How to know when it’s time to visit a lower back specialist
A lower back specialist treats a number of spinal conditions that cause symptoms of pain, stiffness and tingling in the back and into the lower body. Most people experience lower back pain from time to time, whether it’s the result of a sudden, acute injury or a long-term condition. Some causes of lower back pain go away within a few days or weeks, while others require more time and possibly even the care of a specialist.
The first step in determining if you require the attention of a lower back specialist is to see your doctor for an examination and diagnosis for your pain. Even if you are diagnosed with a spine condition such as arthritis or a herniated disc, you may still be able to find treatment with basic therapies prescribed by your doctor. This can include rest and over-the-counter pain medication as well as making lifestyle changes that can contribute to better spine health, such as quitting smoking and improving posture.
Your doctor may recommend you see a lower back specialist for more involved treatment if basic conservative treatment does not provide enough relief for a return to normal comfortable activity.
Methods of treatment used by a lower back specialist
Lower back specialists can include a variety of doctors and medical professionals who treat conditions affecting the lower (lumbar) spine, from physical therapists to surgeons. Lower back specialists can perform a wide variety of treatments to relieve symptoms and allow patients to return to a life with less pain and more mobility. Treatments performed by lower back specialists include:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic adjustment
- Deep tissue massage
- Epidural steroid injections
- Spine surgery
Patients suffering from chronic lower back pain, which is described as lasting three months or longer, should have an expectation that relief can be achieved without the need for surgery. Because of the invasive nature and long recovery required by traditional open spine procedures, consulting with a surgeon is usually seen as a last-resort treatment option.
Do you need a specialist?
If you have been recommended for surgery by a lower back specialist but have anxiety about the prospect of undergoing a traditional open back procedure, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery uses a less than 1-inch incision and other muscle-sparing techniques to treat the causes of lower back pain. This allows our patients to enjoy a shorter recovery time^ and less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.
Find out if you are a potential candidate by contacting our dedicated team of Patient Empowerment Consultants today for a no-cost MRI review*.