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What Does A Neurologist Do For Lower Back Pain

What Is Autoimmune Disease

Neurologist for Back Pain

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 whats being damaged.

When Should I See A Neurosurgeon For Back Pain

A neurosurgeon is a physician most qualified to perform nonsurgical and surgical treatments on the central and peripheral nervous system, which includes the brain, spine, and nerves. Oftentimes, back pain is caused by problems with the spine and nerves, and a neurosurgeons training makes them the best specialist for the job.

There was a time when only neurosurgeons could operate on the spine, but now, orthopedic surgeons can subspecialize in spine care. However, neurosurgeons remain the best specialists for patients with spine conditions. Due to their extensive training and experience, they can treat even the rarest and complex spine disorders.

What Happens During A Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection Procedure

You will likely have your lumbar epidural steroid injection in a hospital or an outpatient clinic. In most cases, a lumbar ESI takes 15 to 30 minutes. Its important to be very still during this procedure.

There are different ways your healthcare provider can access the epidural space around your spinal cord in your low back, which include:

The general steps of a lumbar epidural steroid injection procedure include:

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What Are The Side Effects Of Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections

Side effects of lumbar ESIs include:

  • You may experience a temporary increase in pain before the steroid medication starts working.
  • You may have tenderness and/or bruising at the site of your injection.
  • If your provider uses fluoroscopy for imaging guidance, there will be minimal low-level radiation exposure due to the X-rays. Fluoroscopy X-rays may be harmful to unborn babies. Its essential to tell your healthcare provider if youre pregnant or might be pregnant before you undergo the procedure.
  • If you have diabetes, an epidural steroid injection will likely cause high blood sugar . This could last for hours or even days.
  • If you have glaucoma, an ESI may temporarily increase your blood pressure and eye pressure.

Nothing Cute About This Back Pain

Common Symptoms of Lower Back Pain &  What to Do About Them.

Back pain continues to plague Americans. Millions of dollars get spent in healthcare for back pain. Furthermore, 8 of 10 Americans will see a doctor for back pain at some point. Lower back pain happens the most as this area holds up most of the bodys weight. Acute back pain is even more stressful. The sharp pain comes suddenly, lasting a few days or a few weeks. With the help of a doctor, and sometimes a neurologist, back pain sufferers can find relief.

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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.

Neurologist Perform Nerve Conduction Velocity Ncv Testing

  • One of the most requested tests from a patient that I see in my office is the nerve conduction velocity or NCV. Nerve conduction is when you move your finger and it moves into a different location than where it is pointed to.
  • The average person can do about 120 motion points with just one finger. This means that a neurologist can find out if you are experiencing problems with your neurological system and many times the problem is so subtle that we dont notice it until it is very progressed.
  • When this type of test is requested from a patient, they typically request nerve conduction velocity testing.
  • Neuroimaging or MRI testing is another common diagnostic test that is requested by neurologists.
  • When a patient requests this form of testing, they usually want to know if there is an abnormality on their brain that causes the problem.
  • It is used to look for tumors, chronic nerve damage, stroke, head trauma, spinal cord abnormalities and many other disorders and diseases.
  • This type of imaging can be performed using radiological techniques, which uses radio waves, or using optical imaging, which uses light waves.
  • There are many techniques that a neurologist will use to conduct these tests, but it depends on the situation, the severity of the problem and the location of the afflicted nerve.

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When Surgery Is Necessary

When conservative treatment for low back pain does not provide relief or neurologic symptoms are worsening or severe, surgery may be needed. Candidates for surgery present any of the following:

  • Reasonably good health
  • Back and leg pain limits normal activity or impairs quality of life
  • Progressive neurologic deficits develop, such as leg weakness, numbness or both
  • Loss of normal bowel and bladder functions
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Medication and physical therapy are ineffective

If surgery is recommended, neurosurgeons have a variety of options available to help relieve pressure on the nerve roots. If several nerve roots and discs are causing the pain or if degeneration and instability exist in the spinal column, the neurosurgeon may choose: a minimally invasive approach a more open decompression or fusing the vertebrae together with bone grafts and stabilizing them with instrumentation, including metal plates, screws, rods and cages, depending on the extent of disease. After such surgery, patients may gain restored mobility in the back, including the ability to bend over. In addition, patients may require postoperative physical therapy.

The benefits of surgery should always be weighed carefully against the risks. Although a large percentage of patients with low back pain report significant pain relief after surgery, it is not guaranteed that surgery will help.

Here Are The 6 Most Common Types Of Chronic Pain Are Assessed And Treated By A Neurosurgery Care Team:

What can I do to relieve my lower back pain?

1. Back and neck pain

The most common type of chronic pain is low back pain, and it is the most frequent reason that people see a health care provider or miss work. Most people have back pain at least once in their lives. For most people, back pain is a short-term annoyance, but for others, it can be a disabling, long-term condition.

Conditions commonly linked to chronic back pain include:

Depending on the cause of your pain, a neurosurgeon may recommend a surgical procedure such as a laminectomy, spinal fusion or diskectomy to repair damage or relieve pressure on your spine.

2. Facial pain

Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. If you have trigeminal neuralgia, even mild stimulation of your face such as from brushing your teeth or putting on makeup can trigger a jolt of excruciating pain.

Trigeminal neuralgia initially may start as short, mild attacks but progress to longer, more frequent bouts of searing pain. Neurosurgeons usually can effectively manage trigeminal neuralgia with medications, injections or surgery.

3. Headache pain

Most people experience at least one headache in their lives. Headaches can range from mild to serious. If you experience cluster headaches, a neurosurgeon may be able to help.

4. Pain after back surgery

5. Sciatica pain

6. Shoulder, arm or hand pain

Navid Khezri, M.D., is a neurosurgeon in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

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What Do Neurosurgeons Do

The American Board of Neurological Surgery explains that neurosurgeons provide surgical treatment of the brain, spinal column, and nervous system. They treat anatomical and structural problems that interfere with the functioning of the nervous system.

Neurosurgeons and spine specialists, like Dr. Fayaz, do more than just operate on patients. In fact they want to see how they might avoid surgery whenever possible. The neurosurgeon is a part of the diagnosis, non-surgical treatment, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of their patients. To become certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, a physician must do at least one year of residency training in surgery, and five additional years of residency in neurosurgery following graduation from medical school. Most neurosurgeons spend an additional year of fellowship training, to further specialize in a specific area of neurosurgery. In addition, board certified neurosurgeons must complete written and oral examinations, as well as meet various practice benchmarks through an extensive and rigorous process in order to ensure the competence and technical proficiency of the individual. Dr. Fayaz holds board certifications in both the US and Canada.

What Are The Risks And Possible Complications Of Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections

Lumbar epidural steroid injections are usually safe, but there are risks of certain side effects and complications. Although rare, risks and complications that apply to lumbar ESI injections include:

  • Low blood pressure, which can make you feel lightheaded.
  • Severe headache caused by spinal fluid leakage.
  • Infection from the epidural procedure, such as an epidural abscess, discitis, osteomyelitis or meningitis.
  • Having a negative reaction to the medications, such as hot flashes or a rash.
  • Bleeding if a blood vessel is accidentally damaged during the injection, which could cause a hematoma or a blood clot to form.
  • Damage to the nerves at the injection site.
  • Temporarily losing control of your bladder and bowels. You might need a catheter in your bladder to help you pee.
  • Getting ESI injections too often or receiving higher doses of steroid medication may weaken the bones of your spine or nearby muscles. Because of this, most healthcare providers limit people to two to three ESIs per year.

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Neurologist & Sleep Medicine Located In Henderson Nv & Bullhead City Az

Few things can stop you in your tracks faster than neck and back pain. At Tri-State Neurological & Sleep Disorder Center in Henderson, Nevada and Bullhead City, AZ, Muhammad Nayer MD offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment for neck and back pain. If youve made efforts to relieve or work through these common complaints, book a consultation to explore advanced diagnostic tools and targeted treatment options. Online scheduling makes it easy to find a time that fits your busy schedule, or youre always welcome to contact the office by phone.

After Examination Tests May Be Needed To Further The Evaluation

Low Back Pain

Depending on the results of the individual tests, other examinations may be performed, possibly including measurement of electrical activity in the brain , muscle activity or nerve conductivity . Imaging techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging may be used. Sometimes a lumbar puncture is necessary to take a sample of your cerebrospinal fluid .

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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.

When Should I See A Neurologist For Neck Or Back Pain

If you suffer from ongoing neck or back pain that hasnt improved over time, you may want to schedule a diagnostic exam with Dr. Nayer. Thats especially true if your neck or back pain is accompanied by:

  • Sensation of weakness
  • Sensation of numbness
  • Difficulty with bladder or bowel control

These are signs of neurological problems and should prompt you to book an appointment right away. Left untreated, many neck and back problems can worsen over time.

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Can A Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection Cause Long

While its very rare, receiving a lumbar epidural steroid injection can lead to some long-term complications, including:

  • Permanent neurologic deficit due to spinal cord or nerve root damage from the epidural injection.
  • Chronic pain due to spinal cord or nerve root damage from the epidural injection.
  • Permanent paralysis from a hematoma that occurs when theres a buildup of blood between the dura mater and your spinal cord.

What Structures Make Up The Lower Back

Chronic Low Back Pain Can Be Resolved!

The lumbar spine, pelvis and sacrum are what most people are describing when they discuss their lower back pain, involving one or all of the structures. Many people point to their pelvis when telling us they have hip pain, which is just a matter of nomenclature. You have discs between your five lumbar vertebrae that act as shock absorbers and cushion your back when you’re moving. There are thiry-one pairs of nerves that are rooted to the spinal cord and transmit signals from the body to brain .

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Conditions A Neurosurgeon Commonly Treats

Examples of medical issues that a neurosurgeon might treat include brain injuries , tumors, stroke, epilepsy, fluid buildup in the brain, and any issues relating to blood supply to the brain. Neurosurgeons also treat spinal problems such as neck pain, back pain, leg pain , or shoulder pain caused by disc problems , trauma or spinal/neck arthritis. Since nerve problems can occur anywhere in the body, a neurosurgeon may also treat nerve pain that may not specifically be in the back, neck or head areas.

Get Help For Your Back Pain

If youre suffering from back pain after a car accident or a work-related injury, its time to seek treatment from a neurologist. Back pain can be debilitating, and you dont want to live like this any longer.

Make an appointment with a neurologist and get an evaluation. Then, your neurologist can create a treatment plan to help you recover.

Call 590-4030 today to help us find an experienced neurologist near you.

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Common Causes Of Back Pain

  • Strain: The human back comprises a complex structure ligaments, muscles, tendons, bones, and disks. Segments of the spine are also cushioned with cartilage-like pads. Straining, lifting, and awkward movement of any of these components can lead to muscle spasm, compression, and pain.
  • Structural problems: The human back’s structural components might rapture, bulge, or abnormally curve the spine and its discs. When these structural issues occure, there will be more pressure on nerves resulting in back pain.
  • Everyday activities or poor posture: An individuals daily activities lead to poor posture habits being acquired. Poor postures include bending awkwardly, carelessly pushing, pulling, and lifting things, overly tensing muscles, standing for long periods, sitting in hunched position for a long time as when driving, and bending down for long periods. All of these poor biomechanics can eventually make one strain the back, leading to back pain.
  • How Else Can You Prevent Low Back Pain

    Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Lower Back Pains
    • Practice good posture
    • Issues with posture can be a leading cause of back pain. Those who always slouch when they sit, stand, or walk are putting themselves at risk for back discomfort. Focus on keeping your shoulders pinched, and your head facing forward to prevent slouching.
    • Be mindful of proper lifting form
    • Whether you are in the gym performing intricate lifts, or just picking up your kids, be aware that there are right and wrong ways to lift. Try to use your legs when you lift, by squatting down, keeping your back straight, shoulders pinched, and head up. Be sure not to bend down and lift something using the strength of your back alone, as they can place a tremendous amount of stress on your lower body.

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    Ways To Treat Low Back Pain

    Most doctors encourage patients to resume their regular routine. “We recommend going back to normal activities such as walking and being active around the house,” says Dr. Onofrei.

    It may also help patients to know more about what causes their pain. A small study published in JAMA Neurology in April 2018 found that people with chronic back pain are better able to reduce their pain and improve their mental and physical functioning when they learn more about the underlying causes of the pain, in addition to changing the way they think about it.

    Gentle Movement

    Physical and occupational therapy can help improve functionality so can gentle mind-body activities such as yoga and tai chi. In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in July 2017, researchers compared yoga and physical therapy for treating chronic low back pain, and found that they were comparably effective at improving pain and functionality. By contrast, “physical inactivity makes back pain worsethe core muscles get weak, and they’re what hold your spine straight,” Dr. Bailey says.

    Alternative Therapies


    What Causes Back Pain

    It’s a combination of injury to joint, muscle, inflammation, neurological pathway disruption and sensory misperception in the brain. You can’t affect one without affecting them all as described through Hilton’s Law. Hilton’s law is a powerful springboard to understand articular anatomy and pathophysiology . Through diagnostic testing, we’re able to determine the source of your back pain and treat it appropriately using a multi-modal approach.

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    Should You See A Chiropractor For Low Back Pain

    If youve ever seen a doctor for back pain, youre not alone. An estimated 85% of people experience back pain severe enough to see a doctor for at some point in their life. Yet despite how common it is, the precise cause of pain is often unclear. And a single, best treatment for most low back pain is unknown. For these reasons, doctors recommendations tend to vary. “Standard care” includes a balance of rest, stretching and exercise, heat, pain relievers, and time. Some doctors also suggest trying chiropractic care. The good news is that no matter what treatment is recommended, most people with a recent onset of back pain are better within a few weeks often within a few days.


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