How an orthopedic physician diagnoses neck or back pain

If you live in the Orlando area and are worried about chronic neck and back pain, you may look for help from an orthopedic physician. An orthopedic physician is a doctor specializing in disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system and can help you with diagnostic testing for neck and back pain. These tests can evaluate you to see if the source of your symptoms is a degenerative spine condition.

What diagnostic tests does an orthopedic physician perform?

Diagnostic testing can identify specific factors that are contributing to your neck and back pain. Diagnostic testing can also help to confirm your diagnosis and pinpoint the exact location of the problem. Accurate diagnostic testing can also potentially help an orthopedic physician see developing issues in an area of the spinal column.

An orthopedic physician will usually recommend one or more of the following imaging tests to diagnose and treat chronic neck and back pain:

  • X-ray. The advantage to an X-ray is that it clearly shows the skeletal anatomy and can indicate a number of issues, such as a misalignment of the vertebral column, a fracture, the formation of bone spurs and other similar issues.
  • MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields to create clear images of the body’s soft tissue. This scan is useful for identifying nerve compression, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and other problems.
  • CT scan. A CT scan uses X-ray technology to provide a three-dimensional view of the inside of the body. These scans provide a clearer image than traditional X-rays and are particularly good at identifying calcified tissue that often accompanies arthritis or a fracture.

Diagnosis and treatment for spine conditions

Following diagnostic testing, your orthopedic physician will explain any treatment options that may be right for you. Your treatment options will depend on your condition, symptoms, overall health and other contributing factors. Conservative treatments, including pain medication and physical therapy, may provide relief. If your neck or back pain does not respond to conservative treatments after several weeks or months of consistent use, you doctor may suggest spine surgery.

Minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute

If you live in the Orlando area, and are considering traveling for neck and back surgery due to chronic pain, we invite you to learn about the minimally invasive spine surgery options available to you here at Laser Spine Institute. Our procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery, offering our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery period. ^

To learn more about our state-of-the-art outpatient facility in Tampa and to receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, contact us today.