An orthopedist might address conditions such as ruptured discs, scoliosis or other types of neck or low back pain. Because of this, taking a pro-active approach when neurologist expert witness shopping for spine care may be helpful to you. One way to do this is to research possible diagnostic and treatment options before seeking the healthcare provider.
If you have a nerve, spinal, or brain issue, consult with your primary care doctor. Your doctor may give you a referral to see a neurologist or a neurosurgeon based on your condition. When conservative methods fail to relieve pain symptoms, a patient may be referred to a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon. Surgery is usually a last resort and used when there is rapid loss of leg function, the pain is completely unbearable, or there is evidence of imminent nerve damage. An orthopedic healthcare provider is a board-certified surgeon who specializes in problems—from head to toe—of the musculoskeletal system.
However, if the pain involves neurological pain symptoms then a neurologist is the best option for assessing and diagnosing nerve pain. There are many injuries to the spine that can affect not only the vertebrae themselves but also the muscles and nerves nearby. When you have nerve pain that is won’t go away and is starting to affect your daily life then you should see a neurologist for a proper diagnosis and to begin treatment that will help relieve your pain. Neurologists treat nerve pain with a combination of therapies depending on your specific condition, which can include pain medications, injections, medical devices, and even surgical options if necessary.
Thus, a rectal examination may be needed to make sure that you do not have nerve damage. He or she will likely advise rest, painkillers, or an oral steroid dose pack along with muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants or opiates. Your doctor may order an MRI to diagnose the source of the pain or rule out other conditions.
If your condition has progressed past these types of treatment, and if surgery is indicated, then the neurosurgeons can perform the needed surgery. Conditions for which people consult neurologists include multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, Parkinson’s disease, speech problems and migraines. Neurologists and neurosurgeons often work together on conditions such as epilepsy or those that may require surgery. The neurologist also works with a primary care physician, performing and interpreting tests for brain disorders. Neurologists provide medical, but not surgical, treatment of diseases affecting the brain, spine and nervous system. To become a neurologist a medical school graduate must train for three years in a neurology residency program.
For example, certain neurologists may specialize in brain injuries while orthopedic doctors may have a focus on pediatric spinal conditions. Both are qualified to treat back and neck problems, but their subspecialty may make them a better choice for your type of injury. A neurologist’s day consists largely of diagnosing and treating brain and spinal cord injuries.
Using tools like an EMG, the neurologist can check nerve health and muscle weakness with fantastic detail. Detailed feedback makes a neurologist the highest resource to test, diagnose, and treat back issues. At ProCare Medical Center, you can see a neurologist in the office who can assess your spinal condition or injury and help manage your pain. The team of medical providers at ProCare includes primary care physicians, car accident injury chiropractors, and neurology in San Antonio all in one convenient location. The office houses state-of-the-art equipment so you can experience the best care from a multidisciplinary team of professionals.
Although they can perform very complex surgeries, neurosurgeons typically use non-operative treatment plans before performing surgery. If surgery is required, minimally invasive techniques are used whenever possible. Neurosurgeons are also on call for emergency room physicians when a patient has trauma involving the brain and spinal cord. Neurologists specialize in disorders of the nervous system, which includes the sciatic nerve. A neurologist may perform several addition diagnostic tests like an EMG or nerve conduction studies to localize the problem and determine treatment. Since sciatica is a nerve disorder, involving a neurologist in the diagnosis and treatment of the condition is beneficial.