Preparing for Your First Appointment with a Spine Specialist
Though many people are unphased by the idea of making an appointment with a spine specialist, doing so represents a significant step for others.
Because our spine health is so closely tied to our mobility and sense of independence, there is something particularly intimidating about any kind of treatment. We understand this and realize that your appointment represents a leap of faith, as well as an acknowledgement that you are suffering significant pain that is impacting your quality of life.
We strive to work with you to determine the source of your pain and find the best treatment option that will return you to good health.
At our pain and spine specialty center we offer a wide range of interventions, including conservative treatments and surgery. During your first appointment you can anticipate meeting with our administrative staff as well as with the spine specialist. Our goal during this initial visit will be to learn more about you, your discomfort, and your medical history.
Our staff will ask you to fill out several forms that alert us to any medical conditions or history that may be impacting how you are currently feeling as well as what treatments will be most appropriate for you.
The physician will conduct a physical examination aimed at understanding your condition, as only when we have arrived at a diagnosis will we be able to arrive at the most appropriate course of treatment.
Back pain may arise from the spine itself, from the muscles that support and interconnect with the spine, and from the nerves. Our physical examination and full medical history report will generally just be the beginning, as the spine specialist may order diagnostic imaging studies to provide a clearer picture of what is happening with these internal structures.
These tests may consist of X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) depending upon your description of your pain and the physician’s physical assessment.
This examination will generally take approximately 30 minutes to complete. If the physician is able to diagnose your condition without imaging studies you will likely leave with a personalized pain and spine management plan. Those who are asked to have imaging studies done will be scheduled for a follow-up visit at which their findings will be discussed and a plan put in place.
Though surgery is generally the recommendation that most patients expect when they visit a spine specialist, that is not always the case. Our spine management treatment options include several non-invasive, conservative approaches including medication, physical or occupational therapy, procedures such as injections or manipulations and more.
If those approaches do not provide you with the relief that you need or if surgery is indicated based on findings revealed through imaging studies, we will discuss those options at the time.
To get started on the road to relief, contact our office today to set up a time for an appointment.