Back pain is one of the most common causes of disability in the US and worldwide. Although the occasional backache due to travel or sleeping position is normal, chronic back pain can leave you desperate for solutions. However, you might be unsure whether to speak to a primary care provider or a specialist for your chronic back pain.
Dr. John Regan and our expert team at Spine Group Beverly Hills support patients with back pain throughout Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, California. Here are five important reasons we encourage you to speak to a specialist when your back hurts.
The best treatment plan starts with an accurate diagnosis. A back pain specialist is more likely to be able to diagnose you accurately than your primary care provider.
Dr. Regan uses advanced diagnostic technology to uncover the root cause of your back pain, including x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scans, and electromyography (EMG).
As a fellowship-trained spine surgeon and board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Regan is well-versed in the many causes of back pain. Spine specialists like Dr. Regan can effectively determine whether nerve damage, spinal compression, scoliosis, or another spine condition is causing your pain.
Once specialists figure out the root cause of your back pain, they focus on determining the precise location of the problem. If disc issues are causing your pain, it’s important to know exactly where your damaged disc is located. Similarly, if your pain is neuropathic, a specialist can pinpoint what nerves to focus on for treatment.
Dr. Regan uses an EMG test to learn valuable information about your back pain. During this test, he uses electrical impulses to pinpoint specific areas of nerve compression. A primary care provider may not have the equipment to locate the source of your back pain as precisely as a specialist.
Seeing a specialist for back pain ensures that you have an arsenal of treatment options that a primary care provider may not be able to provide. Here at Spine Group Beverly Hills, you have access to a variety of treatments for back pain, including:
When you see a specialist for back pain, your care doesn’t stop once you leave our office. We also provide guidance on lifestyle changes that help reduce back pain. This includes exercise recommendations, at-home stretches, and smoking cessation.
Specialists spend years dedicated to their specific subject, and the education never ends. Compared to generalists, specialists can not only diagnose your condition, they can often perform advanced surgical options if needed.
A pioneer in minimally invasive spine surgery, Dr. Regan implements the most cutting-edge surgical techniques using the latest tools. Not only does minimally invasive surgery eliminate long incisions, but these surgical techniques tend to cause less bleeding, less tissue trauma, and faster recoveries.
Although back pain is common, no two cases are ever identical. You might have underlying conditions that make treatment planning more complicated. While primary care providers can help with some uncomplicated cases of back pain, specialists have the training to treat both straightforward cases and more complex ones.
Additionally, if you see a primary care provider for back pain, they often refer you to a specialist for further diagnosis. By seeing a specialist first, you can ensure continuity of care regardless of the complexity of your case.
No matter what’s causing your back pain, there’s no denying that chronic pain of any kind dramatically affects your quality of life. To experience the compassionate and expert care of a specialist, book an appointment with Dr. Regan at our Santa Monica, California office today.