Back and Neck Pain

Chronic neck pain and back pain are among the most common reasons for a visit to a doctor’s office. There are many causes of neck and back pain. At times, a primary care physician is able to manage this pain without further referral. Other times, patients are referred to neurologists, physiatrists or pain specialists for further evaluation and management. If medical management is unsuccessful or insufficient, your physician may refer you to a physical therapist or a neurosurgeon.

Among the disorders that may be causing your pain include: 

  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal deformity (scoliosis, kyphosis)
  • Trauma, including fractures
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis fractures
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Spinal tumors
  • Spinal infections
  • Chiari malformation

Diagnosis includes tests like:

  • Physical exam, including range of motion
  • X-rays, CT scans and/or MRI scans
  • Electromyogram (EMG) to assess nerve and muscle damage
  • Blood and/or urine tests

Treatments for back and neck pain include: 

  • Physiatry 
  • Physical therapy 
  • Medical pain management 
  • Injections
  • Counseling
  • Home remedies
  • Open spine surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery 
  • Artificial discs

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