Do You Need Spinal Care?

Understanding When You Need Spinal Care

From the moment you get out of bed in the morning until the moment your head touches the pillow at night, your spine is hard at work, supporting everything you do. When it’s not functioning properly, it affects your daily movements and ability to do certain activities. It can also cause discomfort, fatigue, and pain. Spinal care is vital for your comfort and your health. Find out about your spinal care options and when you should seek help.

Questions and Answers About Spinal Care

How common is back pain?

Given how much the spine does every day, back pain is fairly common. In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Causes range from overuse or misuse to infection, trauma, obesity, degeneration of vertebrae, and more.

What are the symptoms?

 Torso shot of a doctor showing a replica of the spine to a patient who is holding a hand to a sore lower back. From burning pain at the base of your neck due to poor posture at your keyboard or pain in your lower back from lifting a heavy object, you could be experiencing pain for a variety of reasons. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain in the shoulders or arms
  • Muscle spasms in the lower back or pelvis area
  • Difficulty standing up straight, walking, or going from standing to sitting
  • A tinging, burning pain that moves from the low back to the backs of the thighs that can also include numbness or tingling
How is back pain diagnosed?

The cause of your back pain is often discovered during a medical exam and/or x-ray. An MRI may also be used to see if there is damage to soft tissues, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. Blood tests can also help diagnose if arthritis is the cause.

What are the causes?

Causes are many and may include:

  • Mental and physical stress
  • Damage to disks, such as herniated or slipped disks or degenerative disease
  • Spinal stenosis, Spondylolisthesis, and other conditions
  • Scoliosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Cervical radiculopathy, or a pinched nerve
  • Lifestyle triggers, including slouching, being overweight, smoking, and lifting heavy objects
What kinds of spinal care treatment options are there?

From natural spinal care using exercise to strengthen muscles to support your back to corrective spinal care that can include chiropractic options or surgery for disk problems or osteoarthritis, there are many treatment options. Other non-surgical treatment options your physician may recommend or prescribe before pursuing more advanced spinal care include:

  • Application of heat or cold
  • Physical therapy
  • Nutrition counseling and/or weight loss to reduce stress and strain
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Braces or corsets for support
  • Acupuncture

Surgical options include:

  • Lumbar decompression
  • Cervical decompression
  • Cervical fusion
  • Lumbar, thoracic, or thoracolumbar fusion
  • Scoliosis surgery
  • Artificial disc replacement
When should I call a doctor?

If you are experiencing any back pain or discomfort that persists after medication and rest, you shouldn’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. But if you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor right away because it could be a sign of a more serious condition or damage:

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control, with weakness in both legs
  • Pain after an injury or a fall
  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in your legs or arms
  • Fever
  • Unintentional weight loss

Let us help you determine the cause of your back pain and help you with the spinal care you need. Call Town Center Orthopaedic Associates any time at (571) 250-5435, or request an appointment online today.

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