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.
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:
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.
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:
These may result in various injuries such as:
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:
We’ll take a look at some of these in more detail.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
If you need surgery, a lumbar fusion, discectomy, or laminectomy are among the most commonly required ones.
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.