Spine Rehabilitation

The University of Iowa Spine Rehabilitation Program teaches patients who have chronic back or neck pain how to improve their quality of life without invasive surgery or excessive medications.

Research has shown that non-surgical treatments can be highly effective in reducing chronic pain related to spine injuries or diseases.

Since 1985, the UI Spine Rehabilitation Program has helped hundreds of patients manage chronic back or neck pain and enjoy an active life.

We use an integrated care approach that includes health education, physical conditioning, mind-body awareness, and career guidance in a holistic rehabilitation process.

Our Multidisciplinary Spine Team Has the Expertise You Need

We Can Show You How to:

  1. Become and stay more physically active
  2. Develop psychological skills for coping with stress and pain
  3. Search for jobs that match your abilities and fit your lifestyle
  4. Take medication safely and appropriately
  5. Use conditioning, fitness, and relaxation to help manage and reduce pain

Our Program

The UI Spine Rehabilitation Program is designed for patients who have felt chronic pain for four months or longer and are:

  1. Interested in using self-care to take control of pain management

  2. Not candidates for surgery
  3. Willing to reduce their use of prescription pain medication
  • Participants meet with the Spine Rehabilitation Team for two weeks, Monday through Friday, in a group setting.
  • Our spine-care experts will assess your condition, review your medications, and help you devise a personalized set of treatment goals.
  • Our team includes physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, physical therapists, a clinical health psychologist, and other staff trained in the latest techniques for helping people with back and neck pain improve their daily functionality.

A Typical Day Includes:

Movement Therapy

Stretch and warm up, using a routine created specifically for people with spine pain.


Join lectures and discussions on issues related to the spine and how pain mechanisms work.


Sample a wide range of cardiovascular and strength exercises to help you design your own at-home workout to increase muscle flexibility, strength, and endurance.

Training in Coping Skills

Discover the links between stress and pain, and discover relaxation techniques and other mind-body approaches that can help you reduce and manage your pain.

Counseling to Return to Recreational or Work Activities

Explore your career interests and goals, and learn skills to use if you need to search for a new job.

Care Team