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What can we do for back pain?

University Spine Center Zurich

Do you suffer from low back pain or a painful neck? What investigations do you need and what are the possible ways of treating your problem? At the University Spine Center, Zurich, we treat all conditions related to the spine and the spinal cord.

A better quality of life, thanks to highly specialised treatment in an interdisciplinary setting.

At the University Spine Centre in Zurich, our main concern focusses on the patient’s problem. Our goal is to provide optimal treatment and find the best possible therapeutic approach for you. An appointment with us will bring you into contact with one of our qualified specialists, who will look closely at your particular needs and advise you accordingly.

A University Spine Center for our patients

The causes of back problems are as varied as the people themselves. Our specialists take a holistic approach to your back problems and will determine whether you need conservative treatment or an operation. Thanks to cooperation between the different departments and the expertise of our many specialists, we can offer you the best possible treatment for your particular condition in the most appropriate place.

Our University Spine Centre specialises in the following diseases and injuries of the spine and the spinal cord:

  • Results of wear and tear on the spinal column (degeneration, instability, etc.)
  • Complex deformities of the spine (children and adults)
  • Previous operations on the spine (revision surgery)
  • Prolapsed vertebral discs in the lumbar region
  • Prolapsed vertebral discs in the cervical and thoracic spine
  • Injuries to the spine
  • Rheumatological diseases
  • Osteoporosis of the spine
  • Narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis)
  • Tumours and inflammation of the spine
  • Second opinions

The go-to place for back problems.

Appointments Balgrist University Hospital
Monday - Friday
8.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon
1.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m.

+41 44 386 16 00

Appointments for Location "Stadtspital Waid"
8.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon

+41 44 386 16 00

Our interdisciplinary specialist departments

Spine surgery

The department of spine surgery at Balgrist is one of the largest university units in Switzerland for treating diseases of the spine. Our highly specialised experts cover the full range of conservative and surgical treatment.

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Physical medicine and rheumatology

The department focusses on diseases of an inflammatory or degenerative nature, as well as soft-tissue rheumatological conditions. Conservative treatment is supplemented by physiotherapy tailored to the specific condition affecting the spine.

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Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic Medicine is an evidence-based treatment concept. It is an alternative to or complements other medical or surgical procedures as well as physiotherapy. The department of Chiropractic Medicine at Balgrist is the only official educational institution for medical students in the track Chiropractic Medicine in Switzerland.

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Specialising in the musculoskeletal system, the Department of Radiology at Balgrist is unique in Switzerland. Diagnostic imaging of the spine is the main focus at the University Spine Centre. Our radiologists also perform minimally invasive treatment for pain (e.g. injections of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs).

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Spinal neurology

The only university centre for spinal cord injury in Switzerland is an international leader in electrophysiology (measurement of nerve function in the spinal cord). Patients with paralysis receive comprehensive care from the acute state to long-term rehabilitation.

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Anaesthesia and pain therapy

Highly specialised anaesthetists offer the full range of regional anaesthetics and intensive care. Working together with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zurich, we also put great value on education and research.

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Neuro-urology is concerned with conditions of the urinary tract and genital organs caused by problems with the spinal cord and nerves. Diagnostic investigation and treatment of neurogenic bladder disorders and sexual function are the main areas of neuro-urological research.

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Paediatric orthopaedics

Working together with the Zurich University Children’s Hospital, Balgrist University Hospital runs a highly specialised paediatric orthopaedic unit and offers care for all orthopaedic problems and injuries of the musculoskeletal system during the formative years.

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Research spine

The spine, spinal cord, and nerves form a complex interactive system. There are many different causes of spinal disease. Only interdisciplinary research makes it possible to understand the spine in its entirety and improve diagnosis and treatment in the future.

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Any questions?

It is very important to us that our patients are well informed. You will find answers to questions about appointments, treatment, and other concerns about the University Spine Centre in the FAQ section. Please contact us if you require any further information.

Click here for FAQ

Information about the spine and the spinal cord

Disc problems made simple

Have you seen our animated videos for patients? They illustrate the causes of disease and injury to the spine. Using models, we explain why poor alignment of the bones or overstraining can cause pain, and how we can correct the problems.

Paraplegia blog (only in German)

Our blog is a platform for people with paralysis. They and their relatives relate happenings in their everyday lives.

Click here for the blog

Complex Spine Symposium

Once a year, Balgrist University Hospital hosts the interdisciplinary Complex Spine Symposium. Internationally renowned leaders in spine surgery present first-rate lectures and impart academic knowledge about this key element of the human body. The Complex Spine Symposium is intended for neurosurgeons, specialist spine surgeons, general orthopaedic surgeons, and primary care providers, and is held in English. 

‘Rumpfzirkel’ App

A strong and stable core is the basis of a healthy posture and essential for strength in daily physical activities and sports. Our physiotherapists have developed an efficient core strength training programme consisting of tried and tested exercises to strengthen and stabilise the different muscle groups. Training regularly for just 10 minutes a day will effectively increase your core strength. The ‘Rumpfzirkel’ app will transform your iPhone etc. into a motivational training partner.

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Cutting-edge medicine thanks to university research units

Patient-centred care

Patient-centred care is also the guiding principle of our research. At the University Spine Centre, we address research questions related to our patients’ problems – always with the goal of determining the best therapeutic approach. We are able to do this because our research findings are closely linked to clinical activities. Many of our treating doctors are also researchers who deliver new findings in various fields of research. Their results flow seamlessly into the further development of new innovative treatment methods.

Department Heads

Always striving to improve treatment for our patients.