There is never any reason that you should simply endure back pain. In fact, pain is one of the only indicators that there could be something seriously wrong with your back. Scheduling an appointment with a trusted spine specialist is easy, safe, and will help you get on track to be pain-free once again.
When to See a Spine Specialist
It can be pretty normal to experience mild back pain from time-to-time. Perhaps you slept in a weird position or tweaked your back while dancing. This kind of pain usually resolves itself within a few days, and there’s usually no need to see a doctor for it. However, here are some signs that you may need to schedule a visit:
- When pain is moderate to severe.
- If back pain has lasted several days and hasn’t resolved.
- If there are any other symptoms with the pain, such as muscle weakness, tingling, or numbness of the arms or legs.
An Overview of a Consultation
Whenever you go to the doctor’s office for an initial visit, you will be asked for a family medical history, and a list of medications you are currently taking. The doctor will then attempt to diagnose the pain, and help find the right treatment plan for you.
To diagnose the back problem, the doctor will perform a physical examination, usually at and around the source of the pain. After a physical examination, they will likely need some images of your back, in the form of an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a CT scan.
After the doctor has been able to diagnose the issue, they will recommend a treatment plan that is as little invasive, yet most effective, as possible. Non-invasive treatment plans usually include medication or physical therapy. If the non-invasive treatment plans do not fix the back problem, your doctor may discuss surgical options with you.
List of Possible Spine/Back Issues
- Spinal Arthritis. A condition that leaves weakness and pain in the arms and legs, osteoarthritis of the spine is when the cartilage of the joints and spinal discs begin to breakdown, often putting pressure on the nerves.
- Sciatica. Sciatica refers to pain in the sciatic nerve, which is located in the lower back and moves down each leg. When the sciatic nerve is injured or is under a lot of pressure, it can cause intense lower back and leg pain.
- Herniated discs. A herniated disc is a disc of the spinal cord, in which a fragment of the disc’s nucleus has pushed out of the disc through a rupture or tear. The fragmented piece often puts pressure on a nerve, which can cause pain.
- Fractured vertebrae. A fractured vertebra is often caused by a car accident, fall, gunshot, or sports injury. These fractures are very serious, as they can injure spinal nerves, which can sometimes do irreparable damage to the body.
Again, there are a lot of cases of back pain that will resolve on their own. However, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms that would require treatment from a spine specialist. When a back or spine gets injured, it can become very serious, very fast.