The back is one of the most common body parts where people experience chronic pain. Do you feel stiff when you get out of bed in the morning? Or, maybe you need to get off your feet during the day because your back is aching.
Back pain can be complicated to treat, mainly because various underlying causes can result in chronic pain. A general physician might prescribe pain pills, but these medications simply cover up the symptoms without treating the root problem.
If you want immediate and long-lasting back pain relief, an orthopedic doctor can be a great resource. Many of these doctors specialize in sports medicine since it’s common for athletes to experience back injuries.
You Don’t Need to Be a Pro Athlete to Visit a Sports Medicine Doctor
There is a misconception among people who don’t understand the sports medicine industry: many patients think that sports medicine is only for professional athletes. While sports medicine doctors work with athletes of all ages, they also offer services for non-athlete patients.
You might be a weekend warrior with back pain that stops you from enjoying a weekly scrimmage game with friends. Or, maybe you are an older adult with chronic back pain, making it hard to get through daily activities at home.
Regardless of your age, activity levels, or personal circumstances, sports medicine doctors are available to help with back pain and other types of chronic pain.
Signs You Need to See a Sports Medicine Doctor for Back Pain
How do you know if it’s time to book an appointment with a sports medicine doctor? Here are a few signs that you might benefit from these services:
- Pain in the shoulders, mid-back or lower back worsens when you are moving or standing
- You are experiencing muscle spasms in the back
- Weakness in the back muscles or legs
- Nerve issues that are affecting the hands and arms
- Sharp pains radiating down the legs, buttocks, and/or feet
- Pain intensifies when leaning over or lifting heavy objects
- Numbness or tingling in the legs
Not only is back pain characterized by the presence of pain. But some of these symptoms indicate that you might also be dealing with nerve issues. Nerve damage and back pain can go hand-in-hand, which is why it’s essential to talk to a sports medicine doctor as well as possible.
Getting to the Root Cause of Your Back Pain
One of the benefits of working with a sports medicine doctor for back pain is that the doctor will complete a full range of testing and diagnostics to understand why your pain is occurring.
Sports medicine doctors don’t simply cover up the pain with medication. While prescriptions can be helpful for pain management in the earliest stages, an orthopedic and sports medicine expert will also look at the treatments that provide long-lasting relief.
There are a variety of reasons why you might be experiencing back pain, and your doctor can help you determine the cause:
- Herniated discs in the spine
- Degenerative disc disease
- Ruptured discs
- Pinched nerves
- Vertebrae fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
Sports Medicine Approach for Back Pain Treatments
It’s common for sports medicine doctors to offer surgical treatments. But just because you are meeting with a surgeon doesn’t mean that you will go under the knife.
Our approach at Orthopedic Associates is to start with minimally-invasive treatments. Many conservative techniques can be effective for back pain relief, including:
- Physical therapy
- Spinal injections
- And more
Surgery is usually the last option when other treatments aren’t providing results. The good news is that if surgery is needed, there are often minimally-invasive solutions that use state-of-the-art technology to improve overall outcomes and speed up recovery time.
Common types of surgical methods for back pain treatments include:
- Artificial disc replacement
- Lumbar spine fusions
- Lumbar and thoracic corpectomy
Talk to a Sports Medicine Doctor When Back Pain Is Lingering
Everyone strains their back at some point. For example, lifting a heavy box might need a few days or a week to recover while the inflammation goes down.
But if the back pain lingers, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. When there is an underlying cause that needs to be treated, then it means that your pain will get progressively worse if you don’t visit an orthopedic doctor.
Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with a back pain doctor when you are experiencing ongoing back pain issues and the pain is limiting your daily activities. Our orthopedic team has the specialized training, experience, and knowledge in treating various types of musculoskeletal pain.
It’s impossible for one doctor to treat all types of injuries and conditions that affect the whole human body. So, doctors specialize in distinct subfields within the medical industry.
Orthopedic doctors focus specifically on the musculoskeletal system and treat injuries affecting the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues. Most of the time, back pain happens because of damage or injury to one of these parts of the back.
Back Pain Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
You know your back is hurting, but it can be tricky to identify the underlying cause. Sports medicine doctors have training and education in orthopedics, which means they can pinpoint the exact cause of your pain.
The first step is to determine an accurate diagnosis. Then, the doctor can put together a personalized treatment plan to help you find relief.
The medical industry has many incredible advancements, providing doctors with more diagnostic and imaging tools. As a result, orthopedic doctors can offer more surety in the diagnosis, optimizing the likelihood of a successful treatment plan.
Your doctor will talk to you about different types of treatments for pain reduction. Each patient receives a personalized treatment plan.
First, the goal is to reduce inflammation and alleviate the immediate pain you are experiencing. Medication can be helpful for both of these goals.
Then, the sports medicine doctor will have you implement different treatments that strengthen your core and protect the back, giving you the long-term results you seek.
Talk to a Sports Medicine Doctor About Your Back Pain
You don’t have to suffer from back pain for the rest of your life. However, if you have chronic or severe back pain issues, it’s time to book a consultation with a sports medicine doctor.
Our team at Orthopedic Associates is here to help with anything that you need. Our full-service approach is available for patients of all ages. Reach out at your convenience when you are ready to book an appointment. Call our office at (972) 420-1776.