When to See a Specialist About Back Pain

When to See a Specialist About Back Pain

Back pain is extremely common and a leading cause of disability. What might start as mild discomfort can progress to debilitating pain without the proper care.

Many people hesitate to make an appointment with a specialist when they’re in pain. But at Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center, Inc., we take a thorough approach to diagnosing and treating your back pain that you won’t find anywhere else.

Dr. Peter Le and Dr. Rick Morris strive to uncover the root cause of your back pain and help you find treatment that really works. Even if you’ve tried other treatment options without relief, we’re here to help. Consider seeing a back pain specialist when ...

Your primary care doctor can’t pinpoint the cause of your pain

Did you recently suffer an injury? Do you have nagging back pain after sitting at a desk all day? Your first stop might be your primary care doctor.

Primary care providers are highly trained in identifying common ailments, and that includes musculoskeletal pain and injury. If you’ve noticed new back pain, scheduling an appointment with your usual doctor is a good place to start.

Your doctor does a physical exam and reviews your symptoms. They might order additional testing, like an X-ray. Mild to moderate acute back pain may resolve with a few weeks of at-home care or conservative treatment like physical therapy. 

But if your doctor can’t identify the cause of your pain — or they identify a more severe condition — it might be time to see a specialist. Our team specializes in treating spinal conditions from herniated discs and sciatica to spondylolisthesis and synovial cysts.

Your back pain becomes chronic

Because back pain is common, it’s not always easy to know if your pain warrants the expertise of a back pain specialist. About 90% of the time, back pain improves within six weeks. That means back pain that lingers for weeks, months, or even years isn’t normal.

Chronic back pain shouldn’t be ignored. Consider setting an appointment at Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center, Inc. if you have ongoing back pain, or if your pain comes along with:

These symptoms, especially when they accompany chronic back pain, could indicate a spine injury or nervous system condition that necessitates specialized care.

Your current treatment isn’t relieving your pain

There are lots of conservative treatment options for back pain. Physical therapy, joint injections, and other methods of pain relief can make a difference for some people, but up to 84% of our patients have tried those options without success.

When your current treatment plan isn’t adequately relieving your pain, that’s a sign that it’s time to visit a back pain specialist. Our team specializes in spine care, and we can offer insights for many patients who’ve already seen other doctors for their pain.

Our comprehensive program is designed to identify the cause of your pain and find treatment that works, even if other health care providers or treatment plans have failed.

The program starts with a comprehensive consultation and exam to evaluate your condition. We review all your pertinent medical records, including imaging results, and we order specialized testing as needed.

We review your results with you, helping you understand your body and the treatment options available to you. Dr. Le and Dr. Morris develop a customized treatment plan based on your diagnosis, and we monitor your progress to ensure you’re getting the best possible results.

If you have back pain, don’t put off seeking treatment. Our team at Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center, Inc. can help you live a life with less pain. Call our Santa Monica, California, office or request your consultation online now.

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