Back, Neck and Spine Doctors & Surgeons
Almost everyone, at some point in their life, will have an episode of neck or back pain. It is one of the most common medical problems seen by emergency room and primary care doctors. The good news is that most of the time, these neck and back episodes are self-limited, or temporary. They generally get better on their own, though some episodes may last longer than others.
Over 90% of the time, back and neck problems can improve without aggressive treatment; simply managing the symptoms during an episode may suffice. The pain often responds simply to modifying activities, avoiding actions that trigger the pain, taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, and rest. Physical therapy, home exercises, stretching and short-term medications are sometimes recommended as well. Although the initial pain may be severe, it is very likely that neck and back issues will eventually resolve on their own, ranging from days to months. On occasion, the pain may reoccur; a nonaggressive treatment protocol will often help once again.
A painful, yet fairly common problem that people can have is nerve pinching pain, or radiculopathy. In lower back, it can also be referred to as a herniated disc, or sciatica, when pain also radiates down the leg. The overwhelming majority of pinched nerve episodes will get better without aggressive treatment and will respond well to the conservative protocol of anti-inflammatories, behavior modifications, and physical therapy. On occasion, this type of injury might require more aggressive interventions if numbness tingling, or weakness is involved. If so, your doctor will proceed with advanced imaging (MRI) of the neck, cervical and lumbar spine, depending on what part of the body is affected. If a pinched nerve is found, patients can be referred for further non-operative care such as epidural injections or cortisone shots in the back.
If all conservative efforts fail to relieve a patient's pain, they might qualify for surgical intervention. Two commonly performed procedures include a microdiscectomy for the spine, which is minimally invasive and can often be done on an outpatient basis, and a fusion for the neck, which stabilizes bones (vertebrae). These types of procedures have an 85-90% success rate in relieving radiating pain, often immediately.
If you are suffering from any type of neck or back pain, our leading orthopedic doctors are here to help. From conservative treatments to surgical interventions, our physicians will do everything they can to provide you with relief.
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