A spine specialist deals with a range of conditions that cause pain, mobility issues and other problems with backs and spines. They use modern and cutting edge techniques that can manage back pain and improve the day to day lives of their patients without the need for surgery.
How Common is Back Pain?
It is estimated that 80% of people will experience some back pain or a problem with their backs during their lifetime. In the United States back pain is one of the most common ailments and it affects 8% of adults which is 16 million people.
Is Back Pain Costly?
Back pain costs the healthcare industry $50 billion each year and if you include decreased productivity and lost wages then the total rises to over $100 billion. It is the biggest cause of disability in the world and prevents many people from leading an active and productive life.
It accounts for over 260 million sick days a year in the US alone. That adds up to more than 2 days lost for every full-time work in the states.
When Should You Visit a Spine Doctor or Specialist?
Many people avoid going to see a specialist because they are worried about surgery. For the majority of cases, perhaps as much as 99%, surgery is an absolute last resort. If you are suffering from severe back pain or having problems with mobility and your quality of life is being diminished then you should visit a spine specialist.
If you are having sciatic pain where the nerve pain travels from your lower back through the buttocks and down the leg then you should see a doctor. This pain could be caused by a herniated disc and needs to be looked at sooner rather than later. Your nerves are trying to tell you something is wrong so don’t ignore them.
Similarly you might have a nagging pain that has been occurring for weeks. It doesn’t have to be severe but if it isn’t going away then there may be a problem that a specialist can help you with. It could be that you have had an injury while taking part in an activity and it just doesn’t seem to be getting better.
Perhaps you are left with limited range of movement in your lower back and this would be a good time to see a specialist. Look for a local recommended doctor in your area. Check reviews and visit probably one of the best spine and back specialists in New Jersey or whichever region you are living in.
What Will a Spine Specialist do?
The doctor will diagnose your condition and the causes of the pain that you are suffering. Through this procedure he or she will try to get to the bottom of the problem and then work out a suitable plan for treating you. These treatment plans are custom made and will take into consideration your own personal needs.
A spine specialist will seek to avoid surgery and provide effective non-surgical pain relief and management of the condition.
All treatments can be carried out in the doctor’s office and if a treatment requires a different type of professional such as an acupuncturist then you will be referred to one.
What Treatments Should You Expect from a Spine Doctor?
There are a variety of treatments that are available to the doctor to help treat all the possible back problems and types of pain. The most common treatment might be physical therapy.
This type of therapy would be custom tailored to the individual and their condition but will generally involve strengthening and conditioning the problem areas such as the lumbar to help in recovery. This type of therapy can also help in reducing the chances of a condition worsening or even happening in the first place.
Treatments may also include, medical massages, heat therapy, electrical stimulation, steroid injections including epidurals, acupuncture, anti-inflammatory medication and some alternative treatments too.
What Causes Back Pain?
Your back is made up from bones, joints, muscles and ligaments and is a very complicated structure. There are many ways you can cause pain to your back including irritating joints, rupturing discs or straining muscles for example. Arthritis, obesity, poor posture, high heels and kidney stones can cause pain in this region.
Obviously accidents and injuries from sports can cause problems to the back with long lasting effects but often it is something very simple that can cause great discomfort such as bending over to retrieve something form the floor or to tie shoe laces up.
What Problems Does a Spine Doctor Treat?
The most common problem a spine doctor sees is lower or lumbar back pain. This can cause pain and lack of movement. Muscle spasms and sciatica are also common lower back pain symptoms.
Other conditions include middle to upper back pain, scoliosis (curvature of the spine), slipped or herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica and spinal stenosis. These conditions can be caused by traumatic accidents, falls, sports injuries, everyday wear and tear or from overactivity.
What Can I do to Improve Things Myself?
There are many things you can do to reduce the chances of back problems or pain. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active can help reduce the chances of sciatica. Unfortunately repetitive movements such as running can also bring on sciatic nerve pain but exercising is still better than being inactive.
Make sure you warm up and stretch properly before exercising or carrying out a physical activity. Stop smoking to increase your blood flow and oxygen to your spinal tissues. Invest in a quality mattress. Maintain proper posture when sitting and walking and wear comfortable shoes.
As you know now the spine specialists can treat a number of ailments that are all too common. Back pain can be debilitating and destroy any quality of life in the most severe cases. If you have pain or other symptoms such as reduced range of movement then visit a specialist.
Many back problems are better treated if caught early. Degenerative disc disease for example can cause a range of other problems such as sciatica, osteoarthritis, stenosis and herniated discs if it is not treated.
Seeing a spine specialist can result in your condition being diagnosed early on and then managed in a way that keeps you active and enjoying life.