A wide variety of conditions and injuries can lead to the development of back pain. It can be caused by physical injury, a skeletal defect, infections or other systemic problems, nerve or muscle issues, and more. The pain can be acute or diffuse, chronic or irregular, severe or mild, depending on the causes and circumstances surrounding the root issue.
How Is Back Pain Diagnosed?
Correct diagnosis is key to solving back pain problems. NSPC’s spine specialists in New York have the experience and the technology needed. Three major groups of tests are used in diagnosing and classifying the different types of back pain. Let’s examine all of them very briefly:
Physical Tests – During a physical examination, you may be asked to strip down and wear a gown so the physician can fully observe your range of motion. They may ask you to walk around, rest on your heels or toes, stand flat on the soles of your feet, and perform a variety of other simple tasks while they observe you for signs of nerve damage.
Imaging Tests – Depending on what condition the physician suspects you may have, they may choose to employ a variety of different imaging tests. X-rays, myelograms, and MRI scans may all be employed in a diagnostic capacity. You will likely be referred to a specialist at this point as well.
Nerve Tests – finally, the doctor may consider ordering an electromyogram, otherwise known as an EMG. This specialized test is designed to analyze nerve root damage, and to distinguish between nerve and muscle conditions. If the problem is a result of nerve damage, neurosurgeons may be brought in to consult about possible surgical solutions.
When to talk with a surgeon about your back pain
Proper back care, gentle stretching, and exercises along with non-surgical care are recommended first before seeking spine surgery—unless an emergency situation requires immediate procedures.
While most instances of back pain resolve themselves over time and with more conservative treatments, you may wonder if spine surgery is the right treatment for you. Certain mechanical conditions that cause back pain can usually be corrected by surgery such as a herniated or bulging discs, compressed spinal nerves, fractured vertebrae or instability in the spine— the experienced spine specialists at NSPC can provide the best diagnosis of your back pain and provide an individualized treatment plan.
What to expect from spine surgery at NSPC in the New York area
The leading neurosurgeons at NSPC offer the latest advancements in back pain surgical treatments. Our experienced physicians employ less invasive procedures such as Gamma Knife®, CyberKnife®, Novalis TX™, microdiscectomy, kyphoplasty, neurostimulation, and minimally invasive spine surgery when possible—so recovery time is shortened, there is less chance of infection, and you have less pain.