Often people will rule out neck pain as being a problem with the neck due to the location. It can be classed as such if it is anywhere from the base of the head running right the way down to the shoulders. Once started, it can spread out and be a problem in your arms or upper part of the back. You can struggle to move in a certain way and driving can be an issue so if I was in that position, I would visit a neck pain doctor near me. Turning your head more than a small amount will cause you pain and you will want to have it dealt with as soon as you can. Often it will be hard to decide if it is neck pain or back pain, but a back pain doctor should soon be able to work this out. The same applies to back pain. It can be irritating and stop you from carrying on with your life as you want to. There can be specific reasons why the pain occurs – things you do mainly – but once you are over 50 years old, the pains seem to be more frequent.
What Can be the Causes of Neck Pain – Check with a Neck Pain Doctor
Normally the pain will come from a strain and at times it will be hard to find out how the strain occurred. It can be sleeping in an uncomfortable position, not sitting sensibly, or even something like painting or participating in a sport. Often the pain will be in the form of spasms and may not be a persistent type of pain. There are times when it will be obvious where the pain has come from and that will be when there is a fall or something such as whiplash after an accident. There are some pains that are caused by unusual reasons and a neck pain doctor near me is bound to take these into consideration. They can be: –
- A neck infection – Sometimes caused by bacteria even if there is no obvious reason why this has occurred.
- Issues with the spinal canal – This will usually be a narrowing that is the cause.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – Again this is something that tends to happen to older people, but it not exclusively an issue for them.
Recognizing the symptoms of neck pain and visiting a neck pain doctor
Sometimes the pain will be in the form of stiffness and at other times it will be a sharp pain. It can sometimes spread itself around while at other times it will remain in a fairly static point. Headaches can be included as there are times when the neck pain can lead to this. Mobility can be difficult and painful; it will start to hurt, especially, when the head is turned quickly. It can be worrying to note that there is the risk of numbness in the arm and this will often be mistaken for other more serious conditions. A neck pain doctor near me will be aware of the risks and do all they can to limit the risk of a long term injury. When the pain is chronic, it will start to impact on your ability to lead a normal life. It is not unheard of for people who have consistent neck pain to end up suffering from depression and be unable to function as they normally would.
What is going to happen when you seek treatment from a neck pain doctor?
The first thing the neck pain doctor near me and you will want to know is a full medical history. Perfectly accurate answers should be given as it is amazing what they can pick up from what may seem to most of us like a pointless detail. There will also be the need for a physical examination by the doctor and due to the nature of the pain, he or she will be as careful as possible. When discussing your lifestyle, don’t forget to add any exercise programs you are undergoing and any recent illness that you have been treated for.
You will be expected to move your neck as much as you can during the physical examination and you should be as accurate as you can about the pain. Weakness is something they will be looking for as well; so, don’t try to pretend that you can do things that you cannot. The weakness can go as far down as the hands. So, it is likely that you will have been aware of this before you went to the neck pain doctor near me. If the cause of pain is an injury and there are no signs of improvement, the doctor will want to send you for further examinations and this time it will be at a hospital rather than in their office.
It is going to be an MRI scan, and this will pick up every minor detail. A CT scan may also be required, and the doctor will be able to see tissues and muscle as well as the spine and the surrounding discs and roots. Most of the time a neck pain doctor near me will be able to treat the issue, even when there are links to the back. But, there will be times when it is going to need immediate attention. Don’t wait to see your own doctor, but call the hospital as an emergency case if: –
- There are symptoms other than the neck pain. A major one to look out for is chest pain as this can be a lot more serious and indicate something such as a heart attack. A back pain doctor will be able to recommend who to go to if they think it is beyond their ability to deal with it.
- If the pain seems to be emanating from the spine a back pain doctor will want to deal with it as soon as possible. This will especially be the case if there has been a traumatic incident such as a traffic accident that caused it.
Dealing with back pain and trying to live a normal life
Many people find that as they age they begin to get pain in the back, especially the lower back area. It can show itself in a variety of ways, including sharp pains, stiffness and a long dull ache. All can be symptomatic of fairly normal and easy to treat conditions, but they do have to be treated. Acute pain often lasts for a few days, but if you are unlucky, could be as much as a few weeks. It is not always possible to know where the pain is coming from, so there could be the need to visit a back pain doctor. I would also include a trip to a neck pain doctor near me to make sure that all aspects are covered.
Causes of lower back pain and why you should visit a back pain doctor
The lower back is the part that holds up most of the body’s weight and pain there is a major problem in the United States. The American doctors believe that after influenza, back pain is the main reason that they are visited. Often the first time you will know about the pain is when you are lifting things or the reverse – sitting for long periods of time. As the muscles and ligaments get used, the pain can get worse.
If the pain starts suddenly, it can be because of: –
- Osteoporosis – Compression fractures can occur once this sets in.
- Cancer – The pain will be an immediate indicator that there is something wrong, so hopefully it will be picked up early.
- Spinal fracture – Again this is something that can happen and cause pain.
- Spasms – This tends to happen when the body is tense.
- Sciatica – This is easy to identify for a back pain doctor.
- The spinal canal can become narrow – This is known as spinal stenosis.
- Curvature of the spine – This will appear from childhood, but there will still be pain until it can be fixed.
- Infections/abscesses or kidney stones
- Pregnancy – This is likely to be short term, although after birth there may be ongoing problems.
As with neck pains, there will be a variety of pain felt. It can range from hardly noticeable to bad enough to allow you to live normally. It can lead down the back to the hip, and legs and feet can show signs of weakness – a neck pain doctor near me will know how to advise you in the same way that a back pain doctor will.
A visit to the doctors will follow much the same pattern as with a neck pain doctor near me. They will ask you a lot of questions mainly asking you to describe the pain and explain how bad it can be and what you have done to deal with it so far. It is likely that the first suggestions will be to try minimal treatment such as ice packs and a little prescribed exercise and only when that has not worked will the next stage be reached. Often you will be expected to leave things as they are for up to 6 weeks rather than take the risk of operating on the back as the doctor will be aware of the problems that can arise. It is only if the doctor sees something that concerns them that they will order additional work to be carried out right away.
If it is decided by the back pain doctor that extra tests are needed, then it will be: –
- X rays – This will show up any major issues and should give the doctors a clearer idea of what they should be doing.
- CT scan – If the x ray was inconclusive, this should give a clear picture of what is going on with the muscles and bones of the spine.
- MRI – Everything will be picked up here.
Treatment that the doctor will prescribe
By now the back pain doctor will know what they are dealing with, so they will be deciding what treatment to carry out. Before this happens, they will give you advice as to how to deal with the pain. Firstly, it will be to stop being as active as you were, as any swelling that has come up will get the chance to subside. Ice is well known for reducing swelling and relieving pain, and the first stage of medication will be over the counter medication. There may be stronger ones needed later on, but that can be dealt with when the time arises.
As with neck pain, there will be times when it is more than a general back pain doctor can deal with and you will need to seek more advanced help – often this will require a trip to the emergency room. A neck pain doctor near me may be able to help but it could be insufficient. It will be incidents such as: –
- Pain when there has been a nasty fall.
- Issues with urination – This will usually mean that there is blood when you urinate. It can also be when you no longer have control over when you go to the toilet.
- A family history of cancer –A back pain doctor will want to be able to find out about this as a matter of urgency.
- Pains that are connected to the back but spread out across the lower part of the body and often lead to weakness.
- Swelling and pain that comes with a fever.
Most of the advice I would receive will be from a neck pain doctor near me. There may be a lot of good doctors who deal with the neck, as well as back pain doctor, but there is a good reason why I would select the neck pain doctor near me. It may be difficult to get to certain places due to the pain, but when the doctor is local it is going to be much less trouble attending appointments.