We’re pleased to note that Dr. Gus Varnavas has decided to retire from medical practice after several decades of helping patients recover from spine and neurological issues to get back to activity. He plans to enjoy the outdoors during retirement. Appointments can be made with other physicians at Community Hospital of Anaconda at 855-260-2225.  Community Hospital of Anaconda also is the holder of all patient records.

  • Back to Fishing

  • Back Outdoors

  • Back to Work

  • Back to Hunting

  • Back to Golf

  • Back on Track

  • Back on the Slopes

Do you have back or neck pain?

Did you know that pain is actually a misleading indicator of the seriousness of a back or neck problem?
Pain that radiates into a leg or arm can imply a disc herniation which is more serious than a back spasm. Even more serious, however, is the symptom of weakness or numbness in a foot or hand which needs to be seen immediately to prevent paralysis of nerves which would make the symptoms permanent and lifelong.



The vast majority of back problems improve on their own or with nonsurgical treatment. There are a few warning signs, however, that may indicate serious spinal problems.


You might be surprised to learn that 80 percent of the time, back and neck pain is simply a result of strain or soft tissue injury.


In many simple cases of back or neck strain, your condition will improve with specialized exercises, rest, and nonsurgical options while other conditions might need surgery.

Exercise Library

A key part of the recovery and rehabilitation process involves exercise and movement.

See All Exercises

Back Exercises

Press Up: Sphinx Position

Neck Exercises

Neck Extension

Strengthening Exercises

Hamstring Stretch


Treating back and neck pain in Central Montana

Gus Varnavas, MD, is a board-certified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeon who specializes in spine surgery and neurosurgery. He has expertise in minimally invasive spine surgery and arthroplasty, which includes artificial disc replacement. Accordingly, Dr. Varnavas is referred spine surgery patients from across Montana, Idaho, Washington State and Wyoming. Dr. Varnavas now has an active spine and neurosurgery practice based in Anaconda, Montana. Dr. Varnavas emphasizes a broad spectrum of treatment options for the person with back pain or neck pain, including non-surgical options like spinal injections and spine-specialized therapy in advance of spine surgery. If spine surgery is necessary, Dr. Varnavas is able to provide minimally invasive spine surgery to reduce the length of the incision and speed return to activity with a less painful recovery. Click here to learn more.


Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr. Varnavas stands at the forefront of minimally invasive surgical treatment. They can diagnose and treat many types of bone and joint problems using these highly advanced techniques. Use of minimally invasive surgical techniques decrease the recovery time of many patients because the surgical incisions are considerably smaller than conventional surgery and therefore less damaging to the other vital soft tissue structures. New spine surgery instrumentation & techniques enable Dr. Varnavas to make smaller incisions to access the spine. This means a less painful rehab after surgery, and a fast return to work. Click here to learn more.


Centers for Artificial Disc

Dr. Gus Varnavas, spine surgeon, is now able to provide the latest motion-preservation device for those patients who need surgery to repair herniated discs in the neck. In 2016, Dr. Varnavas was one of the first spine surgeons in Montana trained in the latest advance in artificial discs for the cervical spine: Mobi-C® artificial disc. He is featured on the national site CentersforArtificialDisc.com as an author on the subject of artificial disc replacement for herniated discs in the neck. Dr. Varnavas is one of few spine centers in the State of Montana proficient in cervical artificial disc surgery. The Centers for Artificial Disc web site has content specific to disc replacement options and alternatives to spinal fusion. If you’ve been told you need a spinal fusion, Dr. Varnavas can provide a second opinion for neck surgery. Click here to visit the Centers for Artificial Disc.

Need an Appointment?

Gus Varnavas, MD — at Community Hospital of Anaconda — specializes in the treatment of back and neck pain and strives to help people return to activity. Request an appointment with Dr. Varnavas in his office in Anaconda, MT.