Learn About The Different Back Pain Specialists
When a back problem occurs, itâs typically a good idea to first consult with a primary care physician. This doctor will conduct an initial exam and, depending on the findings, he or she may refer you to a spine specialist.
If you are referred to a specialist for chronic back pain, it will likely be to one of the following:
How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed
A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. Neurologic tests can help determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Imaging tests are not needed in most cases but may be ordered to rule out specific causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Occasionally the cause of chronic lower back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.
Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain but might be ordered to look for signs of inflammation, infection, cancer, and/or arthritis.
Bone scans can detect and monitor an infection, fracture, or bone disorder. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and collects in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.
Discography involves injecting a contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The fluids pressure in the disc will reproduce the persons symptoms if the disc is the cause. The dye helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.
Electrodiagnostics can identify problems related to the nerves in the back and legs. The procedures include:
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Who To See For Sciatica
Family doctors and general practitioners can diagnose and treat simple cases of sciatica. Chiropractors and physical therapists also treat people with sciatica.
A , or physician who specializes in the nervous system, is the best person to manage severe sciatica. Your primary doctor may refer you to a specialist in such cases.
Approximately 40% of people will experience sciatica in their lifetimes. Report any episodes, even ones that resolve with self-care, to your primary healthcare provider. If youre unsure if your symptoms are related to sciatica, or if your symptoms get worse despite home therapy, consult a physician.
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V Inflammatory Lower Back Pain
Although comparatively few patients have low back pain due to inflammation, the problem can be life long and can impair function significantly. The good news is that treatments can help essentially all patients, and can lead to major improvements.
Seronegative spondyloarthropathies are a group of inflammatory diseases that begin at a young age, with gradual onset. Like other inflammatory joint diseases, they are associated with morning stiffness that gets better with exercise. Sometimes fusion of vertebrae in the cervical or lumbar regions of the spine occurs. Drugs called TNF-alpha blocking agents, which are used for rheumatoid arthritis, are also used to treat the stiffness, pain, and swelling of spondyloarthropathy, when the cases are severe and not responsive to traditional medications.
People who have spondyloarthropathy have stiffness that is generally worst in the morning, and have decreased motion of the spine. They also can have decreased ability to take a deep breath due to loss of motion of the chest wall. Its important for the physician to look for problems with chest wall expansion in patients with spondyloarthropathy.
Reactive arthritis syndrome is one of the forms of spondyloarthropathy. It is a form of arthritis that occurs in reaction to an infection somewhere in the body, and it carries its own set of signs and symptoms. The doctor will look for:
Go To Doctorrowecom For More Videos On Back And Neck Pain
Dr. Vernon Rowe has a web-based informational website that provides in-depth information about each of the neurological conditions that we specialize in, including informational videos like this one, with transcripts, that are unlike anything else on the webthey are NOT SPONSORED by any pharmaceutical company or other commercial entity. Go to DOCTORROWE.COM. The information provided will help you navigate your care wherever you go, with knowledge about the questions you should ask your doctor, and the tests that may be recommended, as well as some tips on how to obtain cost effective care, wherever you live.
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Types Of Doctors That Specialize In Back Pain
HARVARD TRAINED PAIN DOCTORS | VOTED #1 PAIN CENTER | PAIN TREATMENT SPECIALISTS
If you have back pain, there are a number of different specialists that can help. Back pain can be caused by a number of different reasons, and as a result, there are a number of different doctors that specialize in treating back pain in different ways. It can be difficult to know which type of doctor to see, so we have compiled a list of some of the most common back pain specialists, in order for you to make a more informed choice about your future treatment.
If you are experiencing severe pain and feel ready to find the best back pain doctor and book an appointment today, you can jump straight ahead to the bottom of this article and submit a contact form, or give us call at 767-3227. One of our team members will help you identify the best back pain doctor near you.
What Is A Back And Spine Pain Doctor Called
The decision to seek treatment for your chronic lower back pain will alleviate the stiffness, soreness, and lack of mobility that affects your daily life. At Pain Treatment Specialists, a back and spine pain doctor is called an interventional pain specialist. Our team works with patients to explore minimally-invasive, yet highly effective cutting-edge treatments designed to avoid surgery and return them to the activities they love.
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Xii Treatment Options For Acute Lower Back Pain
Most low back pain is due to muscle strain and spasm and does not require surgery. To treat the pain, medications such as acetaminophen , nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents , gabapentin or pregabalin and opioids can be used. NSAIDs suppress inflammation, pain and fever by inhibiting certain inflammation-causing chemicals in the body. Acetaminophen reduces pain and fever, but does not inhibit inflammation. Gabapentin and pregabalin, medications that have been used for antiseizure activity, also has the ability to block pain. Opioids provide pain relief and may be prescribed to manage severe acute and chronic back pain. However, opioids have many problems, such as habituation, constipation and lightheadedness, and are avoided when possible and used for the shortest possible duration. Epidural injection is an option if the back pain does not respond to these treatments. Each person is different in terms of response to medication.
Other nonsurgical treatments for lower back pain include IntraDiscal Electrothermal Therapy , nucleoplasty, and radiofrequency lesioning.
How Orthopedic Treatment Can Help
Orthopedic spine specialists who don’t have a specialty in orthopedic surgery use non-surgical methods to treat patients who suffer from lower back pain. They specialize in musculoskeletal disorders that affect the lower back in people with sports injuries and other traumatic injuries, as well as disorders and diseases of the spine. They may work with other spine specialists mentioned above to manage the lower back pain and restore movement.
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A Recent Study On Chiropractic Care For Low Back Pain
A 2018 study published in JAMA Network Open is among the latest to weigh in on the pros and cons of chiropractic care for treating low back pain. Researchers enrolled 750 active-duty military personnel who complained of back pain. Half were randomly assigned to receive usual care while the other half received usual care plus up to 12 chiropractic treatments.
After six weeks of treatment, those assigned to receive chiropractic care:
- reported less pain intensity
- experienced less disability and more improvement in function
- reported higher satisfaction with their treatment
- needed less pain medicine.
While no serious side effects were reported, about 10% of those receiving chiropractic care described adverse effects . Five percent of those receiving usual care had similar complaints.
Conservative Pain Relief Solutions Arent Helping
Perhaps youve already visited your general family doctor but the conservative treatments prescribed, like medications or physical therapy, have not helped. At that point, you should visit an orthopedic specialist who can dig deeper into your unique case and recommend the best course of action moving forward.
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Why Does My Back Hurt
There are various causes of back pain, including muscle pain with or without muscles spasms, disc pain, joint pain, or nerve pain. In most cases, these are not harmful or dangerous.
Muscle pain is the most common acute back pain. The period of acute pain is usually limited and may be treated at home or by primary care doctors. Sometimes, these patients may be referred to doctors who specialize in back pain. Some back pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem, like a fracture, infection, or cancer in the spine, said H. Michael Guo, MD, a Duke physiatrist who specializes in spine care. These patients should be seen by spine doctors. Fortunately, spine infections and cancer are very rare and usually only affect people with special risk factors. Spine fractures are also rare and may be associated with thinned spine bones or injuries.
Add A Few Pillows For An Easy Fix
Another easy and customizable way to improve your sleeping situation is to use pillows for additional support while sleeping.
For back sleepers, place a pillow under your knees to bring your body back into natural alignment. If you sleep in the fetal position, WikiHow suggests using a pillow in between your knees to relieve lower back pain. Their illustration of this is below. Side sleepers should also make sure to alternate sides during the night.
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What Do Symptoms Mean Can You Self
Helpful information about hip pain, the following symptoms may indicate a serious problem:
- The pain causes you to limp
- The legs feel as though they are different lengths
- You have a limited range of motion in the hip and you hear creaking noises when move it
- Rest relieves the pain and using it hurts
- The hip feels stiff
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Back Pain Treatment In Westlake And Avon Ohio
Orthopaedic Associates, Inc. has an excellent orthopedic team comprised of 13 board-certified, fellowship-trained surgeons who deeply care for our patients. We take your treatment seriously and will stop at nothing to ensure you find relief.
If you are ready to say goodbye to back pain, call us today at 892-1440 to make an appointment. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you in our Westlake and Avon clinics!
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Low Back Pain Fact Sheet
If you have had lower back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is one of most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Even school-age children can have back pain.
Back pain can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp or shooting pain. It can begin suddenly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time as we age. Getting too little exercise followed by a strenuous workout also can cause back pain.
There are two types of back pain:
- Acute, or short-term back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. Most low back pain is acute. It tends to resolve on its own within a few days with self-care and there is no residual loss of function. In some cases a few months are required for the symptoms to disappear.
- Chronic back pain is defined as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. Even if pain persists, it does not always mean there is a medically serious underlying cause or one that can be easily identified and treated. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain continues despite medical and surgical treatment.
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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Low back pain is a very self-limiting condition. Some of the most common causes of low back pain include:
- Muscular strains
- Long periods of sitting or standing
Arthritis is a common cause that triggers inflammation of the joints. It usually happens gradually over time, with patients finding it to be worse in the morning and during the cold winter weather.
Inactivity can also make your back pain worse: During long periods of inactivity, the back becomes stiff, weak and deconditioned. Usually, as pain in the back increases, patients tend to reduce their physical activity that often results in even more pain and begins a cycle of more pain and inactivity. Because of this, normal activity should be continued and you should avoid lying in bed during the day for long periods.
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How Often Do I Need To See A Chiropractor
At first, I might see a patient once or twice a week. If the condition is acute, I might see the patient every day to begin. As they improve, I recommend fewer visits and start giving the patient more things to do on their own at home. I want my patients to be as independent as possible. There are patients who have chronic problems and need to come back and see me occasionally. But the great majority of patients have issues that are resolvable, and I may never need to see them again after their condition has improved.
When You See Your Doctor For Back Pain
Your doctor will look at your back and ask you questions about how intense your pain is. They may also look at how easy it is for you to sit, stand, and move around. This will help them figure out where your pain is coming from.
To find the cause, your doctor might recommend other tests such as:
X-rays. This test can help find arthritis or broken bones.
Electromyography . This test measures your muscles’ response to electrical impulses from your nerves. It can show whether you have pinched or compressed nerves along your spine.
Blood tests. Your doctor will look for infections that could cause back pain.
Bone scans. Doctors rarely use these for back pain, but they may help to find tumors or breaks caused by osteoporosis.
After your doctor figures out what the issue is, theyâll discuss treatment options with you. For minor cases of back pain, they may suggest over-the-counter pain relievers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or a heating pad.
You may need to see a specialist to understand your condition better. Your doctor may suggest you make an appointment with:
- An orthopedist, a doctor who specializes in bones, muscles, and joints
- A rheumatologist, who specializes in arthritis and similar conditions
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How Do I Know My Back Pain Is Serious
Whether your back pain is intermittent, piercing or achy and constant, youre probably wondering if it should be a cause for concern. However, the severity of your symptoms isnt the only indicator of whether your back pain is serious.
For instance, you can experience intense pain from a pulled back muscle but this will usually go away after several days of treating it at home. But, with something like lumbar degenerative disc disease, you can experience a dull, moderate ache in your back, which wont necessarily be intense but could become worse over time if left untreated. In this case, youd want to see a doctor to discuss a long-term treatment plan.
If youre experiencing back pain, you should consider seeing a doctor if you have recently or are currently experiencing:
What Is Sciatica
The condition is caused when the sciatic nerve, which spans the lower back down the back of the legs and the feet, becomes injured or inflamed. In rare cases, this can be the result of serious conditions like spinal stenosis, in which the spinal canal narrows and compresses the nerve. Benign and cancerous tumors in the spine and nerve damage as a result of other conditions are also occasional causes. Most often, there is a less serious catalyst for sciatic pain.
A herniated or bulging disc, in which the discs that usually provide cushion between vertebrae slip out of place, can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause this pain. Degenerative disc disease can lead to the same results, as well as osteoarthritis. Sciatica can also become an issue due to one-off injuries, or as a result of pregnancy. In pregnancy, your center of gravity shifts and joints become more elastic, leading to sciatic pain until the baby is born or changes positions.
Sciatica is often characterized by weakness or numbness in the lower back, legs, or feet. Some people will experience dull pain while others will experience sharp pains that radiate down the nerve. Symptoms are often exacerbated by movement.
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