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Spine Specialist in New York and New Jersey

Workers' Comp Spine Specialist in New York and New Jersey

Workers Comp Spine Specialist in New York and New Jersey

There are plenty of reasons you may find yourself in need of a trip to pain and spine specialists, including following a workplace injury. If you are injured at work, you want to ensure that you choose a specialist who has experience dealing with workers’ comp, something Workers’ Comp Doctors is here to help you with.

What Does a Spine Specialist Do?

The answer to what does a spine specialist do is that they focus on treating various spine conditions. Spine specialists can include a range of medical specialties, including: 

  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Physiatrists
  • Chiropractors
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Pain management doctors
  • Rheumatologists
  • Neurologists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Physical therapists 

The type of workers’ comp spine specialist that you should visit will depend on your injuries, symptoms, and the incident. If you happen to choose the wrong type of specialist, they will be able to direct you to a spine specialist that is a better fit. That being said, with help from Workers’ Comp Doctors, you should be able to find the right pain and spine specialists for your condition with ease. 

How Workplace Injuries Can Damage the Spine

Now that you know what does a spine specialist do, what type of incidents or injuries would cause you to need to see one? Nearly any type of workplace injury can lead to damage to your spine or back. Some potential explanations include: 

  • Repetitive motions
  • Stooping, bending, and crouching
  • Reaching, twisting, or bending
  • Being in the same position for a long time 
  • Poor posture when working with computers or other technology 
  • Lifting bulky or heavy loads
  • Dragging, pulling, or pushing heavy loads 
  • Carrying loads in an awkward position
  • Handling items in awkward positions 
  • Working beyond your abilities, including when overtired 
  • Driving long distances or on rough ground, especially when using heavy equipment 
  • Impacts with objects or slips and falls 

These may result in various injuries such as:

  • Bulging discs
  • Pinched nerves
  • Herniated discs
  • Lower back pain
  • Fractured vertebrae
  • Other spinal cord damage 

When to See a Workers’ Comp Spine Specialist

When to See a Workers Comp Spine Specialist

After an injury at work or if you experience strain from repetitive motion, it is crucial to see a doctor of some sort. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can be diagnosed and treated. Starting the treatment and diagnosis process will also help prove that your injury was related to work, which is essential for successfully filing a workers’ comp claim. 

But when do you need to see a spine specialist instead of other types of doctors? Look out for the following warning symptoms: 

  • Chronic pain 
  • Pain that interferes with your daily life 
  • Bladder or bowel issues 
  • Pain in your feet or legs 
  • Numbness in your feet or legs 
  • Instability on your feet 
  • Limited range of motion 
  • Fever 

We’ll take a look at some of these in more detail. 

Bladder or Bowel Issues

Bowel or bladder issues can indicate spine issues due to the nerves in the spine being damaged. If you notice yourself sitting on the toilet for an extended time or having to go to the bathroom frequently, this may be a concern. 

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is pain that lasts more than 12 weeks. Importantly, chronic pain continues even after you treat the underlying cause or injury. You may even want to see a spine specialist if your back still hurts after four weeks, at which point it will be considered subacute pain. 

Fever (with Other Symptoms)

Fever alone is not a strong enough indication that you need a workers’ comp spine specialist; you may need to see another type of doctor or may just have a regular fever. But if you have a fever along with discomfort in your thoracic spine or lumbar region, this can be concerning. 

In the best-case scenario, you just happened to catch the flu right after getting back pain. But it’s worth checking because this can indicate something more serious, like a bacterial infection or cancer. 

Instability on Your Feet

Feeling unstable on your feet can include not being able to walk without pain. It can also include feeling pain while laying down or sitting. 

Limited Range of Motion

If you can’t stand up straight, bend over, or twist sideways without pain, these are good indicators that you need to see pain and spine specialists in New York and New Jersey. 

Pain in Your Legs or Feet

If you have pain in your legs or feet, especially combined with back pain, this is a strong indication that something may be wrong with your spine. The cause may be pressure on your spine or nerves. Maybe a herniated disc is putting pressure on your sciatic nerve, a nerve that controls your leg muscles. Or maybe you are experiencing cervical radiculopathy, meaning a nerve root is compressed by your cervical vertebrae. 

In addition to the pain, you may also notice tingling sensations or numbness in your feet, legs, and hips. 

What to Expect from the Spine Specialist

What to Expect from the Spine Specialist

When you visit a workers’ comp spine specialist, expect the visit to begin with an examination. They will ask about your workplace injury or typical movements that could have caused your symptoms. They will complete a physical examination and may complete other tests, such as: 

  • X-rays
  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • Blood tests
  • Bone scans
  • Nerve imaging 

Potential Treatments

Your spine specialist will work to treat the source of the problem. Most specialists try minimally-invasive or non-invasive treatments before suggesting surgery. In some cases, however, surgery will be the best choice right from the start. Some potential treatments include: 

  • Physical therapy 
  • Nerve blocks
  • Nerve ablations
  • Epidurals
  • Medicine to reduce inflammation
  • Medicine to reduce pain
  • Medicine to relax muscles
  • Biofeedback
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Massage
  • Chiropractic
  • Acupuncture 
  • Lifestyle changes 
  • Surgery 

If you need surgery, a lumbar fusion, discectomy, or laminectomy are among the most commonly required ones. 

Opt for a Workers’ Comp Spine Specialist

When choosing your spine specialist, you should always be sure to choose one that specializes in workers’ compensation insurance. This will ensure they know how to properly document your injury to help with your claim. It will also help you receive prompt treatment, as they will have more experience dealing with your type of injury. 

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