3 Red Flags You Need to See a Spine Specialist
Most people have a great relationship with their primary care physician. This doctor often sees the whole family, and it is not uncommon for patients to go to the same doctor for years, really building a bond of trust and comfort.
Primary care physicians are excellent doctors, but they are not specialists. If you are working with your primary care physician for pain throughout the back and neck and the pain level is not decreasing or the symptoms are not improving, you should consider asking for a referral to a spine specialist.
Top family doctors will make this recommendation without the need for the patient to ask. They will provide you with a referral, or make a recommendation of a doctor and work with the specialist as part of the treatment team. Regardless of what your doctor may do, if you experience these three issues you should make an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible.
Pain Impacting Life
For many, back pain becomes debilitating. This can include not being able to perform at work, experiencing chronic pain on a 24/7 basis, or it can limit your ability to enjoy the fun things in life.
There are new non-invasive or minimally invasive technologies for both the diagnosis and treatment of back pain. This type of procedures require limited recovery time and can permanently reduce or even eliminate pain.
Relying on Medications
The prescription of medications, particularly those for pain, can impact some patients almost as much as living with the back pain. Dependence on these medications is very real, but it is also the way that the patient is able to cope.
Short-term use of prescription pain medications can be highly effective in treating back pain. Long-term use can increase the risk of addiction and lead to serious health issues.
Physical Therapy or Treatment Is Not Working
A spine specialist should be consulted if you have been attending physical therapy or if you are using treatment methods that are not having a positive impact on the level of pain in your back.
It is important to talk to your primary care physician before these treatment options and learn about the results you can expect and the timeline to see the results. When you are completing physical therapy or the recommended treatment without seeing any improvement, a specialist can often adjust the treatment or recommend a more appropriate option based on their unique training, experience and understanding of the conditions of the spine.
At Suburban Orthopaedics, our spine specialist works as a part of a comprehensive treatment team to address all types of back pain and injuries. To find out more about our services go to www.suburbanortho.com. You can follow them on Twitter for further news and updates!