Spine Wellness Center

We believe neck and back ailments should be treated in a comprehensive, holistic way that combines traditional care options - neurological care, pain management and physical therapy – with nutritional counseling, mental health care, yoga, acupuncture, meditation and massage.

Virtual Tour Locations Conditions, Treatments, Patient Education Facebook Live Podcasts Videos News Our Providers/Team Awards


Spine care is complex, and we look at the most conservative treatment first. Our team believes that by optimizing our overall health and wellness, we can often avoid need for surgery. Sometimes, however, surgery becomes the best option. At that point, we focus on the least invasive approach, knowing that good general health improves surgical recovery.


  • 80%

    of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.

  • 16 million

    adults (8% of all adults) experience persistent or chronic back pain, and as a result are limited in certain everyday activities.

  • 264 million

    lost workdays in one year—that’s two work days for every full-time worker in the country due to back pain.

The HHC Spine Wellness Center is designed to help people be the best version of themselves physically and mentally. 

Spine Wellness Center, WestportOffice Location
300 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06880
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Surgery Location
2800 Main Street Bridgeport, CT 06606
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Contact Us

Phone: 203.226.2499
Fax: 203.332.3279

Take a virtual tour!

Conditions, Treatments, Patient Education

Conditions We Treat

  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative spinal conditions
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
  • Foot drop
  • Headache
  • Herniated, bulging or degenerative discs
  • Muscle pain and strain
  • Neck, mid-back and lower back pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
  • Sciatica/radiculopathy/leg pain
  • Scoliosis, spinal deformity, spondylolisthesis and stenosis
  • Spinal tumors
  • Whiplash

Treatments & Services Provided

  • Medication management
  • Diagnostic testing
  • EMG
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Minimally-invasive surgery
  • Nerve testing
  • Pain management
  • Physical therapy
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Reconstructive and revision spine surgery
  • Nutrition and health counseling
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Dry Needling
  • Reiki

Patient Education

Spine Surgery Pre-Operative Education

Watch this video which outlines the things you need to do before, during, and after spine surgery.

Spine Surgery Pre-Operative Video

Spine Surgery Patient Education Guidebook

In this patient education guidebook, you will find important instructions and information to prepare you for your upcoming surgery. It is intended to answer many of the questions you may have, and outlines the things you need to do before, during, and after surgery.

Download the Guidebook

Facebook Live Broadcasts

May 18, 2021: Balance problems, hand clumsiness, numbness are often thought to be symptoms of natural aging. But there are times it can be nerve or spinal cord compression. We are live with Dr. Arianne Boylan with what to look for.

April 1, 2021: Dr, Vijay Yanamadala answers your questions about spinal deformities.

Feb. 11, 2021: Healthy Chocolate for Valentine's Day with with Melissa Keeney, Nutritionist with the Ayer Neuroscience Institute Spine Wellness Center in Westport.

Jan. 26, 2021: Live with Dr. Idaira Aguilar Tejedor, a neurologist with Ayer Neuroscience Institute Spine Wellness Center in Westport, discussing nerve-related pain.

Dec. 22, 2020: Holiday cooking: Chef Raquel Rivera dishes up ricotta gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce....yum!


Nov. 23, 2020: Thanksgiving is just a few days away, we're live from the Spine Wellness Center in Westport with Chef Raquel Rivera with a healthy cranberry sauce.

Oct. 03, 2020: Detox Hatha Yoga Flow

Sep. 30, 2020: Dr. Rajat Sekhar, Director of Pain Management at the Spine Wellness Center in Westport

Aug. 25, 2020: Dr. Pedro Coutinho, MD talks about treatments for back pain.

Jul. 13, 2020: Dr. Khalid Abbed, Neurosurgeon, Co-Physician-in-Chief of the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute

Jun. 5, 2020: Dr. Khalid Abbed, Neurosurgeon, Co-Physician-in-Chief of the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute

Spine Wellness Center Videos

Spine Wellness Center News

October 15, 2021

A First in New England: Spinal Fusion on an Awake Patient

Two months after performing the first awake spine surgery at Hartford HealthCare (HHC), neurosurgeon Dr. Vijay Yanamadala became the first [...]

August 02, 2021

Surgeon: New Lumbar Implant to ‘Change the Way We do Spine Surgery’

When the 65-year-old man came to the Spine Wellness Center, he had already undergone several surgeries on his spine and [...]

April 14, 2021

What’s a Health Psychologist? A New Way to Treat Chronic Pain, Sleep Problems, Even ED

Pain stems from visible causes, a wound or break, but when the reason is less obvious a health psychologist can [...]

March 30, 2021

Listen: How This Neurosurgeon Says You Can Avoid Back Surgery

Dr. Vijay Yanamadala, a neurosurgeon with the Ayer Neuroscience Institute’s Spine Wellness Center in Westport, discusses spine deformities such as scoliosis, [...]

March 29, 2021

Why It’s Easier Now to Avoid Traditional Spine Surgery

The 62-year-old woman had contended with scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, her whole life. It kept getting worse despite [...]

March 22, 2021

Dr. Boylan, Ayer’s First Female Neurosurgeon, on ‘Delivering the Best Care I Can’

An innate sense of curiosity and yearning for challenge transformed Dr. Arianne Boylan into something of a trailblazer, although she [...]

More News

  • What will you do when you get your back back?

    If back pain has been holding you back, our new Spine Wellness Center in Westport can help you move forward, with a more holistic approach that includes alternatives to surgery.

    Call to learn how we can help you put your back into everything you love doing.


    Call 203.226.2499

Meet our Spine Care Providers:

Name Specialties Location
Abbed, Khalid M., MD Abbed, Khalid M., MD
4.9 /5
192 surveys
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine Surgery
Show Less
  • Westport
  • Bridgeport
Show Less
Aguilar Tejedor, Idaira, MD Aguilar Tejedor, Idaira, MD 203.332.3272
  • Neurology
  • Neuromuscular Medicine
Show Less
  • Westport
Boylan, Arianne, MD Boylan, Arianne, MD 203.332.4125
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine Surgery
Show Less
  • Bridgeport
  • Westport
Show Less
Hartzband, Danielle Lee, APRN Hartzband, Danielle Lee, APRN 203.226.2490
  • Pain Medicine
  • Westport
Khan, Zara, MD Khan, Zara, MD 203.226.2499
  • Neurology
  • Westport
Klats, Valeriya, MD Klats, Valeriya, MD 860.696.2925
  • Headache Medicine
  • Neurology
Show Less
  • Westport
Maddalo, Scott Lawrence, MD Maddalo, Scott Lawrence, MD 203.226.2490
  • Pain Medicine
  • Westport
  • Milford
Show Less
Mammone, Tyler, APRN Mammone, Tyler, APRN 203.226.2490
  • Pain Medicine
  • Westport
  • Milford
Show Less
Martinez-Kaigi, Valeria, PhD Martinez-Kaigi, Valeria, PhD 203.226.2499
  • Psychology
  • Westport
Santiago, Jesus F., PA-C Santiago, Jesus F., PA-C 203.332.3272
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine Surgery
Show Less
  • Bridgeport
  • Westport
Show Less
Sekhar, Rajat, MD Sekhar, Rajat, MD
4.9 /5
177 surveys
  • Pain Medicine
  • Anesthesiology
Show Less
  • Westport
  • Milford
Show Less
Walberg, Heidi, PA-C Walberg, Heidi, PA-C
4.9 /5
36 surveys
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine Surgery
Show Less
  • Westport
  • Bridgeport
Show Less
Yanamadala, Vijay, MD, FAANS Yanamadala, Vijay, MD, FAANS 203.332.3272
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine Surgery
Show Less
  • Westport
  • Milford
Show Less

Meet our Team

In keeping with our holistic approach to your spine care, our team is made up of diverse providers, many of whom are leaders in their field. The team approaches your care in a collaborative way to bring you the greatest benefit. Members include:

Physical therapists who specialize in spine care

Michael Gans, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Physical Therapist

Michael Gans
(view Michael's bio)

Johanna Fisher, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Physical Therapist

Joanna Fisher
(view Johanna's bio)

Michel DeVos, (BSc) PT

Michel De Vos, PT
(view Michel's bio)

Donald Johnson, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT
Physical Therapist

Don Johnson
(view Donalds's bio)

James Del Rio, EP
Exercise Physiologist

James Delrio
(view James' bio)
Integrative medicine practitioners offering yoga, massage and mindfulness sessions

Dean Choksi, LAc

Dean Choski, LAc

Lynne Camera, RN, CNRN, HC

Lynn Camera
Health Psychology

Valeria Martinez-Kaigi, PhD

Valeria Martinez-Kaigi, PhD
Pain Medicine

Tyler Mammone, APRN


Melissa Keeney, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES

Melissa Keeney
(view Melissa's Facebook page)

Nabil Matmati, PhD
Research Director

Nabil Matmati, PhD

Awards & Accreditations

Aetna IOQ Spine Surgery Recognition

St. Vincent’s Medical Center has been designated as an Aetna Institute of Quality® for Spine Surgery. St. Vincent’s Spine Surgery Program was chosen for consistently delivering evidence-based, safe care and a proven commitment to continuous improvement.

St. Vincent’s Named a Magnet® Hospital for Nursing Excellence

St. Vincent’s Medical Center has achieved Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a distinction that places the hospital’s nursing staff among the finest in the nation.

As a Magnet-certified hospital, St. Vincent’s is part of a select group of 548 healthcare organizations out of nearly 6,150 in the United States. It is one of seven such hospitals in Connecticut and 22 in New England.