When it comes to acute medical conditions, low back pain probably is one of the most prevalent all over the world. In fact, acute low back pain is something we all will experience at least once in our lives. It also is true that for some people, the pain associated with low back pain can be unbearable. Fortunately, majority of the cases will get better in time, mostly ranging from two to about ten weeks without the need of serious medical intervention.
Now what if you have been suffering from low back pain for more than a couple of months now and yet there seems to be no progress at all? There are countless cases of patients with low back pain like you who wonder if they really have to seek a medical professional’s advice to finally get rid of the condition.
Although the most serious cases will have to be referred to a spine surgeon, the usual process begins with getting a physical exam from the primary care physician or the family doctor. The primary care physician or regular doctor is sufficiently qualified to prescribe medications, but they’re primarily non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and non-narcotic pain medications. The primary care doctor likewise can prescribe physical therapy or chiropractic treatment.
Opting to See a Spine Surgeon
Before you ultimately come to the decision to visit a spine surgeon, you must first get confirmation through imaging studies and the confirmation of the common symptoms that say you’re definitely in need of a back surgery. To figure out if surgery is in fact needed, there has to be an identifiable anatomic cause for your low back pain and the only way to know that is by undergoing advanced lab tests like MRI scanning, routine flexion extension films for instability, and CT scan myelogram. If there is no such thing as an identifiable anatomic cause, it only means that surgery isn’t the answer.
Keep in mind though that in case non-surgical treatments don’t alleviate your pain, it doesn’t instantly mean you should get spine surgery. In case there’s proof that surgery is in fact needed, the decision to undergo back surgery still falls in the hands of the one suffering from the low back pain, which in this case is you. As such, whenever the spine surgeon tells you to have surgery, you still have the right to refuse for whatever reason you have.
But then again, there are scenarios in which you may have no other choice but to consider a minimally invasive surgery and this includes the moment when you can no longer perform daily activities because of the low back pain or if taking narcotic pain medications isn’t even affecting the level of the pain.