What are the different types of spine specialists and when is it right to visit one?
When to visit a specialist for a pinched spinal nerve
A pinched spinal nerve is a common condition that can result in a variety of painful symptoms. These symptoms can include local and radiating pain, as well as numbness and weakness in the nearby extremity.
If left untreated, a pinched nerve can drastically reduce your quality of life, making daily activities that were once simple very difficult to complete. These activities can include common tasks, like walking, driving and even sleeping. If you are experiencing this sort of pain, you should schedule an appointment with a spine care specialist to find a treatment option that fits your needs and your lifestyle. There may be alternative treatments that can help relieve your pain without requiring spine surgery.
Types of spine specialists
The first step to finding pain relief from a pinched nerve is to schedule an appointment with a spine care specialist. There are a variety of medical professionals who specialize in the spine, including:
- Neurologists. These specialists deal with diseases of the brain, spinal cord, muscles and nerves, with specialized training in examination and diagnostics.
- Orthopedists. Physicians who treat disorders of the neuromuscular system.
- Neurosurgeons. Specialists who diagnose and treat conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord and nerves, with specialized training in surgical procedures.
- Physiatrists. A doctor who practices medical rehabilitation that tries to restore quality of life to people with physical impairments; they would be able to administer physical therapy for a pinched nerve.
- Rheumatologists. Physicians specializing in conditions involving the joints, muscles and bones.
- Osteopaths. These specialists focus on the health of the musculoskeletal system, specifically the spine, including craniosacral therapy. Osteopaths, as opposed to chiropractors, focus more on holistic treatment and preventive methods, and prescribe a broader range of treatments.
When to seek spine surgery for a pinched nerve
Many spine specialists will recommend conservative treatment for your pinched nerve. Conservative treatment is any nonsurgical treatment that aims to relieve your symptoms by blocking the pain transmitters in the nerve and by relieving pressure on the pinched nerve. These methods can include physical therapy, pain medication, yoga and lifestyle changes.
In some cases, conservative treatment does not offer lasting pain relief. If you are still suffering after several months of treatment, you should contact the spine care experts at Laser Spine Institute to find out about our minimally invasive spine surgery.
We offer several types of minimally invasive spine surgery to treat the most common causes of a pinched nerve in the spine. Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures relieve nerve pain by removing the damaged part of the spine that is pressing against the nerve. If a large portion of the damaged disc or vertebra is removed, our surgeons may insert bone grafts into the spine to offer support and stability.
We use muscle-sparing techniques, which helps to make our minimally invasive spine surgery a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. Plus, our patients can experience a shorter recovery time.^
For more information about our treatment options for a pinched nerve contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can provide a free MRI review* to find out if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.