Back pain accounts for the vast majority of days off work. This problem affects millions of people annually and, perhaps due to its prevalence, is often perceived as a normal part of aging. As we say to many of our patients, back pain is not normal at any age. It is an indication of something gone wrong in one or more areas of the spine. Rather than dealing with back pain as a normal aspect of life, you’re better off scheduling a consultation with a medical doctor. Depending on how long your pain has existed or its effects on your life, a consultation with a spine expert may be ideal. Here, we discuss why.
What a Spine Consultation Could do for You
Back pain is usually addressed in one of two ways. One is that people do nothing and hope pain will resolve on its own. The other is that people engage in conservative, passive treatments like rest, changing their activity level, and taking over-the-counter medication as needed to reduce pain. Neither is pro-active, as much as they may seem so. Additionally, neither of these approaches gets to the root cause of pain. Only a thorough consultation and examination can achieve the following:
- Uncover the cause of pain. The spine is a complex matrix of bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and nerves that may respond to various conditions with similar symptoms. For example, you may have low back pain because of a pinched nerve or you may have it because you’ve slipped a disc. Getting to the exact cause of pain is essential to appropriate treatment.
- Successful treatment planning. We recently discussed the value of telemedicine in the area of spinal health. Whether you see a specialist in person or over a video conference, you can expect comprehensive care that is very similar to what you would receive in person. Speaking with a spine specialist about neck or back pain expands your options for care, which can make an enormous difference in reaching a satisfactory outcome.
- Identifying and accounting for obstacles. If you consult with a spine specialist versus a general physician about back pain, your provider should have greater insights into what you may face as you go through recommended treatment. This is just as much the case for nonsurgical care like physical therapy as it is for surgical intervention.
We’ve learned quite a lot this past year. One of the insights we’ve gained is that health is wealth. You deserve the very best, which is one more reason to schedule a consultation with a spine expert like Dr. Albert to get to the bottom of your back or neck pain. You can do so here or by calling our NYC office directly at 212-606-1004.