Please Describe Your Thought Process As You Developed Larrys Treatment Plan
Dr. Malanga: My treatment plan is initially focused on controlling pain and inflammation. I first recommended judicious use of anti-inflammatory medication and heat compresses. I prescribed a short course of anti-inflammatory medication for Larry, as using these drugs for too long increases the risk for cardiovascular problems. After completing the course of , I suggested Larry take naturally derived supplements, such as , bromelain, and high-dose omega 3s, to reduce inflammation. These have been proven to be effective without the potential serious side effects from both over-the-counter and prescription medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
Larry and I also discussed his diet. I recommended reducing his carbohydrate and processed sugar intake to curb inflammation, while upping his consumption of healthy fats and sugars like those found in nuts and berries.
I would teach Larry some simple movement strategies, including how to position himself at work and stretches he can do throughout the day. While those small adjustments can reduce pain in the short term, I suggested that Larry work with a physical therapist to build sustained strength and flexibility, which should start taking shape in 4 to 6 weeks. After a few sessions with a physical therapist, the goal is for Larry to be able to do those exercises on his own.
Answers To Common Back Pain Questions
More than eight in 10 people will experience upper, mid, or low back pain at some point in their lives. Low back pain is the most common back pain. In most cases, the pain goes away over time. If your back pain is severe or does not improve, you may need medical care. Here are answers to some common questions about back pain and tips on when to seek help.
Why Did Larrys Primary Care Physician Refer Him To You
Dr. Malanga: Larrys primary care physician referred him to me as opposed to a spine surgeon because my specialty in pain and sports medicine approaches care by maximizing conservative, non-operative techniques. The United States has 4 to 6 times the surgical rate of most other countries, so referring to a non-operative spine specialist is the best initial approach for Larry.
Golfers of all ages and physical activity levels can experience bouts of low back pain. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
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You Have Experienced A Traumatic Injury
If you have recently been in a car accident, experienced a fall, or any other type of injury that resulted in back pain, you should visit a doctor immediately. The impact from traumatic injuries can cause the discs inside your spine to bulge, herniate or rupture. In cases where discs may be damaged or injured, a back pain specialist can review all options, including minimally-invasive procedures, to treat your back injury.
How Do I Know Which Specialist To See For My Lower Back Pain
The best course of action for treating your back pain is to consult your primary care physician first. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms. After this, they will refer you to the right specialist or a multi-disciplinary team if they think you need treatment.
Unfortunately, some doctors are quick to dismiss pain as all in your head, with minorities and women often facing this issue. You may need to persevere to get the correct treatment, so dont be afraid to ask for a second opinion if you believe your healthcare provider is being unfairly dismissive.
Hopefully, you wont have this experience, but its something to bear in mind. Advocating for yourself can be hard, but you deserve fair and compassionate treatment.
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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.
The Differences In Treatment With Orthopedic Doctors Vs Neurologists
There are a few prominent procedures only each specialty doctor is trained to perform. For instance, only a neurologist is trained to perform surgery inside the dura, the lining of the spinal canal.
For this reason, a neurologist is the best option for treating conditions such as a tethered spinal cord or spinal cord tumor. Conditions such as syringomyelia and Chiari malformation also still fall under the neurologist specialty. On the other hand, such conditions like pediatric and adult scoliosis, spinal deformities, or kyphosis still fall under the realm of an orthopedic doctor.
Today, both types of doctors have developed a friendly working relationship and can work together to provide comprehensive care. Together, they want you to receive treatment for the best end results. But if there are subtle differences in your injuries such as the ones listed above, they would be better addressed by either a neurologist or an orthopedic doctor to achieve the desired outcome and recovery.
AICA Orthopedics employs highly trained, skilled neurologists and orthopedic doctors. Our team strives to provide accurate diagnoses and quality treatment for the source of your injuries or pain.
With knowledge, expertise, and experience, our specialists place patient needs at the top of the priority list in order to provide you specific and individualized care. To learn more about our neurologists and orthopedic doctors, please dont hesitate to .
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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:
Best Doctors For Back Pain
Since you shouldn’t try to diagnose your own back pain, make your first call to a professional who can assess your problem, such as a primary care physician or a chiropractor.
Both can serve as an entry point for back pain.
Generally speaking, your primary care provider will only offer pain medications or injections designed to reduce pain, but not necessarily correct the issue.
Chiropractors on the other hand, have much more training when it comes to addressing back pain.
A chiropractors training contains over 150 more hours of education in biomechanics, while medical students learn more about pharmaceuticals.
Chiropractors use posture exercises and hands-on spinal manipulation to relieve back pain, improve function, and help the body heal itself.
According to Harvard Health, the most positive research on chiropractic therapy has focused on spinal manipulation for low back pain.
Here’s a few quotes including the scientific journal reference discussing chiropractic care for back pain:
âFor patients with chronic low back pain, clinicians and patients should initially selectnon-pharmacologic treatment with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction , tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low-level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation .â
American College of Physicians
Goertz et al. , Spine
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When To See A Doctor For Muscle Pain
Not all muscle is minor. Sometimes it can indicate a serious condition, meaning you need to see your doctor or other health professional. Some muscle pain can even be a sign of a critical problem, requiring you to seek emergency help.
Experts recommend that you call 911 or go to the hospital for immediate help if you have any of these symptoms in addition to your muscle pain:
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Risk Factors For Lower Back Pain
Most lower back pain is caused by age-related conditions, underlying disease, or a sedentary lifestyle. Talk with your spine specialist about your personal and family history of back pain to help them identify the potential causes.
Factors that may contribute to lower back pain include:
- being older in age
- family history of lower back pain
- occupational risks, such as jobs that require heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or twisting and
- pre-existing mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, which can influence how closely you focus on your pain as well as your perception of its severity.
Which Lifestyle Factors Contribute To Lower Back Pain
There are three major lifestyle factors that may affect your chances of developing lower back pain:
- Multiple studies have established a link between smoking and lower back pain. Smoking raises inflammation inside the body and hinders the body from healing itself.
- Obesity is also associated with several types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. In people with high body mass index , the stress on the spine increases, contributing to even more wear and tear.
- Your level of physical activity can also play a role in your lower back health. While a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of developing lower back pain, so can excessive or strenuous physical activity. Check with your doctor if you are unsure about your ideal level of physical activity.
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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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!
Should I Visit A Doctor Or Chiropractor For Back Pain
Back Pain: The Right Professional to Call for Help
Youve undoubtedly handled a lot of stressors in life.
Those pressures can be accompanied by a lot of trouble, not only mentally and emotionally, but also physically.
When feeling pain, it is vital to call for help the right help, that is.
Many are doubtful and confused as to where to find the right professional who can treat a throbbing back pain.
There are those who claim doctors are the way to go, while others swear by chiropractic treatment..
So which is the correct one to choose?
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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.
Emotional Support Is Important
You may have to lean on friends and family when facing difficult situations caused by chronic pain or other problems. Your loved ones can play an important role in supporting your recovery. Your doctor and community also may give you extra support.
Asking for support from others is not always easy. It can be hard to tell someone about your problems. But don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Where you can get support
- Family. Family members can help you cope by giving you comfort and encouragement.
- Friends. Building strong relationships with others is important for your emotional well-being. Helping is a big part of friendship. At times you may be the one who encourages a friend.
- Counselling. Professional counselling can help you cope with situations that interfere with your life and cause stress. Counselling can help you understand and deal with your pain. You can learn ways to stop negative thoughts. See the topic Stop Negative Thoughts: Choosing a Healthier Way of Thinking.
- Stop Negative Thoughts: Getting Started
How friends and family can help
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How Is It Treated
Most low back pain will improve with basic first aid, which includes continuing to do light activity such as walking, and taking over-the-counter pain medicine as needed.
Walking is the simplest and maybe the best exercise for the lower back. It gets your blood moving and helps your muscles stay strong.
Your doctor or physiotherapist can recommend more specific exercises to help your back muscles get stronger. These may include a series of simple exercises called core stabilization. Strengthening the muscles in your trunk can improve your posture, keep your body in better balance, and lower your chance of injury.
If your symptoms are severe or you still have symptoms after 2 weeks of self-care, see your doctor. You may need stronger pain medicines, or you might benefit from manual therapy.
Each of the various treatments for back pain work for some people but not for others. You may need to try different things to see which work best for you, such as:
- Spinal manipulation.
Having ongoing back pain can make you depressed. In turn, depression can have an effect on your level of pain and whether your back gets better. People with depression and chronic pain often benefit from both antidepressant medicines and counselling. Counselling can help you learn stress management and pain control skills.
Lower Back Pain: What Could It Be
Do you have lower back pain? You are not alone. Anyone can experience lower back pain at any time, even if you dont have a prior injury or any of the risk factors. It is not always serious and can often get better on its own. But in some cases pain is your bodys way of telling you that something isnt right.
Learn more about lower back pain and what causes it from rehabilitation physician Akhil Chhatre, M.D., who specializes in back pain in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
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What Causes Lower Back Pain And When Should I Get Help
Orthopedic back and spine treatment usually starts with conservative approaches that include pain management, physical and occupational therapies, and rehabilitation. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reminds us that chronic back pain can get worse if left untreated, so it’s important to visit a doctor early on who can start you with the right treatment.
Some of the most common causes of lower back pain include:
When You Need The Help Of A Back Pain Specialist
If the pain persists, even with your self-help efforts, it may be time to see a back pain specialist to determine what is causing the chronic lower back pain. Diagnosing your problem can be complex. Your spine has 24 moveable bones, called vertebrae and is divided into 3 sections. The neck or upper section of the spine is called the cervical spine, the mid back is called the thoracic spine, and the lower back is called the lumbar spine. Between each of these vertebrae bones is a shock-absorbing pad called the disc, comprised of fibrous tissue surrounding a gel-like substance. It very much resembles a jelly doughnut. The discs provide shock absorption, act as a spacer pad determining the size of the nerve hole openings of the spine, and, permit spinal movement.
Because of how the spine is engineered, the lumbar section of the spine is subjected to a great deal of compressionmore than the other discs in the spine. If the discs structure is compromised through trauma, the disc tissue may become damaged, causing the disc to fail. The tissues of the disc can rupture, the gel-like center can push out, causing a bulging disk, or it may protrude through the fibrous tissue causing a herniated disc. Your pain is very realand thankfully in most cases very treatableand most of the time, treatable without surgery or drugs.
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