a medical history and physical, lab work, and other tests. Getting this information in advance helps our surgical team choose the safest possible medications, including anesthesia, for you, which helps to make your upcoming surgery as safe as possible.

What to Expect

For additional important details about what you can expect before and after your surgery, see our Spine Surgery Instruction Sheet.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the Center for Spine Health appointment line locally at 216.636.5860 or toll-free at 866.588.2264.