Signs You Should See An Orthopedic Spine Specialist
At Comprehensive Spine Institute, we know that chances are youve experienced back pain at least once in your life.
According to the Global Burden of Disease, lower back pain is the worlds leading cause of disability. In a single year, half of working Americans will fall victim to the Back Pain Monster.
While it may seem like an everyday occurrence, there are times when this discomfort shouldnt be ignored.
But when does enough become enough? When is it time to visit an orthopedic spine specialist?
Read on to find out.
What Kind Of Education Do Spine Specialists Have
At this point, youâre probably wondering what makes spine specialists so special. One thing that sets them apart from other doctors is the amount of training they receive, which can take up to 17 years to complete ! In this section, weâll look at the educational requirements for orthopedists, neurosurgeons, and other spine specialists.
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.
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Informed Choice Can Help You Choose A Trustworthy Provider
There are as many choices as there are colors in the rainbow. There are a number of distinct physicians within the medical world that you have a choice from. Internists, family physicians, orthopaedists, neurosurgeons, spine surgeons, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, neurologists, anesthesiologists, and even some psychiatrists that treat lower back disorders. There are places that have multiple specialists who treat these disorders as a group.
There are a number of distinct physicians within the medical world that you have a choice from. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
There are many types of nonmedical practitioners to choose from, and they vary greatly even within their own specialty. You can go to a chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, athletic trainer, acupuncturist, Feldenkrais or Pilates practitioner, personal trainer, or even an aroma therapist.
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When Should I See A Doctor For Back Pain
When your back first starts to hurt, try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and applying ice in the first 48 hours. You may apply heat after 48 hours. You may need to take it easy for a while, but its best to stay as active as tolerated, and to avoid absolute bed rest, said Dr. Guo.
If your back pain lasts more than two weeks and keeps you from participating in normal, daily activities, see your family doctor. If your pain is severe, you should see a doctor sooner. You should seek urgent medical care if you have:
- Fever associated with back pain
- Back pain after trauma
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Loss of strength in your arms and legs
- Unexplained weight loss associated with back pain
Also, always be more cautious if you have special risk factors for cancer, infection, or fractures that may affect the spine.
Why Go To An Orthopedic Doctor For Back Pain
Most us will experience back pain at some point in life. While most back pains resolve on their own or with conservative treatments, some need serious medical attention. Back pain may be a sign of a serious condition, and it will progressively get worse if left untreated.
If your back pain is not getting better and is limiting the activities you can engage in, see an orthopedic doctor. Why go to an orthopedic doctor for back pain? Why cant your primary care physician just treat it? Orthopedic doctors have specialized knowledge, training, and experience in diagnosing, treating, and preventing musculoskeletal pain. While a primary care physician can treat a plethora of health issues, an orthopedic doctor can do it better.
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Specialists That Can Help Your Back And How To Pick One
The editors at Health are a dedicated team of experienced health editors, writers, and other media professionals who strive to bring trustworthy and responsible health and medical content to their readers. As a team, we have decades of experience in health journalism and have worked at legacy publishers and some of the biggest news and media companies in the U.S.
Low back pain is one of the most common medical complaints, so family doctors see a lot of back pain patients. But if four to six weeks of painkillers and exercise therapy doesn’t help a patient, it may be time for a specialist. Many insurance companies require that you get a referral from a family doctor or another primary care physician before they will cover the cost of a specialist.
Between orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors, physiatrists, neurosurgeons, and osteopathic physicians, it’s hard to know which doctor can best treat your pain.
Each approaches treatment from a different perspective. No treatment is guaranteed to give relief, so your choice will depend in part on your attitude toward the body and medicineand your doctor’s own philosophy.
Diagnosing Back Pain In Adults
Nearly everyone has back pain at one point or another. In fact, back pain is the second most common pain complaint in the United Statesonly headache is more widespread. People often feel back pain in the lower, or lumbar, region or in the middle, or thoracic, region of the back. Symptoms may include shooting or stabbing pain, tingling or numbness, and intense muscle ache or spasm, along with limited flexibility and difficulty walking or standing up straight.
Back pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, such as degenerative disc disease, arthritis, spinal stenosis, or osteoporosis. Trauma, muscle tension or spasms, spinal deformities, tumors, or infections can also contribute to back pain.
The back and spine consist of many parts. The spinal canal is the hollow center of the spine that contains the spinal cord and nerve roots. Surrounding the spinal canal, ring-shaped bones called vertebrae stack on top of one another in an interconnected system of joints that allows spinal flexibility and movement.
In between each vertebra, a soft disc of flexible connective tissue called cartilage acts as a shock absorber between the bones. A large network of muscles aids in supporting the spine and allows you to bend, twist, lift objects, and walk. Back pain may involve the bones, nerves, muscles, or connective tissues like ligaments, tendons, and cartilage very often it involves all of these structures.
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You’ve Been In Pain For Over A Week
Most back pain will subside after a few days, but if you’ve been experiencing pain for over a week, then it’s time to call a doctor. Your doctor will perform any examinations or tests required to help get to the bottom of your pain before it could become a bigger problem. As is the case with many health conditions, prevention and addressing problems early is key.
What Causes Problems In The Sacroiliac Joint
Dysfunction in the SI joint can result from a number of primary factors. According to a highly qualified pain doctor like Dr.Namrata Khimani, these factors include the following:
- Excessive movement In other words, this can be referred to us instability or hypermobility in the sacroiliac joint. It can make the pelvis unsteady, resulting to pain in the lower back or hip. Pain due to excessive movement in your SI can move into the groin area as well.
- Extremely small movement This is called fixation or hypomobility in clinical terms. If there is too little movement in your sacroiliac joint, symptoms such as muscle tension, pain and stiffness can be felt. If there is pain, it will normally be felt on one side of your lower back or buttock. It may shift down the back of the affected leg and thats what makes SI joint pain so similar to sciatic nerve pain.
Meeting the best New York pain doctors is important because you can find out the real cause of your lower back pain. And if it is sacroiliac joint dysfunction, the pain doctor will confirm what is causing it. Is it too much or too little movement in the SI joint? Could it be that you have sacroiliitis? This refers to the inflammation of the sacroiliac joint and it can cause a lot of stiffness and pain in your pelvic area. Inflammation of the joint may happen with the usual function of the joint or due to an infection like rheumatoid arthritis.
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How Do I Make An Appointment
We have multiple locations throughout New York and New Jersey, enabling you to find one that is convenient. To book an appointment with one of our clinics, simply fill in the online form, or give us a call at 767-3227 . We look forward to hearing from you, and helping you to live a life without back pain!
You Are Experiencing Severe Symptoms
If youre experiencing minor symptoms that dont have a big impact on your day-to-day, then a visit to your primary care physician may be enough. However, if youre experiencing particularly severe symptoms, you may have a critical condition that requires specialized care. A few critical back pain symptoms are:
- Weakness in your legs, hips or groin area
- Radiating pain that travels down your leg
- Fever alongside back pain symptoms
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
If you are experiencing any of the above alarming symptoms and cannot schedule an appointment with a specialist in a timely manner, it is recommended that you visit Emergency Care especially if you are experiencing bladder and bowel incontinence, which requires immediate emergency medical attention.
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Symptoms To Take To A Pain Doctor
If you have lower back pain due to a sacroiliac joint dysfunction, expect the following symptoms.
If you were born with gait problems , they can place excessive pressure on one side of your pelvis. This can cause friction on your SI joint and increase your pain. So, have your joint examined by the most reliable pain doctor in your area. Moreover, people who have had lumbar spine surgery, such as a fusion surgery, in the past can experience sacroiliac joint pain. Some people can also feel lower back pain due to a dysfunctional sacroiliac joint after undergoing a hip joint replacement surgery where bone grafts were harvested from the iliac bone.
Hence, it is wise to inform the preferred New York pain doctors about all the surgeries you did before. If there are activities that you do and they place continuous stress on your SI joint, such as weight lifting, strenuous jobs, contact sports or prolonged standing or sitting, your lower back pain could be sprouting from the Sacroiliac joint. In case you have had a recent fall, it could be that the injury or trauma affected your SI joint. Get in touch with a pain doctor and have the joint examined as soon as possible.
You’re Having Problems With Your Bowels Or Urination
If your back pain is paired with a loss of control over your bowels or urination, then it’s time to seek help immediately at a local emergency room. These symptoms point to cauda equina syndrome, where the nerves in the lower spine have become paralyzed. While rare, this syndrome can be permanently damaging to the nerves if left untreated. If you experience these symptoms, especially accompanied by numbness in the legs, then you may need surgery to decompress the nerves and preserve their overall function.
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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.
When Should I Go To The Doctor For Neck Pain
Neck pain or a stiff neck can make everyday tasks difficult. Is it something you should see a doctor for? Sometimes a stiff neck is a result of sleeping in the wrong position or sitting with poor posture at a desk for too long. In cases like these, the pain and stiffness usually subsides after a few days. But, what if its something else? Is it something to be worried about? Should you see a doctor for your stiff neck?
You should see a doctor if youve been experiencing neck pain and:
- youve had a recent accident or injury
- the pain doesnt subside in a few days
- the pain is severe
- you have other symptoms like a headache or fever
- you are also experiencing weakness or numbness in your arms or hands
- loss of bladder or bowel control
- dizziness or loss of balance
If you have any of these conditions along with your neck pain you should see a doctor as soon as possible. To visit us in Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls or Plattsburgh call us at 518-587-7746.
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Your Back Pain Interferes With Day
Quality of life is important, and if normal routine activities are becoming too much of a challenge, then its time to see someone who can help. Daily activities like walking, getting out of bed or bending over to reach objects shouldnt be a laborious effort. A back pain specialist will be able to pinpoint the source of your pain and offer solutions.
Learn About The Different Back Pain Specialists
When a back problem occurs, it’s 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:
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Help Which Doctor That Specializes In Back Pain Is Right For Me
There are clearly many different types of doctor that specialize in back pain. All of them focus on different types of back pain, different causes of the pain, and different types of treatment options. These are important factors to consider when you are deciding where to seek medical help. We understand that it can be difficult to try and know where to start, and it may feel frustrating as you try different options, seeking to find one that helps you.
We recommend trying a pain treatment clinic.
A pain treatment clinic is a one-stop shop for understanding and treating back pain. The clinic houses a number of different medical specialists, who are all highly trained in different areas, but all function as pain doctors, to relieve your pain. They will help you to diagnose the cause of your back pain, and work with you to find a treatment option that is likely to help, and suits your preferences.
Types Of Knee Pain Doctors
Knee pain doctors can come from various different fields of medicine such as anesthesiologists, physiatrists, neurosurgeons, podiatrists, neurologists, primary care physicians, or orthopedic surgeons.
However, broadly speaking, if you are wondering what kind of doctor for knee pain exists, there are three knee pain specialists palliative care specialists, interventional pain and spine specialists, and chronic pain specialists.
As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to what doctor to see for knee pain. But you should look for interventional pain specialists because theyre the only ones who can truly diagnose the root cause of your knee pain and provide long-term relief. An interventional pain specialist will use imaging tests like X-Rays, CT scans, and MRIs to determine the root cause of knee pain.
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