How can a spine doctor can help you?
Neck and back pain can be extremely difficult to live with, affecting your family, work or even your ability to complete basic tasks like going to the store or working in the yard. Sometimes it can feel like the search for effective treatment is only adding to the difficulty of your condition. However, it is important to keep a positive attitude as there are many options that can help you get back to the quality of life you’ve been missing.
At the onset of discomfort, visit your primary care doctor. He or she can perform a physical exam and diagnostic tests before suggesting a treatment plan. If your neck or back pain is related to an issue like a strained muscle or sprained ligament, it should improve within a short time with basic treatments like rest, ice, hot and cold compression and over-the-counter pain medication. In some cases even spine conditions, such as a bulging disc, can respond to this type of treatment as well.
In the event that initial conservative treatments do not offer lasting pain relief, you may be referred to a spine doctor, or specialist, who can offer more involved treatments.
A spine doctor with pain management expertise
Many people might first think of a surgeon when they think of a spine doctor, but there are other types of spine specialists who provide nonsurgical pain management. This can include physiatrists, neurologists, osteopaths and interventional radiologists. Possible treatments include:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Physical Therapy
- TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy
- Radiofrequency neurotomy
If surgery becomes an option
If your neck or back pain becomes chronic — lasting for three months or longer — and you have exhausted conservative treatment options, your doctor may recommend you see a spine doctor for a surgical consultation. Ask for spine doctor recommendations, and then do your own research to examine the certifications and training of prospective neck and back specialists. They should be able to clearly explain your condition and how the suggested procedure could benefit you, though explaining the risks and drawbacks of the procedure is just as important.
If you are considering surgery but have concerns about the risks and difficulties that can come with a traditional open spine procedure, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. Our board-certified surgeons+ perform minimally invasive spine surgery that involves a less than 1-inch incision and other muscle-sparing techniques. The result is an outpatient procedure with less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.
To learn more and find out if you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures, reach out to our dedicated team today for a no-cost MRI review.*