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5 Signs You Should See a Spine Specialist for Your Back Pain

Back pain is not easy to live with. It affects not only life and work but your mood and energy levels too. It can range from a dull persistent ache to sharp, sudden spikes of pain that make it hard for you to move or be comfortable even at rest and focus on whatever you do. It is best to consult a spine specialist if you are experiencing backache accompanied by other unusual symptoms that are affecting your quality of life. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Eric Freeman, top-rated pain management and rehabilitation specialist, for the highest quality, comprehensive pain treatment and cutting-edge care. He treats his patients with compassion and ensures you do not have to live with chronic back pain.

Almost everyone suffers from some form of back pain at least once in their life. Whether it results from lifting some heavy object like a couch or from some debilitating injury or illness, back pain can be stressful and affect your routine life and activities if you are not careful and seek timely treatment. Back injuries and other spinal defects can cause several symptoms that need a professional assessment. Over-the-counter pain-relieving medications and rest may ease the pain for some time, but they are not permanent solutions and fix the problem if your pain is resulting from some injury or an underlying condition.

It can be hard to determine if the back pain is resulting from a pulled muscle or an actual problem with the spine. In most cases, pain that happens suddenly due to twisting, bending, or lifting is more likely a muscle strain. Our muscles lose their elasticity as we grow old, and it makes us more vulnerable to injuries. Many people ignore their signs and symptoms for longer than they should, which often complicates the problem.

Back Pain

Common Causes of Back Pain

Minor back pain often results from overusing the muscles or overdoing an activity, poor posture, obesity, a weak core, or an inactive lifestyle. Back strain in such conditions usually resolves on its own with rest, anti-inflammatories, gentle stretches and exercises, and physical therapy.

Certain conditions, injuries, and illnesses can also lead to severe and long-lasting back pain that does not go away on its own. Such pain should be evaluated by an experienced physician specializing in spinal care. The specialists are experts at analyzing the painful symptoms and diagnosing the underlying condition that is contributing to the problem.

5 Signs It Is Time to See a Spine Specialist for Your Back Pain

Back injuries and other spinal defects can lead to wide-ranging symptoms, including some that you may not suspect or understand. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to schedule an appointment with a spine specialist to feel better.

Pain that does not go away with home treatments

Persistent or chronic pain of varying degrees that lasts for 12 weeks or more, even after you have tried treating the primary cause, is a warning sign that something is not right, and it must be checked by a doctor.

Although not all spinal problems cause pain at the site of injury or damage, some of them do, and it can result in persistent pain. If your back or neck pain is not going away or the home treatments are not working, visit a spine specialist. It could be anything from a slipped disc to osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or even a muscle or ligament strain causing the problem. The specialist determines the causes of your pain and recommends the best treatments, including prescription medications and physical therapy to ease your pain.

Your back pain is persistent and increasing

Pain is a sign that something is not right and needs attention. If you are having persistent pain in your back, it should not be ignored. Back pain that lasts for weeks, months, or even years means that your pain has transitioned from regular to chronic pain.

Long-term recurring or continuous pain can disturb your life. It can affect the way you sit, walk, work out, or even sleep. It can also affect your work and keep you from activities you love. If getting out of bed in the morning is becoming painful, it is time to seek professional help. It may be some underlying condition that is turning serious and must be evaluated by a spine specialist.

Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet

Weakness, numbness, or tingling in your legs or feet indicates there is some problem in the spinal region. It is because the nerves that connect these parts of the body to your brain travel through the spine, and if they get compressed or pinched due to any reason, it may lead to weakness or numbness.

Nerve compression usually happens due to disc herniation, also known as a slipped disc, a bone spur, or narrowing of the space within the spinal canal, known as stenosis. Depending on the causes, you may experience unusual sensations in the lower parts of the body. If you are experiencing tingling or numbness in the groin area and lose the ability to go to the bathroom normally, it may be a sign of cauda equina syndrome. This condition occurs when compression on the nerves at the base of the spinal column affects normal bowel or bladder functions.

A spine specialist can determine the underlying source of these symptoms and come up with the best treatments to provide relief.

You notice changes in the way you move or sit

If you are unstable on your feet, cannot walk far without pain, or continue to have pain while sitting, standing, or laying down, visit a spine specialist. Limited range of motion and inability to bend over, twist sideways, and stand up straight are a few signs of a spinal problem.

You may also notice changes in the agility of your fingers and hand as the vertebra in your upper back and neck connect the spinal column to your arms, hands, and fingers. Changes in these areas can affect your ability to perform tasks that require the use of your hands. A backache that makes fine motor skills and general movement difficult requires medical help.

The pain is diminishing your quality of life

If simple tasks like walking up the stairs, driving, bending over to tie your shoes, picking up your kids or grandkids, stretching, and moving are getting affected by your back pain and spinal injuries, it is time to see a doctor. Pain that makes it difficult to carry on routine activities should be ignored as it means your quality of life is diminishing, and you need proper treatment and support before it turns serious.

If you are experiencing any of these 5 signs, schedule an appointment with a spine specialist at Redefine Healthcare for professional assistance. The compassion and dedicated physicians help you overcome a wide variety of pain conditions relating to your back and spine.

How Can a Spine Specialist Help You?

One or more of your symptoms may indicate a significant spinal problem, or it may not be a spinal issue at all. It is necessary to see the doctor even if one symptom is present to rule out serious spinal or health issues. Spine specialists are experts at treating back ailments and providing urgent spine care. You can expect a thorough diagnosis and effective treatments to relieve the pain associated with back problems.

To begin with, the specialist will perform a physical examination and review your medical history to figure out what may be causing the discomfort. They may also ask for:

  • X-rays to check for alignment issues, arthritis or fractures
  • CT or MRI imaging to look for herniated discs or musculoskeletal issues
  • Blood tests to see if an infection could be contributing to your pain
  • Bone scans to identify any abnormal growths or tumors
  • Nerve imaging to check for compressions

Ways to Relieve Back Pain

Once the specialist has evaluated your condition, he comes up with a treatment plan specific to your needs. Most treatment plans begin with conservative therapies, including medications, lifestyle modifications, and injections to reduce inflammation, relax the muscles, and alleviate the pain.

Your doctor may also recommend complementary therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, and biofeedback, and nerve stimulation may also be added, as an alternative treatment.

If none of these options ease your pain over time and your injury or condition continues to worsen, surgery becomes necessary to improve your symptoms and reduce degenerative damage. The specialists prioritize minimally invasive surgical options that address back pain, cause less blood loss, reduce the risk of infection, and ensure quick recovery time.

Visit Redefine Healthcare if your back pain is not getting better with initial treatments and home care. It may be something serious or a sign of an underlying issue that needs specialist care. Tell the specialist about your symptoms or any injuries you have suffered recently, to help him figure out what may be wrong. Dr. Eric Freeman focuses on diagnosing the causes and factors behind your back pain and recommends the most effective treatment options to ease your discomfort as soon as possible.

Page Updated on Dec 15, 2022 by Dr. Freeman (Pain Management Specialist) of Redefine Healthcare

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Dr. Eric D. Freeman

Dr. Eric D. Freeman is a top-rated, best-in-class pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New Jersey and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.

Dr. Eric D. Freeman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New Jersey” and one of “America’s Top Physicians” for advanced sports injury treatments.

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