Preparing To See A Doctor For Back And Neck Pain
If low back or neck pain persists longer than a few days or weeks, a doctors evaluation and treatment may be needed.
A general practitioner or chiropractor are often the first line of treatment for back or neck pain. These providers are able to treat or manage most cases of back or neck pain, and may provide referrals to a specialist if needed.
What If I Dont Want Surgery For My Back Pain
Fortunately, most people with back pain dont need surgery. We usually take a conservative approach first, using a wide variety of nonsurgical spine treatments, said Dr. Guo. For example, I might send you to physical therapy or chiropractic therapy. I might recommend medications such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, or some nerve-pain medications. We offer injection therapy, including epidural injections, joint injections, and nerve blocks and ablation if your back pain fails to improve with the conservative treatments. Chances are, one of these approaches will help reduce your back pain and improve your function and quality of life.
Which Type Of Doctor Should I Visit For Lower Back Pain
From temporary aches to disabling chronic pain, lower back pain affects millions of people each year. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 80% of people will experience lower back pain at some time in their lives. There are many kinds of back specialists, so if you’re asking yourself, “Which type of doctor should I visit for lower back pain?,” you’ll want to read on.
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First Steps: Treating Neck And Back Pain At Home
Dr. Bisson: What I tell most of my patients is that getting neck or back pain is a very common entity. A lot of people go out and do a lot of yard work or do excessive sporting activities wake up the next morning and feel like they have, what’s considered a ‘crick in the neck’ or have a low backache.
Again, most of that is muscular in nature. It can be muscle spasm or some inflammation. Most of that is treated with what we consider conservative measures. This means things like anti-inflammatory, some Motrin, some Aleve, exercise or rest. Everybody is a little bit different which is better. We tend to tell people not to do strict bed rest because that’s counterproductive in getting the muscles to move. Then also you can do things like heat and ice, which also help.
Pain That Keeps You Up At Night
Back pain that keeps you up at night, or gets worse when you rest, is generally not life-threatening. That said, it’s best to get it checked, especially when accompanied by fever.
Back or neck pain with fever may be a sign of an infection such as meningitis. Infections can get serious, fast, so don’t delay that call to your doctor prompt diagnosis and treatment may save your life.
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When Should You Consider Medical Care For Lower Back Pain
While acute lower back pain often resolves itself, sometimes there are red flags² you need to look out for.
If you have any of these symptoms alongside your back pain, its best to seek medical attention:
Recent severe trauma, including a car accident or falling from a height
Excruciating pain around your mid-back, rib cage, or between the shoulders
Tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in your legs
Loss of bowel or bladder control or difficulty urinating
Abdominal pain, chest pain, fever, or chills
Pain that does not improve with rest and worsens at night or with exertion
If you dont have any of these symptoms, you may wait a few weeks to see if your back pain resolves with rest. Note, however, that resting too much can exacerbate back pain, so keep up with your daily activities if you can.
Gentle exercise can improve your symptoms, such as walking, yoga, or stretching. Anti-inflammatory painkillers are another option for relieving pain and reducing any swelling. However, if your symptoms dont improve, there are specialists you can see.
Chiropractic Care For Back Pain
It may take several types of tests including x-rays, MRIs, and blood tests, to determine the exact cause of your back pain.
And you may need more than one expert managing your back pain.
It really just depends on your specific situation and the amount of damage that has occurred in your spine.
But for back sprains, strains, and even herniated discs, a visit to your local chiropractor may be all it takes to start feeling better.
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Common Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain
If something is not right with your back, youll knowback painVerified SourceMedline PlusOnline resource offered by the National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health.View sourceisnt known for keeping secrets. However, it may be worthwhile to keep tabs on your symptoms so that you can clearly articulate details about your pain to your doctor if need be. Typical symptoms of lower back pain include:
- Pain that travels down to your butt, legs, and feet
- Increased pain with activity
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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 once in a while. 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.
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Noninvasive Back Pain Treatments
The severity, source, and type of your back pain will guide your treatment plan, and conservative options are usually the first step. If these solutions dont provide enough relief, you may be a candidate for spine surgery.
Complementary Pain ManagementA range of experts can help you understand the mental and emotional aspects of back pain, develop skills and strategies to cope with it, and improve your quality of life. More holistic options like massage therapy, biofeedback, and meditation could resolve your back pain on their own, or they may complement more traditional treatments.
AcupunctureUsing fine needles placed strategically in the skin, acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system and releases chemicals that promote healing.
Chiropractic CareA skilled chiropractor uses spinal manipulation and other manual methods to help relieve back pain and other symptoms such as numbness and tingling, loss of strength, or pain in the arms or legs. These hands-on techniques stretch and move the spine to restore mobility to joints restricted by injury or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support. Our chiropractors can also teach you exercises for improving strength and flexibility and incorporating safe movements and proper posture into your daily activities.
When Is The Right Time To Seek Help For Your Pain
Dr. Dowdell says its rare that anyone comes to him after a week of back pain. Its more common that people have been living with pain for months or even years, and finally they decide theyve had enough.
As with many health conditions, though, the sooner you get seen by a doctor, the better. If you get help within the first few weeks or months of having ongoing pain, you might be able to prevent it from becoming a lifelong battle, he says.
Whats more, having spine pain for a long time can create pain pathways from your back to your brain, says Dr. Dowdell. As pain signals travel back and forth, the pathways get more and more well established, which can make pain harder to treat later on.
A final note from Dr. Dowdell: Whenever you decide to seek help, you should understand that treatment may be a bit of a journey.
Youre not going to walk into the doctors office and walk out with a quick diagnosis, he says. When youre in pain, that message can be hard to hear. But treating back pain is something that needs to be done one step at a time.
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Knowing Youre In Great Hands Here At Neurosurgery & Spine Consultants
If youre tired of experiencing back pain and would like to receive the care you deserve, feel free to reach out to us using the form below and well be sure to have your seen by one of our excellent doctors. We typically respond to your inquiry within one business day via the form below. If youd like to speak to us sooner, feel free to call us at: 123-456-7890 and well be happy to discuss how we can help. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
DISCLAIMER: No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Acute Lower Back Pain Treatment
Most acute lower back pain is mild and settles with simple treatments. Treatment usually depends on the cause and might include:
A few days of physical rest. It is not considered good to rest for more than a few days otherwise the lower back muscles will stiffen and even cramp, which will make recovery difficult.
Simple treatments like hot or cold packs, physical activity, exercise and physical therapy.
Pain medications like anti-inflammatories and anti-spasm medications to provide pain relief.
If the cause of the pain has been treated but the pain continues and is long lasting , debilitating and has not been responding to treatments an assessment should be made by a pain management specialist physicians, who can assess and treat most types of chronic pain including chronic lower back pain.
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Types Of Doctors That Might Treat Your Back Pain
Back pain seems to be a problem that plagues so many, so it can be easy to operate under the assumption that treatment is relatively interchangeable. There are actually many different types of doctors that specialize in more specific areas of treatment when it comes to back injury or chronic pain.
It is important that you seek help from the correct type of doctor if you want your pain addressed in the most expedient and thorough fashion. Here is a more in-depth look at the most common types of spine doctors and how they might be able to help you with your pain.
Should You Even Visit A Healthcare Provider
Knowing what the AHRQ says, should you visit your healthcare provider when you experience back pain? Generally speaking, back pain is not serious, and it is only very rarely life-threatening. That said, it can and often does disrupt the quality of life.
For your first experience with back pain, checking with your healthcare provider is probably a good idea. They will ask you some basic questions as a way of narrowing your symptoms down to a diagnosis.
These questions may include: What were you doing when the pain started? Did the pain come on gradually or suddenly? Where do you feel the pain and does it radiate out? What does it feel like? A number of terms for describing your symptoms exist, so have at it. You might feel electrical symptoms such as pins and needles, burning, shock and the like, or you may have a dull ache. The more you can thoroughly and accurately describe your pain symptoms, the better. Your description gives the healthcare provider something to go on when making a diagnosis and subsequent treatment recommendations.
Your healthcare provider will likely also want to know the timing of the pain. In other words, when does it come on and when is it relieved, what you physically do at work, and more.
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Family And General Practitioners
With new neck or back pain, start with your regular doctor. That’s usually a family or general practitioner or primary care provider .
- Give you a few exercises to do
- Possibly send you to a physical therapist
- Possibly refer you to a specialist
But studies suggest GPs can be slow to adopt new back treatments. So research possible treatment options yourself. And ask a lot of questions during your appointment.
Also, you can always request a referral to a specialist.
Which Doctor To See For Back Pain
December 5, 2020 by Neurosurgery & Spine Consultants
Back pain is common. We all know this and have most likely experienced back pain at least once throughout our life. Whether its from an injury, sleeping in an odd position, or twisting and turning in an awkward fashion back pain is not good. Now the question becomes which doctor to see for back pain?. Well, were glad you asked! Throughout this post well be discussing why we may be the right specialists for your neck, back, or spine pain and how we can help you go from being in pain, to pain-free, with our advanced technology and comprehensive care.
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If Surgery Isnt Recommended A Pain Specialist Is Your Next Stop
If, despite the treatments youve tried, pain persists, consider making an appointment with a pain management physician, which is a doctor with specialized training in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of pain. Some may further specialize in particular types of pain, such as back pain.
The pain management doctors in the of HSS are board-certified in pain management and have completed additional graduate training. Their first step is to do a thorough evaluation, discuss how your pain is impacting your everyday activities and life goals, then develop a customized approach to treatment. This might include physical therapy and at-home exercises.
The HSS team recommends prescription medications only when medically necessary and even then, they aim to prescribe as small a dose as possible for as short a period as possible to help prevent dependency problems. Its important to describe your symptoms, goals and concerns and find a pain management team that treats you with compassion and respect.
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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Internists And Family Practice Physicians
Internists and family physicians are the most typical entry into the world of medical treatment. The second most common reason for a visit to your primary care doctor is back pain. These individuals have one of the most difficult jobs. These doctors have to know about heart disease, circulation, lungs, liver, kidneys, diabetes, infectious disease, as well as spine. They have the hardest job in medicine.
These docs might initially use medications and activity restrictions. If their treatment is not effective, they might refer to a physical therapist. Some may refer to . Osteopaths may treat the problem themselves with manipulation and muscle techniques. No matter to which you go, if the problem is resolved, obviously there is no further need of treatment.
When Can A Chiropractor Help With Back Pain
People often want to try the kind of conservative approaches that chiropractors provide first. In fact, this is what many clinical care guidelines recommend. So before trying treatments like injections or surgery for back pain, they may want to consider things like chiropractic care, physical therapy, or acupuncture. Much of the time, back pain resolves with those kinds of treatments.
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What Do Doctors Do For Back Pain
Ready for some relief? Its no fun living with chronic lower back pain, and once youre ready to say, I want to find the best lower back doctor near me!, youre on the first step to living a better life. The pain management specialists at the Pain Treatment Specialists will first listen to your concerns, and then determine a care plan that best fits your current condition, level of pain, and diagnosis. Our Ivy League-trained doctors have a wide variety of non-surgical options to provide patients with long-lasting relief from chronic lower back pain. Some of the teams treatments include:
- Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation: This treatment involves electromagnetic waves that travel at the speed of light. The wave, which is a form of heat energy, is delivered precisely to the nerve endings that radiate pain. For patients who have not experienced success with nerve blocks or injections, lumbar radiofrequency ablation provides a longer-lasting option of increased mobility and pain reduction.
- Lumbar Facet Injection: This treatment inject a small amount of local anesthetic or numbing medicine into small joints around the vertebrae. This numbs the facet joints, blocks pain, and provides relief from chronic lower back pain.
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.
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