Learning about your neck or back condition with Laser Spine Institute

Millions of people have neck and back pain. The causes of neck and back pain are multiple, complex and sometimes only partly understood. Most neck and back pain resolves after a few days and is viewed as a normal occurrence of life. However, the neck and back pain resulting from a minor injury in your youth may have lasting consequences later in life. The first step in treating patients suffering from neck or back pain is studying the pain’s origin. If back pain persists for more than a few days, a consultation with a doctor is recommended.

To use the services of a doctor most efficiently, make an outline detailing any past experiences with neck or back pain. Keep a pain journal detailing what triggered the pain, if any treatment was tried, the result of said treatment and what type of pain existed. This information will help your doctor give you a more rapid and specific diagnosis as well as a more useful set of treatment options and prognosis for your condition. Read on to learn more about the methods to keep track of your symptoms and the treatments available for your condition.

Keeping track of symptoms

Below are some ways to categorize the entries in your pain journal:

  • Nature. Be sure to describe your symptoms, including whether or not you feel pain and if the pain is sharp or dull. Also, take note of the symptoms you are experiencing such as numbness, tingling, weakness or muscle spasms.
  • Frequency. It is important to describe how often you are experiencing your symptoms, whether daily or sporadically throughout the week. Be sure to also describe the length of your symptoms, any trigger points and if your symptoms tend to worsen at a certain point in the day.
  • Severity. It is crucial to record how bad your pain is on a scale of one to 10, where 10 is the worst pain you’ve ever experienced. Take note of whether the pain is so slight that you’re barely aware of it or if the pain is debilitating. Also, include if there are any specific activities that you have not been able to take part in on account of your symptoms.
  • Location. Try to record whether the pain is localized or radiates in your neck or back and at what level of the spine it occurs at. For instance, if the pain begins in your neck but radiates into your shoulders and arms, this would be vital information for your doctor to know.

Possible diagnoses

While it is impossible to guess at the cause of pain without a thorough physical examination by a doctor, there are a variety of conditions that could be causing your neck and back pain. From a simple muscle strain or ligament sprain to a degenerative spine condition, such as facet disease, degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis, neck and back discomfort can take many forms. Regardless of the cause, entering into an honest dialogue with your physician is the best place to manage your pain.

If your pain and discomfort become so severe that conservative options such as pain medications, physical therapy and chiropractic care do not provide you with relief, your doctor may recommend surgery as an option. If this is the case, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery and whether our procedures would be able to provide you with lasting relief.

The outpatient procedures we offer provides patients with a safer and effective alternative compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.^ Our procedures use a less than 1-inch incision that does not disrupt the muscles and ligaments near the spine, allowing for less bleeding than traditional back surgery. Since 2005, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their debilitating symptoms.

At Laser Spine Institute, our team of dedicated surgeons will determine your best surgical option to relieve your condition. Reach out to our state-of-the-art facilities today and ask for your no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.