Emerson Hospital
If back, neck or leg pain is interfering with your life, it may be time to visit the Emerson Spine Program. We offer comprehensive expertise in diagnosing and treating spine-related problems — the majority without surgery.

conditions we see at the Emerson Spine Program

The most common reason people come to us for evaluation is back pain, but spine-related problems can cause symptoms from head to toe, including:
  • Numbness, tingling and weakness in the extremities 
  • Stiffness and decreased range of motion
  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Arm pain and heaviness
  • Leg pain and heaviness
  • Buttock pain
  • Scapular (shoulder blade) pain
  • Generalized deconditioning 

Diagnosing spine-related problems

An accurate diagnosis is the vital first step; a single problem can be caused by different underlying causes. Proper diagnosis starts with a thorough history and examination performed by one of our physicians. If needed, additional imaging or medical tests may be required, which can include:
  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Electromyogram/nerve conduction study (EMG/NCS): An EMG measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and when they're being used; nerve conduction studies measure how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals.

Conservative treatment options for spine-related problems

Research shows that only 10 percent of people with spinal problems will eventually require surgery. Conversely, most people benefit from conservative (non-surgical) treatment, tailored to each person’s unique needs. This can include:
  • Physical therapy: Emerson Hospital offers specialized spine physical therapy in both Concord and Westford.
  • Chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Medication, including anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), analgesics, muscle relaxants, oral steroids, nerve pain medication

Interventional pain management for spine-related problems

Spine injections may be recommended to address pain that is resistant to more conservative treatment. These procedures typically use steroid/cortisone as a strong anti-inflammatory injected directly into the area causing pain, and are performed under real-time X-ray called fluoroscopy for precision placement.

Learn more about interventional pain management.

When spinal surgery is indicated

The physiatrists in the Emerson Spine Program — medical doctors who specialize in physical and rehabilitation medicine — are highly trained to identify those patients whose spinal condition requires surgery. When spinal surgery is required, they will expedite consultation with the surgical team.

The Emerson Spine Program

As a new patient, you will be evaluated by Arthur Lee, DO, or James Spinelli, DO. Both physicians are double board-certified in physiatry, with a subspecialty in pain medicine. They are supported by an expert team of clinical nurses, medical assistants and administrative assistants. 

For your convenience and timely scheduling, the Emerson Spine Program offers evening and weekend hours. 

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call 978-287-3194.