Spine Center

We’re here when spine, neck & back pain affect your quality of life.

The spine is a highly complex and critical component of the human body, protecting the spinal cord while offering strength, structure, and flexibility. Its ability to provide support and mobility simultaneously makes it more susceptible to injury.

Since spine injuries can affect virtually any body part, there is a wide range of conditions and injuries encompassed by spine pain that cause a wide range of symptoms. From scoliosis and stenosis to sciatica and herniated discs, spine pain can be the result of a serious condition.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible before your spine injury or condition worsens:

  • Sharp pain in the lower back
  • A popping noise or feeling in the back after straining or heavy lifting
  • Numbness, tingling, or cramping in one or both legs
  • Weakness in a specific area of the leg or arm
  • Loss of balance when walking
  • Incontinence

Our spine experts at Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons understand that damage to the spinal cord is not only disruptive, but also potentially devastating to those affected. Spine conditions and injuries should be examined by a spine specialist for prompt and proper diagnosis.


Pain in the neck is most commonly the result of four main causes: trauma, poor posture, muscle strain, or a degenerative disc disease.

In the event of a traumatic incident, whiplash can occur, which is when the neck is distorted or jerked by sudden force. If you are experiencing a cramping or tightening of the lower neck muscles, your neck pain may be emanating from poor posture or a muscle strain.

Not all sources of neck pain involve injuries. The severity of pain can gradually escalate with long-term diseases and conditions, such as osteoarthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, a disease involving inflammation of the spinal joints.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of neck pain, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible before your injury or condition worsens:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Disruption of sleep due to pain
  • Stiffness of the neck and shoulders, especially in the morning
  • Sensory disturbance/sensitivity of the arms and legs
  • Joint pain or swelling in the neck and shoulders
  • Weakness, numbness and dizziness

When left untreated, a neck condition or injury can cause further damage, and you could be left dealing with chronic pain. In some cases, pain in the neck can be a sign of a serious medical condition, and specialized treatment should be sought to ensure that a proper diagnosis is made.


The majority of back pain symptoms stem from inflammation due to an acute injury or overuse of the muscles, joints or tendons.

Understanding and adhering to proper posture and lifting techniques can help decrease your chances for sustaining a back injury, such as a fracture, herniated disc or strained muscle. However, not all causes of back pain are as easily preventable; pain can also arise from a chronic condition like scoliosis, or a condition that has developed over time, such as osteoarthritis.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible before your back injury or condition worsens:

  • Persistent aching or stiffness
  • Achiness in the lower back after sitting for an extended period of time
  • Sudden, sharp pain in a localized area of the back
  • Pain that affects posture while sitting, standing or walking
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms or legs

At Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons, we understand that back pain can make everyday activities difficult. Our experts know that proper diagnosis is paramount in determining the most effective treatment plan for your individual condition.

DMOS Spine, Neck & Back Specialists

If you would like a neck or back evaluation, call 515-224-4232 to set up an appointment with Staci Little.   An appointment with Dr. Ries or Dr. Nelson at DMOS Orthopaedic Centers requires a physician referral. 

UPDATE: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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