Suffering From Back Pain? Let Us Help You Navigate Your Treatment Journey

Carey Vincent, RN, is the Spine Patient Navigator at the Inova Neuroscience and Spine Institute.


Back pain doesn’t just hurt ­– it makes daily life harder in many ways.  It can also be hard to figure out the best way to deal with pain in your neck or back. Do you need a physical therapist? Should you see a surgeon? Where do you start?

The Inova Spine Program can help answer those questions. As a patient navigator, it’s my job to streamline your treatment journey.

Starting Your Treatment 

Our program starts with a phone call to our spine intake specialist. The specialist will talk to you about your symptoms and medical history, and then connect you with the appropriate doctor to start your treatment journey.

At that point, you’ll hear from a navigator like me who can help in a number of ways:

  • Figuring out where to go for various tests and procedures, such as X-rays, MRIs or physical therapy
  • Explaining the purpose and process of each test and procedure
  • Making sure you have the right tests and lab work completed before your appointment
  • Providing pre-op education so you know what to expect before surgery
  • Answering follow-up questions after your appointment or operation
  • Answering questions about medication and pain management
  • Spotting red flags such as increased pain, numbness in the legs, incontinence and other problems that might indicate you need to see a doctor sooner

Coordinating Care

Inova’s spine treatment program is the leading program in the Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, metro area. We have the most back pain specialists in the region, spread across our five hospitals.

While that’s an asset, it can sometimes be hard to navigate such a big system. And if you’re managing back pain, you’re probably juggling a lot of specialists including physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists, surgeons and other physicians. Patient navigators are here to take any guesswork out of the process, and coordinate care from all members of your spine care team.

We communicate with most of our patients by phone or email, so we can answer questions quickly and easily. We also have close relationships with Spine Program physicians, and can often help track them down, even when they’re not at their desks.

If you’re ready to get started, we’re here to help. To speak to a spine care intake specialist, call 703-776-4700 or learn more about the Inova Spine Program.



  1. T. Desha on July 12, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I am trying to make an appt. for a MRI online and I put my referring Dr’s name but I’m getting an error code next to that box as if I didn’t fill in that box.

    • InovaNewsroom on July 17, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Thank you for letting us know about this issue, we will work on resolving this issue for the Inova Diagnostic Imaging Request an Appointment form. If you are still experiencing the error, please contact the scheduling team at 571-423-5400.

  2. Stephen on July 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    I went through the spine institute in 2015, I was treated with respect through out the process. Ended up with surgery but it worked. Hurt myself again and tried to get into the system, Dr. Martinez in Centerville pretty much told me I had a pulled muscle, precribed an inside and told me if that doesn’t work go to the E.R.!!!!!
    Is that how returning patients are treated now? Looked down upon as fakers trying to get a fix of meds. I would go Downtown if that’s what I was looking for and saved the $100!
    Thanks for nothing Inova and Dr. Martinez! I’m going to the E.R. in Reston hospital!!!

    • InovaNewsroom on July 17, 2017 at 10:28 am

      We have shared your message with the manager at Inova Urgent Care in Centreville. If you would like to discuss your experience further, please contact us at 703-830-5600 and ask to speak with Savannah.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your experience at one of our facilities. We will address your concerns with the staff.

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