When to see a spine specialist? (2024)

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When to see a spine specialist?

You have weakness or numbness in your arms, hands, legs or feet. Weakness, numbness or tingling in your extremities (arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes) could indicate that there's a problem with your spine in the lumbar (lower back) region.

(Video) When do you need to see a spine specialist?
(Los Angeles Minimally Invasive Spine Institute)
How do you know when something is wrong with your spine?

Spinal problems refer to diseases or injuries that affect the spine, such as spinal stenosis. They cause symptoms that include lower back pain, numbness, and tingling sensations. There are many types of spinal conditions that may cause pain and discomfort, and these conditions can result from: genetics.

(Video) When should I see a spine surgeon? Spine health answers
(Keck Medicine of USC)
When should I get my spine checked?

If your back pain is from a recent strain or mild injury, your primary care doctor can probably help. But if the pain is severe, ongoing, or accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, it may be time to see a back doctor.

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(Surgical Associates in Spine)
Why am I being referred to a spine specialist?

A physician will refer their patient to a spine surgeon if and when: A patient has acute or chronic pain in the back or neck. An injury that affects the back, neck or parts of the nervous system. A person suffers from a degenerative medical condition that affects the bones, muscles or nerves along the length of the ...

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(Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates)
What is the most common spine disease?

Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is one of the most common spine issues in older adults. It refers to weakened bones due to a lower bone mass. Weakened bones in the spine become brittle and damaged, which can lead to fractures, collapsed vertebrae, and a hunched posture.

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What does a deteriorating spine feel like?

Pain that gets worse when bending, lifting or twisting. Feeling better while walking or even running than while sitting or standing for long periods of time. Feeling better changing positions often or lying down. Periods of severe pain that come and go.

(Video) When It's Time To See a Spine Surgeon
(Prasad Spine Academy)
How do you know if back pain is muscular or spinal?

Radiating pain

Strained muscles cause localized pain (at the site of the injury), but the pain can sometimes radiate to your buttocks. However, if you find that your pain runs from your buttocks and down through your leg, you might be dealing with sciatica or even a herniated disc in your lumbar spine.

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(TexasBackInstitute)
What are the red flags for spine exam?

“Red flags” include pain that lasts more than 6 weeks; pain in persons younger than 18 years or older than 50 years; pain that radiates below the knee; a history of major trauma; constitutional symptoms; atypical pain (eg, that which occurs at night or that is unrelenting); the presence of a severe or rapidly ...

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How do I know if my spine is inflamed?

Symptoms. Patients with spinal inflammation will experience back pain in some form. Those with infections, for example, may experience a slow onset of severe back pain, accompanied by fever, chills, and fatigue. Patients with ankylosing spondylitis experience slow-onset pain as well, but it may come and go.

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Will a CT scan show spine problems?

A CT scan of the spine may be performed to assess the spine for a herniated disk, tumors and other lesions, the extent of injuries, structural anomalies such as spina bifida (a type of congenital defect of the spine), blood vessel malformations, or other conditions, particularly when another type of examination, such ...

(Video) When is it Time to See a Spine Specialist? | Dr. James Behr
(Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates)

Which doctor is best for spine problems?

Most spine surgeons are either orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons who are fellowship-trained in spine. Patients with problems in any region of the musculoskeletal system. For example, those with broken bones, dislocations, back pain, spine and limb deformities, torn ligaments, and arthritis.

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(Azalea Orthopedics)
What is the difference between an orthopedic surgeon and a spine specialist?

Orthopedics is a category of medicine that focuses on the musculoskeletal system. Spine specialists, of course, focus only on the diseases and issues associated with the spine. These physicians are trained to detect and treat conditions impacting or stemming from the spine through surgery or other means.

When to see a spine specialist? (2024)
What specialist treats spinal bones?

Orthopedists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of almost all bone and joint disorders, such as: Spinal disorders. Arthritis. Sports injuries.

What autoimmune disease attacks the spine?

Ankylosing spondylitis, also known as axial spondyloarthritis, is an inflammatory disease that, over time, can cause some of the bones in the spine, called vertebrae, to fuse. This fusing makes the spine less flexible and can result in a hunched posture. If ribs are affected, it can be difficult to breathe deeply.

What disease messes with your spine?

Injuries. Tumors. Conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis and scoliosis. Bone changes that come with age, such as spinal stenosis and herniated disks.

What is the average age for spinal degeneration?

By the age of 35, approximately 30% of people will show evidence of disc degeneration at one or more levels. By the age of 60, more than 90% of people will show evidence of some disc degeneration. Degeneration itself is normal, and does not necessarily cause pain.

What are the 4 stages of spinal stenosis?

There are for main stages: the dysfunction stage, the dehydration stage, the stabilization stage, and the collapsing stage. Most people don't even realize that they're in the dysfunction stage because there is not usually any pain involved, although the spine will start to deform at this stage.

What is the first stage of spinal degeneration?

Stage 1: Dysfunction

The first stage of degenerative disc disease (DDD) is often painless. There can be subtle changes in the curvature of the spine which you may or may not notice. As the spine loses its normal arch, your posture is affected, placing added stress on the spinal nerves and hastening their aging process.

Is heat or ice better for back pain?

When you first notice your soreness expanding to your lower back, it is important to start ice therapy immediately. This should reduce tissue damage, inflammation and pain. If the soreness continues after one day, switch to heat therapy. Switching to heat therapy should encourage tissue healing.

What part of back hurts with heart issues?

Sometimes, the pain is only present in the upper back. It's also possible to feel pain in your neck, jaws, shoulders, or abdomen. Back pain that occurs with exercise and disappears with rest could also be a sign of heart failure.

How do I know if my back pain is neurological?

Although low back pain is a common occurrence, some features warrant evaluation from a medical professional, such as persistent or worsening back pain; neurologic symptoms, including numbness, weakness, or tingling; or changes in bowel or bladder function.

How can I get my spine checked?

A spinal specialist can perform a physical exam and may offer scans such as X-rays, MRIs or CTs to determine the source of the problem.

What is the straight leg test for back pain?

The straight leg raise test, also called the Lasegue test, is a fundamental maneuver during the physical examination of a patient with lower back pain. It aims to assess for lumbosacral nerve root irritation. This test can be positive in a variety of conditions, though lumbar disc herniation is the most common.

How do doctors check your spine?

As with MRI, CAT scans help diagnose problems with the spinal canal and the surrounding tissues. Electrophysiological tests, such as an electromyography or EMG, which helps measure the electrical activity in muscle. This test helps doctors check for problems with the muscles and nerves.

What is the best treatment for inflammation in the spine?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids (pills or injections) to reduce pain and swelling. Other medications targeting specific symptoms or triggers of inflammatory arthritis. Physical therapy to improve back muscle strength and range of motion in the spine.

What are the symptoms of calcification of the spine?

Neck pain and stiffness are most common. Low fever, limitation of motion, and muscle spasm are also commonly reported [1]. Neurologic symptoms appear due to compression of the nerve root and spinal cord from herniation, as a result of calcification.

Which is better MRI or CT scan for spine?

Typically, CT scans are better at scanning bone images than MRIs. However, they expose patients to a small dose of radiation, whereas MRIs do not. MRIs are ideal for diagnosing soft tissue and spinal ligament issues.

Why would a doctor order a CT scan of spine?

A CT scan of the spine may be performed to assess the spine for a herniated disk, tumors and other lesions, the extent of injuries, structural anomalies such as spina bifida (a type of congenital defect of the spine), blood vessel malformations, or other conditions, particularly when another type of examination, such ...

Will an MRI show a pinched nerve?

MRIs create images using a radiofrequency magnetic field, a technique that clearly shows pinched nerves, disc disease, and inflammation or infections in the spinal tissues. MRI is usually the preferred imaging for pinched nerves.

How do I know if my back pain is serious?

You should see a doctor if your pain does not improve after a few weeks or if any of the following symptoms happen with your back pain: Numbness and tingling. Severe back pain that does not improve with medication (see Treatment section). Back pain after a fall or injury.

Can a neurologist help with spine issues?

As mentioned above, neurologists are specialists in conditions that affect the nervous system. This includes the brain, spine, and nerves. Because of this, neurologists are able to provide a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating back pain.

What is the best spine clinic in the US?

The 5 Best Hospitals in the US for Spine Surgery
  1. Cedars-Sinai. Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills, CA is not only one of the top hospitals in the country, but also has a renowned surgery center. ...
  2. Emory University Hospital. ...
  3. UCSF Medical Center. ...
  4. Och Spine Hospital. ...
  5. Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Jul 20, 2023

What is the newest treatment for spinal stenosis?

Weill Cornell Medicine Pain Management offers a new technology to treat spinal stenosis and minimize the painful symptoms. Vertiflex superion is a device that is implanted into the area of the spine causing pain and relieves pressure on the affected nerves.

What is the difference between a neurologist and a spine specialist?

Neurosurgeon vs. Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon. The main difference between fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopaedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons is in training. A neurosurgeon is trained to treat conditions of the brain and spine, while an orthopaedic spine surgeon specializes in treating the spine.

When should I see a neurosurgeon for back pain?

If you are experiencing recurrent symptoms, including strange sensations, uncontrolled movements, and memory issues, you need to visit the neurosurgeon to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of the discomfort.

What does a physiatrist do for back pain?

A physiatrist is a physician with specialty training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The goal of this specialty is to help people with various musculoskeletal conditions that cause acute and chronic pain. The focus is to decrease their pain and increase their functional status by using non-surgical methods.

What doctor specializes in muscles and nerves?

A neurologist is a specialist physician who treats diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerve and muscle. A neurologist can help identify the cause of symptoms and create a treatment plan for both common and complex neurological conditions.

What is lupus spine?

According to the Lupus Research Institute, lupus myelitis is a form of transverse myelitis (a neurological disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord). 2 Transverse myelitis implies that the inflammation occurs across both sides of the affected level of the spinal cord.

What are the red flags of ankylosing spondylitis?

stiffness and increased pain in the morning after waking up that lessens throughout the day as you move around. pain that worsens during sleep, which can wake you up. relief from light exercise, stretching, or a hot shower. pain may move from side to side, especially initially.

What are the 3 most common symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?

The symptoms of AS can vary but usually involve:
  • back pain and stiffness that improves with exercise and isn't relieved by rest.
  • pain and swelling in other parts of the body, such as the hips, knees and ribs.
  • fatigue (extreme tiredness)
Feb 24, 2023

How do I know if something is wrong with my spine?

Weakness, numbness or tingling in your extremities (arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes) could indicate that there's a problem with your spine in the lumbar (lower back) region.

What is spondylosis of spine?

What Is Spondylosis? Spondylosis is a condition in which there is abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones of the neck (cervical vertebrae). It is a common cause of chronic neck pain.

What is the best painkiller for spinal stenosis?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce pain and inflammation. Examples of over-the-counter NSAIDs include aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Analgesics help relieve pain but don't affect inflammation. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a common analgesic used for spinal stenosis.

What is spinal arthritis?

Spinal arthritis is inflammation of the facet joints in the spine or sacroiliac joints between the spine and the pelvis. It may be related to wear and tear, autoimmune disorders, infection and other conditions.

What is the flatback syndrome?

Flatback syndrome is a condition in which the lower spine loses some of its normal curvature. It is a type of sagittal imbalance, or front-to-back imbalance in the spine. Normally, the spine has several gentle front-to-back curves. The lumbar (lower) spine has a lordosis, or inward curve.

What are degenerative diseases of the spine?

Common degenerative conditions of the spine may include arthritis, stenosis, slipped or herniated discs, and radiculopathy or pinched nerves, also known as sciatica. When nerves are affected, symptoms may include weakness, tingling, numbness, or shooting pain.

What are the 5 signs of a spinal injury?

What are the symptoms of a spinal cord injury?
  • Weakness in the arms and or legs.
  • Decreased sensation in the arms and or legs.
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control.
  • Severe pain or pressure in the neck or back.
  • Unusual lumps along the spine.
  • Difficulty breathing.
Dec 1, 2020

How can I check my spine at home?

Have the individual being tested stand with their arms extended with their palms together as they bend at the waist. At this time look for signs of asymmetry by observing the position from the front and the back. Does anything look uneven, such as hips or parts of the ribcage sitting higher than the other side?

What is the best way to check your spine?

Radiographs, sometimes referred to as “X-Rays,” are perhaps the simplest, least expensive study that provides key information. The overall alignment of the spine, the degree of bone mineral density (osteoporosis), and the presence or absence of instability (spondylolisthesis) may be diagnosed with this simple study.

What is a red flag for spine injury?

Loss of feeling or the feeling of pins and needles / numbness in your lower limbs; Numbness in or around your back passage; Loss of sensation between your inner thighs or genitals; and. Bladder and/or bowel dysfunction.

What are the symptoms of nerve damage in the back?

When a nerve in the spine is damaged it can cause pain, increased sensitivity, numbness and muscle weakness. Pain can originate from multiple nerve roots. Radicular pain refers to pain that comes from one single nerve root.

What happens if spinal injury is left untreated?

If ignored, spinal cord injuries may lead to partial or total paralysis, affecting the victim's quality of life severely.

What disease attacks the spine?

Ankylosing spondylitis, also known as axial spondyloarthritis, is an inflammatory disease that, over time, can cause some of the bones in the spine, called vertebrae, to fuse. This fusing makes the spine less flexible and can result in a hunched posture. If ribs are affected, it can be difficult to breathe deeply.

Can you tell if your spine is out of alignment?

Oftentimes, a misaligned spine can be identified by looking at yourself in a full-length mirror. When you stand up straight, do you notice that your head is tilted to one side, your shoulders aren't on the same plane, or that you're leaning to one side? Does one foot rotate outward more than the other?

What is the best scan for spine pain?

A detailed image of the back region is produced using an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan of the cervical (upper area), thoracic (middle), or lumbar (lower back). A spinal MRI scan can also be used to diagnose a wide range of uncommon spinal injuries and disorders, such as: Sclerosis.

How do you test for a pinched nerve in your spine?

Pinched nerve
  1. Blood tests. You may need tests to measure your fasting blood glucose or thyroid levels.
  2. Spinal tap (lumbar puncture). ...
  3. X-rays. ...
  4. Nerve conduction study. ...
  5. Electromyography (EMG). ...
  6. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). ...
  7. High-resolution ultrasound.
Jan 22, 2022

What is arthritis of the spine?

Osteoarthritis of the spine usually affects the facet joints between the vertebrae. It is also known as facet joint arthritis, facet joint syndrome and facet disease. In some cases, degeneration of the spinal discs (degenerative disc disease) may contribute to facet joint arthritis.

References

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