As mentioned above, there are still certain cases of back and neck pain that will eventually only benefit from spinal surgery. In these cases, it helps to have a neurologist who can offer an accurate diagnosis as a starting point for your spinal surgeon. Having your neurologist coordinate with your spinal surgeon ultimately benefits you by allowing you to have a precise treatment plan. Many people associate a neurological exam with patients who are paralyzed, have suffered a stroke, or who have problems sleeping. Although this is true, assessing a patient’s neurological function is important to diagnosing and treating spinal problems too.
A pediatrician is the family healthcare provider for a child from birth until the early adult years. If your child’s spine condition requires a specialist, your pediatrician will likely refer you. The cause of back pain can be different for each patient and even more challenging to determine. Together, the doctor and patient can work on non-surgical treatment to stop the pain. This doctor also has the tools available to assess back pain like an x-Ray and MRI.
Neurologists have the advantage of knowing the health of the patient’s nerves and muscles. This means the neurologist can then use non-surgical options to treat the condition. Neurologists also encourage techniques like chiropractic care or biofeedback therapy. According to the American Academy of Neurology, a neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of brain and nervous system conditions. Neurologists use diagnostic tests like electroencephalograms , magnetic resonance imaging , and computer-assisted tomography scans to identify neurological conditions.
Just as injury begets weakness which begets more injury, one spine surgery frequently leads to more spine surgeries. And spine surgery is one of the highest profit centers for our hospital-centered healthcare, in the medical-industrial-congressional complex. While there are different causes of neck and back pain, many cases can be attributed to nerve problems. Since neurologists are basically nerve experts, they are able to effectively determine if your pain is being caused by nerve damage or compression. Furthermore, a neurologist can use certain diagnostic tests to pinpoint the specific location of the affected nerve, which allows for more direct treatment.
However, if your diagnosis exposes a physical cause for a neurological condition, a neurologist may make a referral to a neurosurgeon if surgery is needed to remove or correct the condition to improve your outcome. “We usually take a conservative approach first, using a wide variety of nonsurgical spine treatments,” said Dr. Guo. I might recommend medications spinal injury neurology expert witness such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, or some nerve-pain medications. If you have a spinal injury, you might wonder what type of doctor you should see for treatment. It can be confusing at first to know whether neurology in San Antonio or an orthopedic doctor will provide you with the treatment you need to heal from your spinal injury.
Neurological diseases can include headaches; epilepsy; stroke; movement disorders, such as tremor or Parkinson’s disease; and many others. Neurosurgeons work with the entire nervous system that starts in your brain, runs through your spine, and branches out to all areas of your body. Neurosurgeons treat many painful conditions, such as low back pain, epilepsy, stroke, sciatica, pinched nerves and chronic pain. For example, carpal tunnel symptoms may be related to spinal disc problems in the neck. In fact, about 70 percent of a neurosurgeon’s time is devoted to your spine, treating back pain, neck pain, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease and even leg pain.
Once this portion of a patient’s care plan has ended, a neurologist will refer the patient to another doctor to follow up on their progress and rehabilitation. The better part of an orthopedic doctors’ day is spent on treating injuries of the spine, back, and neck. They also follow their patient from the start of treatment all the way through to recovery. They are with patients every step of the way including diagnosis, treatment options, and rehabilitation, all the while following up on a patient’s progress until rehabilitation is completed. Starting with a neurologist to discuss your back pain will give you a very different experience than starting with a surgeon. Sometimes it’s surgery, sometimes it’s going through nonsurgical reliefs such as changing your sleep position, physical therapy or fixing your posture.
A general neurological examination provides the physician with valuable insight into the patient’s brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. Your completion of medical history pertaining to your visit is very important to our ability to provide care for you. Most insurance companies require more than 3 months of conservative treatment prior to approving diagnostic tests and surgery. If your healthcare provider deems your problem a serious one, they will likely order diagnostic tests and/or refer you on to a specialist such as a rheumatologistor a neurologist. But family healthcare providers can be slow to include new back treatments as they come out.
The neurosurgeon is a part of the diagnosis, non-surgical treatment, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of their patients. Most neurosurgeons spend an additional year of fellowship training, to further specialize in a specific area of neurosurgery. While both neurologists and neurosurgeons diagnose and treat conditions that involve the nervous system, neurologists don’t perform surgery. Neurologists are focused on discovering diagnosis-specific neurological conditions that can be corrected — via medications or other therapies — or require close management.
There is some overlap between these two types of specialists and the conditions they treat. Sometimes these doctors work collaboratively; a neurologist can refer their patients to a neurosurgeon when surgery is required and then the patient returns to the neurologist for long-term management. If you have a condition or symptoms that you think require a brain and spine specialist, ask your primary care physician about which type of specialist to see. Our multidisciplinary team of physicians at The Center are equipped with the latest technologies and have the experience to treat any injury or condition that affects your musculoskeletal system. Both neurologists and orthopedic doctors specialize in spinal injuries and delayed injuries acquired from car accidents, but some of the main differences are in their styles and methods of treatment and care.