Start with your primary care provider
If you are experiencing arm, back, leg, neck pain or numbness, your first stop should be your primary care physician. If, after a thorough examination, review of your medical history and ordering/reviewing diagnostic tests, your physician feels you should consult a specialist, he or she will write you a referral. If you choose to self-refer, you may need to have diagnostic tests performed before your appointment with us. In some cases, an insurance referral will be required.
The most common, and effective, form of treatment for back or neck pain is to try conservative treatments such as anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. Occasionally, epidural steroids injections are prescribed as a more targeted form of anti-inflammatory treatment. Additionally, physical therapy is often useful in treating these problems.
If you have not found relief from non-surgical therapies and pain has lasted longer than 6 -12 weeks, then surgery should be considered. If you have undergone a previous spine procedure and still feel pain, you should seek a second opinion from a qualified physician. If you are experiencing upper or lower extremity numbness or weakness, surgical consults should be made more urgently.
Am I a candidate for spine surgery?
If you are experiencing any of the following issues, you may be a candidate for surgery.
- Pain while walking, standing for long periods of time, sleeping, etc.
- Neck pain, numbness or weakness that travels into the arms
- Low back pain, numbness or weakness that travels into the legs
- Failed neck or back surgery
- Incapacitating pain that is not responding to anti-inflammatory treatment
Have you been diagnosed with a spinal condition?
- Herniated disc, compressed spinal cord or nerve root (stenosis), degenerative disc disease (arthritis), scoliosis, spondylolisthesis and other common spinal conditions can often be treated through minimally invasive spinal procedures.
Have you attempted any of these treatments for 6 – 12 weeks and been unsuccessful?
- Physical therapy
- Pain management (steroid injections, pain medication)
- Spinal bracing
- Weight loss
- Activity modification
Austin Spine has helped thousands of patients find relief from their chronic, or acute, neck or back pain. We recommend surgery as the last option when it comes to treating spinal conditions in the neck or back unless it will help preserve neurologic function. The decision for surgery should be individualized to the patient and the patient’s symptoms, along with their level of function.