When You Should Seek a Specialist for Back Pain and How to Choose the Right One for You

Back pain affects an astounding 80% of adults. For many, the underlying problem isn’t serious, and the pain goes away on its own. But for one in five, a bout with back pain turns into a chronic, disabling condition.

Though your pain and limited mobility are top concerns, back pain poses a threat beyond your discomfort. Ongoing back pain is a red flag for serious spinal problems, such as pinched nerves, which can get worse and cause complications.

The longer your pain persists, the more likely you are to need a specialist, such as David Chang, MD-PhD, DABNS, in Roseville, Minnesota. Dr. Chang offers advanced spinal procedures that can get to the source of your pain, repair the problem, and give you long-lasting relief.

In this blog, Dr. Chang explains when you should seek a spine specialist and how you can choose the right one.

When to see a spine specialist

If you’re suffering from back pain, considering the following things can help you decide if you should see a specialist.

Duration of back pain

When it comes to back pain, you should feel better within six weeks. However, you shouldn’t always wait that long before seeking help from a back specialist.

Consider scheduling an appointment if you can’t go back to work or return to normal activities after two weeks. You should also see a spine specialist any time you:

Furthermore, you should know that time recommendations are just guidelines. Any time your pain or other symptoms are intolerable, you should call us. We can quickly assess your symptoms and give you a recommendation about the type of help you may need.

Severity of back pain

Another factor to consider is the severity of your pain. If you lose sleep because of the pain, the pain interferes with your daily routine, or you’re in pain for more than a few hours every day, you should see a specialist.

Red flags for serious spinal problems

There are also a number of symptoms you should look out for, which could indicate there’s a serious nerve-related complication. For example, if you get back pain following an injury, or if you develop back pain along with a fever, you should see a specialist right away.

Some other reasons you should see Dr. Chang immediately is if you develop any of the following symptoms:

No matter what spine condition causes your nerve damage, it’s important to seek care from a spine specialist to prevent permanent damage.

Choosing the right doctor

Treatment for back pain begins with the most appropriate conservative therapies. If you go through medications, physical therapy, and injections, and you still suffer from pain, then spine surgery may be your best option.

Choosing the right neurosurgeon comes down to two basic considerations: your relationship with the doctor and their qualifications.

Doctor-patient relationship

Never ignore the importance of your relationship with your neurosurgeon. Their job is to explain your condition, give you comprehensive — but understandable — information, and help you make the best decision.

You can only make a good decision when you feel comfortable talking with your doctor. You should be able to trust them and believe that they genuinely care for your well-being.

You need to feel free to ask all of your questions and get a straight answer without feeling that the doctor is bothered with your questions.

Doctor’s qualifications

It’s essential for your neurosurgeon to be board-certified and fellowship-trained. Beyond that, you should find out how much experience they have doing the surgical procedure needed for your specific condition.

Another good indicator of the doctor’s qualifications is the amount of their practice devoted to spine conditions and spine surgery. A physician whose practice focuses on spine patients will be up to date with the newest technologies and techniques.

If you have back pain, Dr. Chang can help you. He can give you a thorough evaluation and explain the best path forward. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with the office of David Chang, MD-PhD, DABNS today.

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