The Spine & Back Blog

TOTEventImageJoin Dr. William Hunter and staff as we participate in the Warlick Family YMCA Trick or Trail Run at the Warlick Family YMCA (2221 Robinwood Road, Gastonia, NC 28054) on Saturday, October 23rd. As the title sponsor, all of us at the Neuroscience & Spine Center of the Carolinas would love to see you come out, have  a great time, and support a wonderful organization.

Warlick Family YMCA

The Trick or Trail Run supports the Warlick Family YMCA, a non-profit organization committed to helping members of our community live a balanced, healthy life in spirit, mind and body. The YMCA makes a positive impact in the Gaston County community through encouraging wellness and family on their beautiful 118 acre campus.

Register Now

Download our event brochure or visit the Warlick Family YMCA Trick or Trail Run website to register now.



Join Dr. William Hunter and staff as they participate in the Gaston County Walk for Wellness at Gaston Christian School on the 26th of June. Supporting the fighters, admiring the survivors, and honoring the taken. As an annual event, the Walk for Wellness to benefit Cancer Services of Gaston County, but the overall mental and physical health of their participants. 

Walk for WellnessDr. Hunter has been a long-time supporter of Cancer Services of Gaston County. Cancer Services aids clients within the community with education and support for cancer patients, family members, as well as caregivers. 

The fair is free to participate! Invite your friends, neighbors, family members, and bring your pets. Enjoy a morning walk to benefit cancer, and invite your friends and family to sponsor a donation or make a contribution in memory of a loved one. Music and refreshments are provided. Come join us for a fun Saturday morning 9am - 12pm, June 26, 2021.

Female with back pain speaking with neurosurgeonBack and neck pain affects thousands of people. Sometimes, the pain is acute; sometimes it chronic back and neck pain. People manage this type of pain in many different ways. Sometimes they rely on non-surgical treatments for back pain like medication--both prescription and over the counter or non pharmacological treatment for pain like heating and cold solutions or stretching. If back pain continues, however, it's important to have it investigated by a physician who specializes in back and neck issues. In fact, your primary care doctor is likely to refer you to a spine specialist if your back pain continues unabated. If you're coping with back pain that will not subside, it's important to visit a spine specialist for help.

Getting to the Root of Neck & Back Pain

Often, people can pinpoint when and why their back and neck pain began. They may have suffered a back muscle sprain or strain after performing yard work or moving furniture. This type of back injury may clear up on its own after a few days or, in some cases, a few weeks. When back pain persists, over-the-counter medications can often be used to treat the issue during the healing process.

Chronic neck and back pain is another type of problem altogether. Your physician may have told you that if your back or neck pain persists for more than 12 weeks, you likely need a different sort of treatment or medical intervention. In many cases, your physician will refer you to a spine specialist like a neurosurgeon who can diagnose the problem and prescribe a remedy.

Your neurosurgeon is likely to discuss the various causes for your back or neck pain such as:

There may be other causes that your spine specialist can point to depending on your specific circumstances.

How Can a Neurosurgeon Help?

A neurosurgeon will review x rays and other tests in order to help with diagnosing back pain. Non-surgical treatments, like physical therapy, acupuncture, traction, and massage, to provide back pain relief are always considered first. Your spine specialist might recommend weight loss or lifestyle changes to help you combat pain and address the root cause of your back pain. If a surgical procedure is indicated to treat your back pain, your neurosurgeon will discuss minimally invasive procedures, stem cell injections, and spine surgery with you.

Dr. William Hunter, back and spine specialist

If you are concerned about back or neck pain you've been experiencing, make an appointment with Dr. William Hunter, spine specialist and neurosurgeon at NSSC Spine Clinic. He has the experience and expertise needed to treat all types of back pain. The NSSC Spine Clinic has been serving Gastonia and the broader Charlotte, NC area including Belmont, Mount Holly, Gaston County, Meckleburg County, and portions of South Carolina for over 20 years.

Ready to Make An Appointment With A Spine Specialist?

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Lillie Earl

Age: 65
Hometown: Polkville, N.C.
Surgeon: Dr. William Hunter of Neuroscience and Spine of the Carolinas, Gastonia, N.C.
Procedure: XLIF®
Levels treated: L3-5
Surgery date: June 9, 2011

“I’m so grateful to be able to do simple things like walk and bend down.” – Lillie

Life prior to surgery:
Lillie’s back problems started in her late 20s after she sustained an injury while helping her sister move furniture. She immediately felt a sharp pain in her back and in the subsequent years struggled with sporadic episodes of pain. She tried various conservative treatments like physical therapy, exercise, pain medication and visits to a chiropractor, but all failed to provide relief. A sneeze or cough would aggravate her pain. Eventually her pain worsened to the point where she could barely move, and she had to rush to the emergency room several times and was put on pain medication. In the last year prior to surgery, she was forced to be in bed half the day. The debilitating pain meant that she couldn’t enjoy activities like painting because she couldn’t stand or sit for long periods of time. Eventually, Lillie’s primary care physician referred her to Dr. William Hunter. She underwent an MRI which revealed a severe back condition. Dr. Hunter recommended back surgery, but Lillie was fearful of having the surgery at first. She had support of her family and friends, was willing to try anything and had a lot of faith in Dr. Hunter.

Situation today:
Lillie had a successful XLIF® on June 9, and she went home the day after surgery. She experienced some post-op incision pain but could immediately notice that her chronic back pain had disappeared. “The pain wasn’t the same type of pain as it was before.” Recovery was slow, but each week she felt improvement. She started physical therapy one month after surgery and found the exercises very helpful. Now, she feels wonderful; she is able to walk around and frequently walks on the treadmill. Lillie was even able to go on vacation with her husband only four months post-op. She is now off all pain medications, with the exception of a muscle relaxer, and she can finally attend church and go to movies again!


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