Sometimes, back pain resolves itself. However, more often, back pain becomes persistent and gets worse. You need to see an orthopedist if your back pain does not get better with home treatment. Your primary care doctor may not be the best physician for persistent or worsening back pain.
There are many underlying conditions that can cause back pain, and an orthopedic doctor, who spends years studying the treatment of back pain conditions, can treat it. Here are some of the most common back pain conditions treated by orthopedists.
The discs act as cushions for the vertebrae and shock absorbers for the spine. They can develop cracks and the inner material can become herniated or get pushed out, leading to a cascade of other problems that cause back pain. Degenerative disc disease and a herniated disc can cause spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the spinal canal – and a pinched spinal cord or spinal nerves due to the material escaping and pressing on the nervous tissues.
Steroid injections directed into the epidural space can help manage the pain from degenerative disc disease and herniated discs. Physical therapy can also help with both degenerative disc disease and a herniated disc as strengthening exercises help provide stability and support to the spine. Orthopedists can remove the herniated portion of the disc, or perform a microdiscectomy, for immediate relief from disc pain. Additionally, fusion surgery, which aims to reduce movement between vertebrae and provide stability to the spine, can help improve symptoms.
Arthritis most commonly affects the lower back and the neck. It can affect facet joints – which are connections between the spine bones – and the sacroiliac joints, which link the pelvis to the lower region of the spine. It is often a result of wear and tear, which causes the protective cartilage over the joints to wear away. As the disease progresses, the vertebrae can develop spurs, which are bony overgrowths, as the body attempts to repair itself.
While there is no cure for arthritis, orthopedists can prescribe treatments that help slow the disease progression and improve the patient’s symptoms. Arthritis can be well-managed using conservative and minimally invasive treatments.
To treat spine arthritis, orthopedists may recommend medication, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and lifestyle changes to help manage the symptoms. If bone spurs continue to cause unmanageable pain, orthopedists may perform surgery to remove them.
Back Pain Treatment in Watertown, NY
If you are looking for back pain treatment from an orthopedist, choose North Country Orthopaedic Group. Our orthopedic surgeons are board-certified and treat patients in our state-of-the-art orthopedic facilities.
We offer our patients top-notch, specialized care, and our board-certified spine specialist, Dr. Bruce L. Baird, is focused on your treatment. We are very proud of our spine program and use the latest treatment methods and surgical techniques to treat our patients suffering from back pain in our high-tech ambulatory surgical center.
From diagnosis to treatment to rehabilitation, you only have to go to one location as we also offer physical therapy services in our facilities. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Baird, call us today at (315) 782-1650 or use our convenient appointment request form.