Back pain is so common that people often shrug off this type of pain. However, if the pain is gradual and becomes chronic, or if it’s sudden and is practically debilitating, it may be time for you to consider seeing a back specialist for an evaluation.
An experienced spine surgeon will first examine how you sit down, stand up, walk, and move your legs. You might also be asked to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. The doctor can then identify and diagnose the cause of your back pain through one or more tests and imaging scans. These tests can also help to rule out other underlying conditions.
Let’s talk about how a back doctor can diagnose the cause of your back pain, how the physician can determine the best treatment for you – whether nonsurgical or surgical – and where you can go here in the Colorado Springs and Denver area for expert treatment that works to mitigate your back pain.
Tests to Determine the Cause of Severe Back Pain
Your spine surgeon may order one or more of the following tests and imaging scans to narrow down the diagnosis of your back pain:
- CT scan
- Blood tests
- Bone scan
- Electromyography (EMG)
Some of the most common causes of back pain include:
- Muscle or tendon strain
- Ligament sprain
- Bulging or ruptured discs
- Degenerative disc disease
When Should I Go to the Doctor for Back Pain?
Usually, back pain subsides after some home-based treatment and rest. However, see a back doctor if you experience any of these:
- Back pain that persists for more than two weeks
- Sharp back pain
- Pain that doesn’t get better with rest
- Radiating pain that spreads down to the legs
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling in the legs
- Numbness or pins-and-needles in the pelvis or buttocks
- Back pain accompanied by a fever
- Bowel or bladder problems
- Back pain that continues after suffering a fall, blow, or other injury
- Unexplained weight loss along with any of the above symptoms
Types of Spine Surgery that Address Back Pain
If noninvasive or injection-based back treatments do not work to quell your back pain, your back doctor may recommend one of the following types of back surgery:
- Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty – These are done to repair hairline fractures in a vertebra, usually brought on by osteoporosis or arthritis. The treatment involves injecting a thin amount of bone cement into the fracture to harden and reinforce it.
- Discectomy – This type of spine surgery is frequently done to repair a herniated disc that is pressing on a nerve, causing back pain.
- Spinal Fusion – This type of surgery permanently connects (fuses) two or more adjacent vertebrae in the spine where the pain is emanating from.
- Artificial Disc Replacement – For people with severely damaged spinal discs, you may consider having a prosthetic disc put in place of the damaged disc. This surgery retains flexibility in that area of the back, unlike spinal fusion surgery.
Back Pain Treatment in Colorado Springs and Denver
For expert medical care and treatment of your back pain, visit Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery. We have offices conveniently located in Lone Tree, Parker, Colorado Springs, and Aurora. Our spine surgeons include Dr. Michael Rauzzino, Dr. Kevin Boyer, Dr. Bradley Duhon, and Dr. Edward Szuszczewicz, and they have years of experience in successfully treating back pain using both non-invasive and surgical techniques.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (303) 790-1800 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you find relief from your back pain!