At age 48, Dr. Craig Humphreys, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, left a busy spine practice in Tennessee to return home to where he grew up — Alaska. He and his family are back in Kenai and he is eager to use his skills in spine care to help the Kenai community. His spine practice is designed to be a resource for people with back pain or neck pain, as well as assist other physicians in the Central Peninsula who may need to refer patients to a spine specialist. Dr. Humphreys is on staff at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. For all those people in the Kenai region who have suffered from back and neck pain for years, Kenai Spine may be in a position to help.

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As a free community service, this Spine Center of Excellence mails out Home Remedy Books on a limited basis to residents in the region. Home remedy books include information about the spine center, instruction on how to use the exercise book, various exercises to help alleviate back and neck pain, and other home remedies.



For those back and neck pain sufferers who have exhausted nonsurgical treatment options, spine surgery may be the next step in resolving a spine problem. Because spine surgery is a serious decision, it is a good idea to obtain a second opinion from a board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeon before undergoing surgery.



This Spine Center of Excellence offers a free digital download of their 12-page E-magazine called the Back To Life Journal. The Back to Life Journal features information on the latest treatment options, minimally invasive spine surgery, tips for getting back to activity, home remedies for back and neck pain, and information about the center.



Kenai Spine adds Mayo Clinic-trained specialist in non-surgical treatment for back & neck

We’re pleased to announce that in May, Kenai Spine welcomes a specialist in non-surgical spine care, Mark Simonson, MD, who is board-certified in both Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine. Dr. Simonson is now accepting new patient referrals related to back and neck pain at Kenai Spine in Soldotna.

A physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) doctor specializes in the non-surgical management of back and neck pain, including the use of EMGs for diagnostic purposes and spinal injections for pain relief.

Dr. Simonson received his Doctor of Medicine degree with Honors, from the University of Hawaii in 1994. He completed his specialty training in the evaluation and nonsurgical treatment of neck and back pain in the department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the prestigious Mayo Clinic. While at the Mayo Clinic, he was named the national resident representative on the Board of Directors of the Physiatric Association of Spine, Sports & Occupational Rehabilitation (PASSOR).

Within his role at Kenai Spine, Dr. Simonson is involved with evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of back and neck pain problems, including the use of EMGs and injection therapy.

Kenai Spine takes a team approach to back and neck problems, an approach that differs greatly from other spine treatment centers who rely on surgeons only to treat patients. “Other groups provide only a single specialty orientation, and that unfortunately provides treatment bias,” explains Dr. Craig Humphreys, a fellowship-trained spine surgeon at Kenai Spine. “By including the specialty of physical medicine, along with spine-specialized therapy and orthopedic spine surgery, we provide a wide range of specialties to treat a person with back or neck pain. Our goal is to improve the care of back and neck pain with a team approach that emphasizes non-surgical treatment options before spine surgery.”

Kenai Spine is the only spine center in the State of Alaska to be included in, a national listing of spine centers that meet the credentialing criteria of having PMR, spine surgery & spine therapy, along with reporting clinical outcomes.

clinical outcomes for spine, clinical outcomes for kenai, alaska
Clinical Outcomes

The centers featured on Spine Center Network are the ONLY spine centers in the United States that collect and report clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction scores to external physician referral sources, employers, insurance company payors, case managers and consumers. Dating back to 1995, Prizm spine centers were the FIRST spine programs in the nation to produce and DISTRIBUTE Clinical Outcome Report Cards to external audiences. However, that is changing rapidly. With the proliferation of spine centers in the United States, and physicians and hospitals chasing after the lucrative spine patient, the race is on to publish outcomes for strategic advantage.

Prizm awards a Crystal Apple, entitled the Marcus Welby Award, for the doc who scores the highest for the three categories: time spent with the patient, medical explanation and genuine concern.

Kenai Spine handles the most extreme cases of back and neck pain

Kenai Spine was founded in 2011 to address the many complex cases of back and neck pain in the Alaska Kenai Peninsula. Unlike other national centers, the rural and tough conditions of Alaska can be back breaking. For example, more patients were men than in other spine centers. Also, benchmarked against 10 other national spine centers of excellence in the Lower 48, Kenai Spine has the largest percent of NEW patients who had previous back and neck surgery at other facilities and are still having back or neck pain symptoms, which makes it difficult to find nonsurgical options.