Neurologists Can Treat Your Back Pain By Using Medication And/or Surgery
- They can also provide advice about which exercises and stretches are right for you. Sometimes, a patient is referred to a physical therapist, or osteopath.
- The physical therapist will teach you how to do your daily activities more effectively and safely. You may also benefit from regular massage or a chiropractic adjustment.
- Many people are finding that visiting a neurologist is a good way to manage their back pain. Not only do they offer great insight, but they also are highly trained in the health care field. This means they can help you regain your ability to function on a daily basis. Whether you have been injured at work, fell on the stairs, or have an underlying disorder, a neurologist can help.
How To Choose A Neurosurgeon Or A Neurologist
Choosing a neurosurgeon does not guarantee that you will need neck surgery or back surgery. They can provide a wide range of treatment options which can include surgery if needed. Check with our office located in The Woodlands, TX and well let you know which type of doctor would be best to see and how to get started with tests before seeing the physician.
Dr. Imran Fayaz, MD MSC FRCSC FACS
500 Medical Center Blvd., Suite 222 Conroe, TX 77304
Diagnose The Cause Of The Back Pain
Some providers treat the symptoms without knowing the cause of the pain. Fortunately, neurologists are trained to diagnose the cause of back pain.
They use a variety of tests, including X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and myelograms. They can also perform EMG testing to determine if you have nerve damage. By finding the cause of the back pain, your neurologist can help you recover.
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What Is Autoimmune Disease
An autoimmune disease involves your immune system attacking healthy tissues, cells, or substances in your body. The immune system mistakes the target for something dangerous, like a virus or bacterium, and tries to destroy it. This can lead to pain, inflammation, and a host of other symptoms that vary depending on what’s being damaged.
What Is Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain occurs when nerve fibers become damaged, traumatized and/or otherwise dysfunctional.
To best understand neuropathic pain, letâs talk briefly about what nerves do. Their job is to relay messages to and from the brain and spinal cord about whatâs going on. Nerves are found in tissues, organs, muscles and more.
If you burn your hand on a hot stove, for example, your nerves go right to work communicating this input to the brain and spinal cord. Nerves also carry response signals from the brain, delivering these back to those body tissues that were involved in the inciting incident, in this case, your hand. The response signals show up as pain and impulses to move. They will likely prompt you to take your hand away from the stove burner or to run it under cold water to decrease the pain.
This pain felt from this example of the normal workings of nerves is not neuropathic pain, but nociceptive pain. Nociceptive pain refers to pain related to actual tissue damage. In the hot stove example, itâs your skin, and not your nerves, that experiences the nociceptive pain.
With neuropathic pain, the signals sent to you by the damaged fibers may sometimes âgo haywire.â They may seem like they donât make sense. The reason is, over time, these nerves may become active for no reason. That is, they âfireâ but itâs not in response to changes that are going on in the tissues, organs or muscles they serve.
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Specialist Help Can Be The Key
Back pain can put a damper on living a healthy life. See a doctor for bouts of lower back pain. A general practitioner can provide initial help. But a neurologist can take things to the next level. With detailed info on nerve and muscle health, the neurologist can put together a plan to slay back pain. And if surgery happens to be the best course of action, rest assured the neurologist will advise on the right procedure.
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Do You Need To See A Neurologist For Neck Pain
Everyone experiences neck pain from time to time, and often, the pain goes away on its own. Sometimes, though, you need medical care from an experienced New York neurologist. If you have any of these red flags, schedule an appointment with your neurologist. That is the first step to finally living free of pain.
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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.
Should You See A Neurologist For Back And Neck Pain
People often think of a chiropractic doctor for chronic pain, but neurologists also diagnose and treat back pain and neck pain. Neurologists specialize in conditions and diseases that affect the brain, the spinal cord, and the nervous system this often includes chronic pain in the back and neck.
Talk to your primary care provider if you experience chronic back pain or neck pain. Your doctor can help you determine if you should see a specialist, such as a neurologist, for your symptoms. Some health insurance plans require a referral from your primary care physician. Contact Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic to schedule an appointment with our board-certified neurologists in Northwest Arkansas.
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Getting Started With A Neurosurgeonare You In The Right Place
You wouldn’t normally make an appointment to see a neurosurgeon for treatment of your back or neck pain. You should first see your primary care doctor, who will take a medical history, examine you, and possibly order diagnostic tests.
Most of the time, back or neck pain is caused by muscle spasms or mild inflammation, and neurosurgical referral is not common. You might be prescribed treatment with medication and/or physical therapyand this often helps. Often, strategies like lifestyle modification can help too. For example, adopting a better position while working on the computer can alleviate some types of back or neck pain.
If you have signs of spinal cord disease or injury that could be surgically corrected, you may be referred to see a neurosurgeon.
Signs of spinal cord disease or injury include:
- Leg or arm pain or weakness
- A spinal cord deficit detected by your neurological examination
- Diagnostic tests, such as computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging showing disease or injury of the spinal cord
What Is A Neurological Examination
A neurological examination assesses motor and sensory skills, hearing and speech, vision, coordination, and balance. It may also test mental status, mood, and behavior. The examination uses tools such as a tuning fork, flashlight, reflex hammer, and a tool for examining the eye. The results of the neurological examination and the patients history are used to determine a list of possibilities, known as the differential diagnosis, that help determine which additional diagnostic tests and procedures are needed.
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Get The Answers You Need
Headaches, neck pain, back pain, sleep disorders, and multiple sclerosis. As the founder and a top neurologist at a major neurology center, I have seen a lot of tough cases of each of these conditions. Theyre complex and disruptive to your quality of life. But, what most dont realize is that they can all be connected. In this guide, I dissect each of these neurological conditions and show you how the symptoms youre experiencing may all be related.
I have created free online video series to help you better understand your symptoms and disorder and take back control of your life.
Complementary And Alternative Techniques Include:
- Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves inserting thin needles into precise points throughout the body and stimulating them , which may cause the body to release naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
- Behavioral approaches include:
- Biofeedback involves attaching electrodes to the skin and using an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and control their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature people regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques
- Cognitive therapy involves using relaxation and coping techniques to ease back pain
Spinal injections include:Trigger point injections can relax knotted muscles that may contribute to back pain. An injection or series of injections of a local anesthetic and often a corticosteroid drug into the trigger point can lessen or relieve pain.
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Neurologist Or Orthopedist For Sciatica Pain
A neurologist is a highly trained medical professional who specializes in the study and treatment of nerve-related conditions, such as sciatica. Being that all cases of true sciatica, and most cases of pseudo-sciatica, are neurological disorders it would seem that a neurologist may be the best choice among care providers.
However, despite all their schooling and knowledge, most neurologists do not actively treat pain, unless they are neurosurgeons, or also offer pain management services, which is typically a completely independent field in the modern back pain treatment sector. Therefore, many neurologists can provide diagnostic insight, but often little in the way of effective treatment.
Being that a correct diagnosis is the most important thing to achieve, securing the services of a spinal neurologist to assist in this task is always advised. Even if the doctor does not provide the type of treatment needed, at least they can likely ascertain the cause of sciatica and point the patient in the right direction for finding effectual care.
What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain
Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:
Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.
Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. Weekend warriorspeople who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all weekare more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.
Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.
Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis , have a genetic component.
Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.
Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.
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The Right Surgery For The Right Issue
There are some cases where surgery works best. A neurologist can then refer the patient to a surgeon. Surgery is recommended when all non-surgical treatment attempts have failed. The neurologist can also provide the surgeon with detailed information to complete the right procedure. In most cases, a microdiscectomy or laminectomy helps remove pressure on surrounding nerves. Severe cases of degraded discs or arthritis need fusion surgery. Neurologists are with the patient all the way, even assessing the results post-operation.
Who Should I Go To For My Sciatica
Sciatica is not a disease or a diagnosis. It is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The term is used to describe nerve pain, tingling, numbness and weakness that travels from the lower back, across the buttocks, down the back of the thighs to the calves and feet.
It occurs when the sciatic nerve the longest in the body gets compacted or aggravated. Common conditions that cause sciatica include herniated lumbar discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and spondylolisthesis.
Sciatica pain can vary from periodic and mildly inconvenient to constant and incapacitating. Symptoms depend on the location of the nerve impingement or irritation and may include:
- Symptoms intensify during sudden movements or changing positions
- Constant pain in one side of the buttock or leg
- Sharp pain in one leg making it difficult to stand up or walk
- Pain originates in the lower back or buttock and continues along the path of the sciatic nerve
- Pain lessens when lying down or walking but increases when standing or sitting
- Pain is burning, tingling, or searing
- Pain radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes
- Lower back pain is not as severe as leg pain
- A pins-and-needles or prickling sensation, numbness or weakness down the leg
Sciatica is rare among young people. It tends to start appearing in middle age, between the ages of 40 to 50.
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Neurological Exams For Neck And Back Pain: Nerve Deficits
Muscle Strength and ToneMeasuring muscle strength and tone is another way to determine if nerve deficit exists. To evaluate muscle strength the patient may be asked to step up on a stool, stand on their heels then the toes, hop in place, perform knee bends, and grip an item in each hand. Muscle strength is graded and recorded in the patients chart.If warranted, the spine specialist may order specific neurological studies.
The physician tests muscle tone by passively flexing and extending the arms and legs. Normal muscle tone elicits slight resistance to passive motion. Other movements test for proximal and distal weakness. Muscle symmetry is also observed.Neurological TestsIf warranted, the spine specialist may order specific neurological studies such as a Nerve Conduction Study or Electromyogram . These tests measure nerve performance.Imaging StudiesMRI and/or CT scans of the spine can be ordered to help the spine specialist make the correct diagnosis.The neurological examination, along with a detailed mechanical examination , can greatly help the physician in making the correct diagnosis. The findings of the examination are then correlated with the history of the patients ailment and diagnostic studies to make the correct diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made, appropriate treatment is initiated. This usually consists of non-surgical measures but if those fail, or occasionally initially, surgical intervention is considered.
Can Neck Problems Cause Neurological Problems
If the syrinx grows, it can damage your spinal cord and cause painful neurological symptoms throughout the body, including weakness and numbness.
In severe cases, you may lose your ability to feel heat or cold in your neck, hands, and throughout your spine.
The muscles in your hands may even become paralyzed..
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Pain Caused By Trauma
If youve been in a car accident, slip and fall, workers comp injury, or experienced some other type of trauma, be mindful of your symptoms. Pain after a trauma needs to be treated. Trauma can cause a variety of issues, including fractures. Fast action is needed to treat trauma-related pain. Your neurologist has the skills necessary to find and treat the source of the pain.
Its Difficult To Know Whats Causing Your Pain
Sometimes pain in the back or the neck is acute. It often results from an injury maybe you moved heavy furniture without warming up your muscles, you made a sudden movement working in the yard, or youre ill. Acute pain typically goes away on its own without treatment after a few days or weeks.
However, chronic pain lingers and persists for more than 12 weeks. It can be constant or it can come and go, but it typically requires some type of treatment.
Several things can cause back pain and neck pain:
- sedentary living
- kidney stones
Its important to see a medical professional because there are so many possible causes for your pain. A neurologist can help diagnose the source of your back pain, and recommend the best treatment approach, which may involve physical therapy, seeing a pain specialist, or consulting with a surgeon.
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Orthopedic Doctor Vs Neurologist
Both an Atlanta neurologist and an orthopedic doctor have training equipped to deal with spinal injuries. Both are also considered spine specialists and can provide excellent care.
If you suffer from a spinal condition such as disc herniation or degeneration, spinal fractures, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or other types of spinal injuries or pain, both a neurologist and an orthopedic doctor are equipped to treat these spinal conditions.
While in recent years the lines may have blurred between what exactly a neurologist and an orthopedic doctor do, there are still some evident differences between the two that can be the difference between who you need to schedule an appointment with.