Spine Centers in the News, where to get a Second Opinion prior to Spine surgery, when to explore surgery and when will nonsurgical treatments work | Spine Center Network

In the News


August 10, 2021 - Spine Center Network lists the 5 mistakes people make with self-diagnosing their back and neck symptoms

Fort Worth, TX — It’s estimated that 4 out of 5 adults will have an attack of back pain at some point in their lives. That’s the bad news. The good news is that 80% of the time, simple back and neck pain can go away on its own with home remedies. However, the spine specialists at SpineCenterNetwork.com, a national network of independent spine centers, note that there may be thousands of Americans this summer who will self-diagnose themselves incorrectly — which could lead to a permanently numb hand or numb foot.

According to James Lynch, MD, a fellowship-trained spine surgeon at SpineNevada — one of the largest spine specialty centers in the nation — the most serious problem is that people don’t recognize the emergency symptoms of back and neck problems, which can lead to permanent nerve damage. “We recognize that people will self diagnose themselves, but they usually do it with the wrong information,” Dr. Lynch explains. Spine Center Network provides the 5 most common mistakes in self diagnosis of back or neck problems:

Mistake #1. Pain is NOT a good indicator of when you need to go to the doctor.

“Unlike other health issues or joint problems, with back or neck issues pain may NOT be a good indicator of when you need to see a doctor,” explains Dr. Lynch. “A simple back strain or spasm can cause excruciating pain that knocks you down to your knees. But a simple strain doesn’t require surgery. It can often resolve on it’s own with anti-inflammatories, home remedies and a day of rest.”

Mistake #2. Waiting too long can cause numbness/weakness symptoms to become permanent.

Many people overlook the emergency symptoms of a numb hand or numb foot from a herniated disc. This symptom needs to be seen within a couple days or you risk permanent damage to the nerves on spinal cord. “A herniated disc that presses hard on a nerve root over several weeks can create a permanent crimp that may not be corrected with a surgery,” Dr. Lynch explains. “That can cause that numb foot or numb hand to become permanent. Loss of bowel/bladder control is the worst emergency symptom and needs to be seen in 24 hours — in an emergency room if necessary — to prevent it from becoming permanent. Also any type of fall or trauma needs to be seen promptly to make sure no vertebrae are fractured.” Patients can download a symptom chart for back and neck pain, and request a free 36-page Home Remedy Book on back pain, at SpineCenterNetwork.com.

Mistake #3. Using drugs to mask symptoms creates a bigger problem than your back pain.

A serious mistake people make with back or neck pain is with pills. “Pain pills or muscle relaxers only mask symptoms; they don’t change the strength or flexibility of the back or repair a herniated disc,” explains Lee Moroz, MD, a specialist in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Texas Spine & Scoliosis in Austin, Texas. “Worse, painkillers like opioids are quickly addictive, creating a bigger problem for you than your back injury. While anti-inflammatories can bridge you to therapy and relief of symptoms, other treatment options may ultimately be necessary.”

Mistake #4. The wrong home remedies can be counter-productive.

A sore back is not like a sore knee. “With back pain, research has shown conclusively that bed rest beyond a day or so is actually bad for the back,” adds Dr. Moroz. “Instead, some movement is good for a back strain, like specific stretches and a short 20 minute walk. Movement is like lubricant for the back and increases circulation for healing.”

Mistake #5. Spine surgery should be your last treatment option, not first.

“Americans love a quick fix, a magic pill or magic surgery,” adds Dr. Lynch. “It’s okay to use watchful waiting for a month or so for pain that radiates into an arm or leg. Spinal injections can also provide relief for many herniated discs. But if symptoms worsen, then spine surgery may be necessary. The person then needs to seek out a spine surgeon who does minimally invasive spine surgery through a tiny incision, enabling them to be home the same day.”

SpineCenterNetwork.com is the only national listing of spine centers that combine the expertise of non-surgical spine specialists with spine surgeons and spine therapists. The spine centers emphasize patient education and non-surgical treatment options in advance of spine surgery.

Dr. Lee Moroz consults with a patient at Texas Spine & Scoliosis in Austin, Texas.

July 20, 2021 — Dr. Truumees, NASS president, to speak at annual meeting in Boston in September

Eeeric Truumees, MD, will be speaking at the North American Spine Society (NASS) meeting in Boston in late September 2021.  Dr. Truumees is the 2021 president of NASS which includes the highest trained spine care specialists in the world.

“This year's NASS meeting will hold tremendous opportunity for spine specialists,” says Dr. Truumees. “We will have 240 surgical abstracts along with courses on robotics, minimally invasive spine surgery, endoscopic spine surgery and deformity. This is a tremendous chance for surgeons to learn more about these advances in spine care."   More information on the NASS meeting is at Learn more at www.spine.org/am.

Dr. Truumees is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon at Texas Spine and Scoliosis in Austin, Texas, which is one of the multi-disciplinary spine centers featured on SpineCenterNetwork.com, the only national listing of spine centers that meet credentialing criteria. 

April 3, 2021 — Southern Bone and Joint Specialists joins Spine Center Network

Southern Bone and Joint Specialists, P.A. joined Spine Center Network in April 2021 as a credentialed Spine Center of Excellence. Southern Bone and Joint Specialists is one of the largest orthopedic groups in the State of Mississippi. It is based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and is referred some of the most complex back and neck pain patients from across Mississippi and the New Orleans Gulf Coast region. Other orthopedic specialists in the large group practice specialize in hip and knee replacement and sports medicine issues.

The spine center at Southern Bone and Joint Specialists includes three board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeons (the highest level of medical education in the U.S.) working with physicians who provide non-surgical treatment options for back and neck pain. The spine surgeons are proficient in artificial disc replacement, scoliosis and minimally invasive spine surgery that reduces the length of the incision, shortens time in the hospital and speeds return to activity with a less painful recovery. The spine center also has an internal spine therapy department with an exercise gym to enable patients to speed their return to work and their favorite recreational activities.

Southern Bone and Joint Specialists is located in a modern freestanding 63,000 sf facility in Hattiesburg. It has a surgical facility on its campus so patients can have spinal injections and surgical procedures in a convenient, patient-focused hospital. Southern Bone and Joint Specialists also has an online encyclopedia about spine, joint replacement and sports medicine problems at SouthernBoneandJoint.com.

As a community service it provides a free Home Remedy Book on back and neck pain to residents of Mississippi. The 36-page patient education book has custom stretches that can relieve back or neck pain symptoms, including some symptoms from a herniated disc. A symptom chart within the back pain Home Remedy Book shows patients when watchful waiting can be used for symptoms like radiating pain from a herniated disc, and when a person needs to see a spine surgeon immediately to prevent symptoms like numbness in a hand or foot from becoming permanent and lifelong. Patients can request a copy of the 36-page Home Remedy Book on back pain and neck pain at SpineCenterNetwork.com or SouthernBoneandJoint.com.

The spine center at Southern Bone and Joint Specialists also handles second opinions for spine surgery from across Mississippi and the Gulf Coast region.

SpineCenterNetwork.com is the only national listing of spine centers that combine the expertise of non-surgical physical medicine MDs collaborating with top-trained spine surgeons and spine therapists. The spine centers within SpineCenterNetwork.com all emphasize patient education, non-surgical treatment options and the most advanced minimally invasive spine surgery. As a community service, most spine centers distribute a free 36-page Home Remedy Book to those in their state. Patients can request a copy through SpineCenterNetwork.com.

January 28, 2020 — Prizm launches Centers for Artificial Disc to help consumers learn the pros and cons of artificial disc replacement in both the cervical and lumbar spine.

The new national site at CentersforArtificialDisc.com features spine surgeons on a map of the United States who are trained in artificial disc replacement so consumers can locate a spine center near them that is proficient in the latest treatment alternative to spinal fusion.

The goal of the Centers for Artificial Disc is to provide a BALANCED VIEW of disc replacement so consumers have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of disc replacement, the considerations of spine surgeons in recommending or NOT recommending disc replacement and WHEN it is appropriate.

"Sadly, a lot of information on the Internet can be biased toward or against disc replacement," explains Bob Reznik, MBA, president of Prizm and the main architect of the umbrella Internet site. "With any new technology there can be resistance to change, and bias based on if a surgeon is trained and proficient in artificial disc replacement because it is a new skill. There is also bias related to specific implants. Prizm’s philosophy has always been that the best healthcare comes from an educated health care consumer. For example, for someone who has just been told that the numbness in their fingers is from a herniated disc in their neck, and that they need a spinal fusion, it’s important for them to know that there may qualify for new technology that preserves the natural motion in their neck. And that an artificial disc may save them from a second surgery caused by adjacent segment disease. But it their spine surgeon doesn’t know how to perform that surgery, or is uninformed about the benefits, the patient may never find that out. This site can be an educational resource for that patient."

Reznik notes that the Centers for Artificial Disc site covers the various disc technology currently available, the FDA approved discs, and other new technology on the horizon coming soon to the U.S. The educational site also explains which patients qualify for disc replacement and why certain cases are not appropriate for disc replacement.

More information about cervical and lumbar artificial disc replacement is at CentersforArtificialDisc.com.

September 4 2019 — SpineCenterNetwork.com recommends home remedy book & non-surgical treatment options for back pain

Spine Center Network was featured in more than 100 national media outlets in September 2019 related to advising those with back pain to exhaust non-surgical treatment options before resorting to spine surgery.

Spine Center Network features on a U.S. map regional spine centers of excellence that emphasize a multidisciplinary spine center approach to back and neck pain. All the spine centers emphasize non-surgical treatment before spine surgery, and have a heavy emphasis on patient education.

All the spine centers list on SpineCenterNetwork.com, for example, distribute a free 36-page book that has home remedies for back pain and home remedies for neck pain.

Americans can be quick to resort to spine surgery. However, some of those with back and neck pain could avoid back or neck surgery with home remedies and non-surgical treatment options that relieve the symptoms of a herniated disc, according to spine physicians within SpineCenterNetwork.com.

"Sadly, many people will be told they need a spine surgery," says Dr. Mark Downey, a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation MD and founder of SpineGroup Alabama. "But in many cases, there are non-surgical options like spinal injections and spine therapy that can relieve some symptoms of a herniated disc without the need for spine surgery."

Herniated discs can be a natural part of the aging process, and rushing to have an MRI can lead one to believe that a herniated disc is the cause of back pain symptoms when it’s not. Research studies have shown that one in three adults over age 40 with no back pain symptoms, have disc abnormalities that would show up on an MRI.

"The second benefit of using a non-surgical option like a spinal injection is that it can determine if a suspected herniated disc at a certain level is indeed the pain generator," explains Dr. Downey. "So the best part of this type of non-surgical option is that it increases the likelihood of a successful surgery at the correct level."

April 29, 2019 — Spine Center Network provides important advice on when to consider artificial disc replacement

SpineCenterNetwork.com was featured in the national media in April 2019 related to advising patients on the latest technology for spine — the artificial disc.

"If you’ve been told you have a herniated disc, you probably have also been told you need a spinal fusion, which up to 2019 has been the traditional treatment for herniated discs," explains Bob Reznik, MBA, President of Prizm Development and an author of several books on healthcare subjects. "However, depending upon which doctor you see you might never learn that there is a more advanced option that keeps the natural motion in your neck, rather than locking two vertebrae together."

"The most current spine research from the North American Spine Society has shown that artificial disc replacement can reduce the risk of herniations at other levels in the neck," explains Dr. Jatana, a Denver, Colorado spine surgeon who specializes exclusively in neck surgery and motion preservation surgery for the neck. "With spinal fusion, you are locking two vertebrae together. The proven downside, however, is that fusion then puts extra stress on the discs above and below. The result can be a second herniated disc caused by the first fusion. With an artificial disc, you are preserving the rotation of the neck which lessens the risk to other disc levels. This is especially important in the neck as you only have seven levels to maintain needed rotation."

Artificial disc surgery — also referred to as motion preservation surgery — has been rapidly evolving with new implants. The FDA has approved several artificial discs for use at two levels in the neck, notes Dr. Craig Humphreys, a fellowship trained spine surgeon at Kenai Spine, also within Spine Center Network. Dr. Humphreys is one of few spine surgeons in Alaska proficient in artificial disc surgery in both the neck and low back.

April 26, 2019
Spine Center Network provides important advice on when to consider artificial disc replacement 

If you’ve been told you have a herniated disc, you probably have also been told you need a spinal fusion, which up to 2019 has been the traditional treatment for herniated discs. However, that advice for a spinal fusion — especially in the neck — may no longer apply, according to Sanjay Jatana, MD,  a fellowship-trained cervical spine specialist at a Denver-based spine center which is part of Spine Center Network. 

“The most current spine research from the North American Spine Society has shown that artificial disc replacement can reduce the risk of herniations at other levels in the neck,” explains Dr. Jatana.  “With spinal fusion, you are locking two vertebrae together.  The proven downside, however, is that fusion then puts extra stress on the discs above and below. The result can be a second herniated disc caused by the first fusion. With an artificial disc, you are preserving the rotation of the neck which lessens the risk to other disc levels. This is especially important in the neck as you only have seven levels to maintain needed rotation.” 

Artificial disc surgery — also referred to as motion preservation surgery — has been rapidly evolving with new implants.  The FDA has approved several artificial discs for use at two levels in the neck, notes Dr. Craig Humphreys, a fellowship trained spine surgeon at Kenai Spine, also within Spine Center Network.  Dr. Humphreys is one of few spine surgeons in Alaska proficient in artificial disc surgery in both the neck and low back.

“These are exciting times for the field of spine, as each year there are new discs that not only preserve the natural rotation of the spine,  but also try to mimic the natural disc with some ability to compress up and down. Mother Nature is quite an excellent engineer in that the healthy disc provides ample rotation but also some shock absorption. It’s a tall order to replicate the healthy disc with something that also doesn’t wear out too soon requiring it to be replaced — which can be a complex re-do surgery.”

“With lumbar artificial disc surgery we have to be very selective as to which discs qualify,”  explains Dr. Humphreys.  “The fear of having a disc wear out requiring revision surgery has caused many spine surgeons to move cautiously with lumbar disc replacement.  While access to the front of the neck for artificial disc surgery is straightforward, that is not the case for the lumbar area. With lumbar artificial disc replacement the surgoen has to go through the abdomen and navigate around internal organs.  Still, we believe that for the right person, artificial disc can be a great option that preserves the natural motion of the back and neck, and reduces the risk of a future herniation at another level.”

“The burden is on the patient to become well informed about their treatment options, and to research a second opinion when they are told they need spine surgery,” adds Dr. Jatana. “It takes extensive training and experience to implant an artificial disc, and only a small percent of spine surgeons are really proficient in that. If you live outside a large metro area, you will have to recognize that you may have to travel to a regional spine center for the most advanced spine care.”

SpineCenterNetwork.com is the only national listing of spine centers that combine the expertise of non-surgical physical medicine MDs collaborating with top-trained spine surgeons and spine therapists. The spine centers within SpineCenterNetwork.com all emphasize patient education, non-surgical treatment options and the most advanced minimally invasive spine surgery. As a community service, the spine centers distribute a free 36-page Home Remedy Book to those in their state. Patients can request a copy through SpineCenterNetwork.com.

Spine Center Network featured by national media related to second opinion for spine surgery 

More than 235 TV stations, daily newspapers and business journals across the United States featured Spine Center Network in 2017 related to its recommendation to consumers to pursue a second opinion for spine surgery — a common requirement of some health insurance plans. 

SpineCenterNetwork.com was developed to address the issue of treatment bias, a major concern of health insurance plans, employers and primary care referral physicians, explains Bob Reznik, MBA, president of Prizm Development, Inc., the most experienced developer of regional spine centers of excellence.  SpineCenterNetwork.com is the only national network of multi-disciplinary spine centers that meet credentialing criteria.  To be included, a spine center must combine the expertise of spine-specialized surgeons along with non-surgical MDs who specialize in non-surgical treatment options, including spinal injections.  

The spine centers also have affiliated spine therapists who help many patients back to activity without surgery. If surgery is necessary, the spine surgeons in Spine Center Network emphasize minimally invasive spine surgery techniques and instrumentation that shortens the incision to about an inch to reduce blood loss and the need for outside blood, shorten time in the hospital with many patients going home the same day, and enabling many patients to get back to activity faster and with less pain and discomfort. 

"Sadly, research has shown there can be tremendous treatment bias based on who you see for back or neck pain,” explains Reznik. “If you see a surgeon first, you may get a surgical recommendation too early. Spine Center Network tries to provide the consumer a listing of centers that emphasize a multi-disciplinary approach to spine problems with non-surgeon MDs and spine therapists working closely with spine surgeons who have advanced training in minimally invasive spine surgery techniques. Some experts in other countries believe half of the spine surgeries in the United States may be unnecessary. The person who is told they need spine surgery would be smart to get a second opinion from a center that has non-surgical capabilities rather than just a spine surgeon. Also, a spine center is more likely to offer advanced technology like the artificial disc to retain normal motion of the spine, rather than a traditional fusion which can cause future disc herniations."

Back surgery? SpineCenterNetwork.com advises get a second opinion first

August 22, 2017

Anyone who has had an attack of back pain, or neck pain,  immediately fears the worst: spine surgery. And with good reason. Some prominent athletes who have spine surgery appear to be worse off after spine surgery then they were before.  According to Dartmouth Medical Atlas, there is significant treatment variation related to spine care, with some states having twice the rate of back surgery as other states. 

“In the field of spine, there can be specialty bias based on the training of the doctor,” explains Wayne Mounts, executive director of South Carolina Spine Center. “Spine surgeons can be naturally biased to using spine surgery, while non-surgeons can be equally biased to hanging onto the patient past the point when non-surgical options have failed to work.“

SpineCenterNetwork.com was developed to address the issue of treatment bias. SpineCenterNetwork.com is the only national network of multi-disciplinary spine centers that meet credentialing criteria.  To be included, a spine center must combine the expertise of spine-specialized surgeons along with Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation MDs who specialize in non-surgical treatment options, including spinal injections.  The spine centers also have affiliated spine therapists.

“The solution is to have a spine center that combines under one roof Physical Medicine MDs who exhaust non-surgical treatment options first, and then if those fail to work, the patient is triaged to a spine surgeon who is trained in minimally invasive spine surgery,” adds Mounts. “We also caution people that if they’ve been told they need spine surgery, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from a multi-disciplinary spine center to confirm that they really need it, and if they qualify for minimally invasive spine surgery or an artificial disc which can improve their clinical outcome.”

Another issue with spine is that pain can be a misleading symptom.  For example, here are four symptoms and when you need to see a doctor quickly:

1. BACK SPASMS can often resolve on their own with anti-inflammatories and rest.

2. FALL OR CAR ACCIDENT needs to be seen quickly if a fracture is suspected.

3. RADIATING PAIN into an arm or leg needs to be seen in a week.

4. NUMB FOOT OR HAND, or loss of bowel/bladder control, are all emergency symptoms that need to be seen by a spine specialist immediately to prevent permanent paralysis of the muscles and nerves.

As a community service all the spine centers in SpineCenterNetwork.com distribute a free 36-page Home Remedy Book which has home remedies and special stretches that can relieve back and neck pain symptoms and prevent a future back pain attack. The handbook also features symptom charts that explain when it’s crucial to go to the doctor fast.  Back and neck pain sufferers can request a copy — as well as an appointment for second opinion at any of the multi-disciplinary spine centers — at SpineCenterNetwork.com.

Baptist Health Spine Center in Arkansas added to SpineCenterNetwork.com 

In 2017, Baptist Health worked with Prizm Development to create a new spine center that includes the expertise of a non-surgical MD specialized in spine, a doctorate-level spine therapist and five neurosurgeons. The new spine center located in Little Rock, Arkansas, near the main campus of Baptist Health, combines under one roof in internal injection suite, a complete physical therapy exercise gym and physician exam rooms. The spine center is located adjacent to a complete diagnostic center with X-ray, MRI and CT.

Reading Neck and Spine Center added to SpineCenterNetwork.com for Central Pennsylvania

In 2016, Reading Neck & Spine Center was added to Spine Center Network.  The spine center is based in Reading, Pennsylvania, and has a satellite offices in Wyomissing and Pottsville in the center of Pennsylvania steel country. The spine center acts as a resource for those with back and neck problems from across Central Pennsylvania.  Dave Abraham, MD, a founder of the spine center, specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, with many patients having spine surgery at the nearby Surgical Institute of Reading and able to go home later the same day. 

Kenai Spine added to SpineCenterNetwork.com as the statewide resource for spine in Alaska

In 2015, Kenai Spine was added to Spine Center Network, acting as a regional Spine Center of Excellence for the State of Alaska. The spine center has two offices in Anchorage and an office on the Kenai Peninsula in Soldotna.  Kenai Spine combines under one roof three fellowship-trained spine surgeons (the highest level of medical education possible), a Mayo Clinic-trained MD who specializes in non-surgical care and spine specialized physical therapists. Kenai Spine, founded in 2011, has helped thousands of back and neck pain sufferers across Alaska get back to activity, most of them with non-surgical treatment options. If spine surgery is necessary, the spine surgeons operate through new minimally invasive instruments the width of a ballpoint pen — to reduce the length of incision, shorten time in the hospital and speed return to activity with a less painful recovery. Kenai Spine is also one of the few centers in the U.S. to use advanced O-arm surgical navigation technology. Some patients qualify for the most advanced artificial disc, Mobi-C, which can help lessen the risk for future disc herniations.

South Carolina Spine Center added to SpineCenterNetwork.com

In 2013, Self Regional Healthcare called upon Prizm to help them improve how they manage back and neck pain through their spine center service line. The spine program at that time included three fellowship-trained spine neurosurgeons. Over 2014 and 2015, Prizm helped the spine service line to mature into a more complete multi-disciplinary spine center with two specialists in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR), and a better-integrated spine therapy department. "The spine center now is proficient in managing those back and neck pain cases that don't need surgery," explains Bob Reznik, MBA. "The PMR specialists manage the non-surgical treatment options and triage those patients who need surgery more adroitly to the specialists. Now everything related to spine is in one location for the convenience of the person with back or neck pain: diagnostics, X-ray, MRI, spine surgeons, MDs who specialize in non-surgical treatment and spinal injections and therapy. It's now a true destination center for spine care that attracts patients from a 100 mile radius." In 2014, South Carolina Spine Center met the credentialing criteria to be included in SpineCenterNetwork.com, the only national listing of credentialed spine centers.

Spine Center Network welcomes Precision Spine Care in East Texas to the network

On January 1, 2014 three specialty groups — Precision Spine Care, Dr. Jonathan Blau and Texas Pain — combined their resources to create a regional center of excellence for spine care and pain management under the name Precision Spine Care.

The merger combines the expertise of three fellowship-trained pain specialists within Texas Pain; physical medicine specialist Jonathan Blau, MD; along with three spine-specialized neurosurgeons and a second physical medicine specialist to create a fully comprehensive spine and pain center for the East Texas region in 2014.

With the merger, effective January 1, 2014, Precision Spine Care now includes a multidisciplinary team with two physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) physicians who specialize in the nonsurgical management of back and neck pain; three fellowship-trained pain medicine physicians; and three neurospine surgeons. Click here to read more about Precision Spine Care's Center of Excellence.

5 Qualities of Spine Center Leaders for Today & Tomorrow

April 10, 2013-- Spine Center Network and Bob Reznik, MBA featured in Becker's Spine Review article entitled "5 Qualities of Spine Center Leaders for Today & Tomorrow"

Spine Center Network was developed by Prizm Development, Inc., two years ago and now acts as a national network of credentialed Spine Centers of Excellence for payors and consumers. Inclusion in the network is based on credentialing criteria that includes having fellowship-trained or highly specialized spine surgeons integrated with spine-specialized physical medicine physicians and spine therapists. Spine Center Network represents those spine centers that meet the credentialing criteria. It currently includes about 18 spine centers across the United States. Read the complete article here.

Becker's Orthopedic and Spine Review

Spine Center Network is focused on providing information for payors, employers and consumers about spine care providers. The company creates a list of "spine centers of excellence" that emphasize non-surgical treatment options before surgery. Read more.

6/27/11 News Releases

New Spine Center Network provides payors, employers & consumers a listing of regional spine centers with Report Cards

  • Wouldn’t it be convenient if someone created a listing of spine centers of excellence across the United States that all emphasize non-surgical treatment options before surgery?
  • Where the staff included board-certified spine specialists who are fellowship-trained in spine — the highest level of training available in the United States?
  • Where each center featured a team of non-surgical spine specialists who are board-certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physicians, working closely with ortho & neuro spine surgeons, and spine-specialized therapists to find NON-surgical treatment options for those with back pain ….
  • Where each center reports their Clinical Outcomes annually on a Clinical Outcome Report Card that is produced by an outside organization for credibility….
  • Where each center measures patient satisfaction by having a nurse call patients after their treatment to track their satisfaction with the care they received…
  • Where the physicians and the centers share no ownership or partnership in the network, but merely share a philosophical desire to continually improve spine care, and their belief that proper spine care is to exhaust non-surgical options first, before resorting to spine surgery…
  • Where the physicians and the staff want to create a better experience for the person with back and neck pain, so he or she can get back to activity, their favorite sport, with the least amount of pain, discomfort and time off work… 

Finally, there is a place: SpineCenterNetwork.com.

"The network is a byproduct of extensive one-on-one meetings with payors, employers and work comp carriers who were looking for spine programs that emphasized conservative care first," explains Bob Reznik, MBA, president of Prizm Development, Inc. "We've been asked for something like this for years. Whenever we complete a case rate contract in a market, the medical director will ask us, 'Where else do you have centers like this?' Dartmouth Medical Atlas has documented tremendous treatment variation in spine care," says Reznik. "Some spine surgeon practices emphasize excessive and aggressive surgery. Other spine doctors can emphasize too many injections or manipulations. Sadly, too many times the back pain sufferer is punished with a safari through trips to multiple offices with biased opinions, misleading information, fragmented care,  conflicting diagnoses and treatment plans — and often an unnecessary surgery. That is the perceived problem with spine care today."

The Spine Center Network was developed to be useful to:

  • Health insurance plans and national employers who want to identify spine centers who conceptually believe in a non-surgically oriented approach to spine care, with the use of Physical Medicine and spine therapy, all under one roof.  This network can be useful to create a referral network for their covered lives or employees with back or neck pain.
  • Workers Compensation Carriers and Employers who have a vested interest in helping injured workers get back to activity.
  • Back and neck pain sufferers who are searching the Internet for places to go for relief of symptoms, second opinions and information on who to pursue for proper treatment. All of these participating spine centers have content-rich online spine encyclopedias that can accessed through this spine center network web site.

The common thread that weaves all these separate spine centers together is that all are based on a common spine center model created by Prizm Development more than 15 years ago. This spine center model is based on more than 1,000 one-on-one interviews by Prizm staff with health insurance company medical directors, workers compensation insurance companies and health benefit managers from large employers from across the United States.

"While many hospitals and physicians think the answer to the problem of fragmented, biased and dysfunctional spine care is to add MORE physician specialties into a building, we’ve listened to customers — and they say they want LESS specialties involved, LESS bias, LESS fragmentation and LESS disagreement among specialists," says Reznik.

Consequently, Prizm created a spine center model that is restrictive to three core specialty groups. Prizm’s spine center model is based on a 3-legged stool concept, where a multi-disciplinary team of Physical Medicine physicians, spine surgeons (ortho & neuro) and spine therapists act as the foundation for care.

The second foundation of this spine center model, is the philosophy that  — absent emergency symptoms like loss of bowel/bladder control or weakness in a foot or hand — non-surgical options need to be explored and exhausted first before spine surgery. 

The third common aspect among these spine centers is that they use spine-trained physical therapists who have advanced training and experience in the niche of spine care. These therapists are typically located in the same building so care can be expedited and information gathered by the physician can be shared by the therapist in the treatment plan.

The fourth common aspect is the philosophical commitment by all these spine centers to educate the health care consumer to seek out non-surgical treatment, second opinions for spine surgery, and if spine surgery is necessary be prudent about where you choose to go.  All of these spine Centers of Excellence have invested their own money to create an educated health care consumer. As a free community service, all these centers mail out — at their cost — a 36-page Home Remedy Book to thousands of back pain sufferers annually. Each also has an on-line spine encyclopedia at with exercises, symptom charts and medical illustrations on spine. They believe an educated health care consumer will choose wisely, and will often choose the best possible place to go, which may be these spine centers.

The fifth requirement is the willingness to use Prizm’s outcome system to publish an annual Clinical Outcome Report Card for referring physicians and payors. This outcomes system reveals the percent of patients receiving conservative care options like therapy and injections, the percent of patients who receive surgery, functional status, patient satisfaction, and the percent of patients who are still taking five or more pills daily for pain relief three to six months after first visit.

Back or neck pain sufferers who are seeking a physician can request a second opinion from 16 spine centers located across the United States in California, Colorado, , Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, South Dakota and Texas. The network will expand to include other regional centers as they meet inclusion criteria.

Click here to download the PDF from Becker's Orthopedic & Spine Review.

The spine centers of excellence listed on the Spine Center Network national map represent a listing of spine centers in the United States that emphasize nonsurgical options and spine-specialized surgeons who emphasize minimally invasive spine surgery. These spine centers are located in the following areas of the country: class="therapy", Southeast Georgia; Little Rock, Arkansas; Providence, Rhode Island; Athens, East Georgia; Soldotna / Kenai / Anchorage, Alaska; Auburn, Maine; Panama City, Florida panhandle; Tyler, East Texas; Rockford, Chicago area, Illinois; Reading, Central Pennsylvania; South Bend and Elkhart, Indiana; Greenwood, western South Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; and Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Nevada. Some of these spine centers are referred patients from Canada or Mexico under bundled predictable rates.