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Spine Conditions


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Spine conditions involve the bones (vertebrae), and spongy discs between the vertebrae, joints, muscles, and ligaments. Pain from spine conditions can be acute (a sudden, intense pain that lasts a few days to a few weeks) or chronic (lasts more than a few months).

Symptoms of a spine condition may include numbness, tingling, and pain in the neck, low back, arms, and legs. With complex spine disorders, you may also have problems with walking, breathing, bowel and bladder control, and sexual function.

Spine conditions affect the lumbar (low back), thoracic (upper back), or cervical (neck) spine, and include:

  • Degenerative disc disease: discs between the vertebrae break down due to stress, aging or normal wear and tear
  • Herniated disc: discs between the vertebrae rupture, protrude or bulge out
  • Infections: in the spine or fluid surrounding the spinal cord
  • Spinal cord injuries: affect the nerves that make up the spinal cord
  • Spinal stenosis: spinal canal narrows around the spinal cord
  • Fractures: vertebrae compression fractures or joint dislocation
  • Tumors: cancerous or non-cancerous
  • Curvature deformities: scoliosis, lordosis, or kyphosis
  • Myelopathy: damage to the spinal cord caused by stenosis or degeneration
  • Radiculopathy: pinched nerve or compression
  • Spondylosis: cartilage in the joints and vertebrae wear out abnormally

If you have pain and symptoms of a spine condition, make an appointment with a physiatrist (physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor) at the University of Miami Health System. We can help you feel better.


During this test, you will receive an injection of saline into your disc(s) under image-guidance, either using CT or fluoroscopy (dynamic X-ray) technology. This is done to provoke any pain and/or abnormal response. It can show abnormal nerve pathways generating pain inside the injured/degenerated disc.

Electroneurophysiological testing is done with current and electrodes to determine nerve and muscle function/dysfunction and damage. Tests include electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS).


Neurostimulation, also called electrical stimulation, uses low-voltage electricity to stop the nerve impulses that cause pain. Examples include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), applied on the skin over nerve endings, and spinal cord stimulation (SCS), which is inserted under the skin.

Interventional spine procedures
These procedures use image-guided technology to deliver steroids and medications right to the pain source. Selective epidural injections, cervical facet injections, cervical selective nerve blocks, and discograms reduce pain and inflammation in the neck. This treatment is usually prescribed with physical therapy or exercise.

Ultrasound-guided injections
Ultrasound imaging allows doctors to view nerves, bones, tendons, and muscles. Combining this technology with injection therapy means we can deliver medicines to the exact trigger point to relieve pain and inflammation. Steroids and platelet-rich plasma injections are commonly used to treat neuromusculoskeletal pain.

Radiofrequency ablation
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat from radio waves to damage nerve tissues, disrupting their ability to send pain signals. This is performed on the facet joints in the spine.

Why Choose UHealth?

Internationally-recognized Spine Institute in South Florida. The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is part of the renowned Spine Institute where research breakthroughs in spine conditions bring you the most advanced care possible.

Specialized spine expertise and comprehensive services near you. Our multi-specialty team has experts in spine conditions and spinal cord injuries, and offer programs in cancer rehabilitation, rehabilitation psychology, and neuropsychology. Inpatient (hospital stay) and outpatient (clinic) rehabilitation locations near you will help restore physical and emotional health, and provide education for prevention and wellness.

Multispecialty care with teams built around your condition. Our rehabilitation team works closely with orthopedic specialists and surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons, urologists, and others to customize your treatment plan. You have access to the latest non-surgical and minimally invasive approaches to managing pain, including neurostimulation and interventional spine procedures, all in one place.

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