Correctly identifying medical problems of spinal origin, and treating them early is critical not only to bring comfort, but also to prevent complications ... so you can remain active and functionally independent in your daily activities.
Symptoms & Signs of a Spinal Problem
- Pain in your neck or back
- Pain may also appear in your arms, legs, trunk or virtually any muscle in your body
- You can also develop weakness, numbness, tingling sensation, difficulty walking, or incontinence due to a spinal disorder
- In rare occasions, weight loss and fever can also be signs of problem in the spine
Symptoms can be:
Acute - lasting up to 6 months and usually caused by injury or a disorder such as muscle strain, ligament sprain, disc herniation or arthritis. It can range from a muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain and can make it hard for you to move, stand up straight, or participate in daily activities.
Recurrent - a repeat of acute symptoms.
Chronic - pain that lasts longer than 6 months and often gets worse over time. Its cause can be difficult to identify.
What You Can Expect
During your first visit to the spine center, you will have an in-depth discussion with our nurse to identify your symptoms and any medical problems or incidents that may be causing them.
The doctor will then obtain a thorough history and perform a detailed physical examination of your spinal and associated musculoskeletal and neurological system. The doctor will talk with you about his impression of your problems and his recommendations on what should be done next.
After your initial evaluation, some tests may be ordered to confirm your diagnosis.
A Nerve Conduction Study and/or EMG (Electromyography) may be needed to test your major peripheral nerves. This will help to identify any peripheral damage that is causing weakness, numbness, tingling sensation, or pain, and provide information about the location of the nerve problem.
You may also need other testing, such as X-ray, MRI, Cat Scan (CT), bone scan, or blood test. If so, the staff at the center will assist you with timely scheduling of the tests, take care of getting authorization from your insurance company if needed, and schedule a follow-up appointment for you with the center.
Treating Your Pain
With information from your evaluation and test results, the doctor will create a treatment and follow-up plan. Most back and neck pain can be treated without surgery, using methods such as physical therapy and pain management. Lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, weight loss and stress management can make a difference as well. Our goal is to return you to normal activities quickly without heavy reliance on pain medication.
If you need physical therapy, our office staff will help schedule you, and the spine rehab center doctor will monitor your progress throughout therapy. After your therapy is complete, you will have a follow-up visit at the spine rehab center to determine if you are healing as expected or if additional treatment is needed.
Depending on your diagnosis, you may be referred to a neurologist, neurosurgeon or pain management specialist. If so, our doctor will work with the specialist to stay abreast of your progress and keep your primary care physician updated.
The Genesis Spine Rehab Center team includes a board-certified physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical therapists and a specialized rehabilitation nurse. The team also works closely with staff in several Genesis services, including the Center for Outpatient and Occupational Rehabilitation (COOR), pain management center, imaging/radiology, laboratory and complementary medicine. Neurosurgeons and neurologists on the Genesis medical staff are also an extension of the services offered at the spine rehab center..
About Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Physical medicine and rehabilitation (also known as physiatry) - is a branch of medicine that is about 50 years old. Today, more than 6,000 physicians practice in this field. Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians are specially trained in diagnosis, treatment and management of physical impairment and disability due to medical illness of diverse area such as the neurological system and musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones).
Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians use a variety of means such as heat or cold, electrical stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound, therapeutic exercise, braces, prostheses, assistive devices, wheelchair, etc. to improve physical function. They work closely with physical and occupational therapists and speech language pathologists.
The Genesis Spine Rehab Center team diagnoses and treats a full range of spinal disorders that cause pain and disability, including:
- Neck & Lower Back Pain
- Spinal Arthritis
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal Disc Disorders
- Cervical & Lumbar Radiculopathy
- Cervical & Lumbar Myelopathy
- Spinal Cord Compression or Injury
- Spinal Deformity
- Spinal Fracture
- Musculoskeletal disorders associated with or secondary to spinal disorders
View additional information about Back and Neck Rehab.