What type of doctor should I see for spinal stenosis treatment?
If you have been suffering from the chronic pain of spinal stenosis, you should seek a doctor to help you treat your condition so you can get back to the active lifestyle you enjoy.
There are several types of doctors who can help you find pain relief, which can sometimes make the process of finding a doctor overwhelming. In fact, many people aren’t sure where to begin looking for treatment. Understanding your symptoms and pain level will help you determine the type of doctor you should visit. Take a look at a few of the options below to help you decide your next best step for pain relief.
See your family doctor
Spinal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition that describes the narrowing of the spinal canal and the compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots. When you’re dealing with the pain, numbness, weakness and tingling in the arms or legs that are often associated with nerve compression, the best doctor to visit initially is your primary care physician (PCP) or family doctor.
Whether your doctor specializes in internal medicine or family medicine, he or she should have the ability to perform the tests and exams that can identify most underlying causes of spinal stenosis, such as the development of bone spurs or even a bulging or herniated disc. Your physician can also rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms, such as a cardiac event causing pain or numbness in the arm. Once the root cause of spinal stenosis has been determined, your physician can recommend a series of treatment options to help reduce your symptoms.
See a spine specialist
If your symptoms are particularly severe or your PCP would like to get a second opinion, he or she may refer you to certain spine specialists, such as a neurologist, orthopedist or others. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders (including the brain, spinal cord and its nerve roots), while an orthopedist focuses on identifying and treating diseases of the musculoskeletal system (including the vertebrae, discs and ligaments of the spine).
Regardless of the type of doctor that you see for spinal stenosis treatment, your doctor will probably initially recommend a course of conservative (nonsurgical) treatments. Anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, pain medication, epidural injections, low-impact exercise and other conservative therapies are usually able to reduce the pain in the neck or back caused by spinal stenosis.
Surgery may only become an option if symptoms persist despite several weeks or months of conservative treatment. If you are faced with a decision about spine surgery after several months of ineffective conservative treatments, contact the spine care experts at Laser Spine Institute. We offer minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgery used to create space in the spinal canal and relieve pressure on an impacted nerve root. Our minimally invasive spine surgery offers several advantages over traditional open neck or back surgery, including a shorter recovery time^ and higher patient satisfaction score.
For more information about minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization surgery at Laser Spine Institute, contact our team today and ask for a no-cost review* of your MRI report so that we can let you know if you are a candidate for our outpatient procedures.