E-Consults Can Expedite Specialist Advice

If you need to see a specialist, your doctor may be able to save you some time or travel by requesting an e-consult. E-consults are currently available for certain conditions within cardiology, endocrinology, infectious disease, psychiatry, rheumatology and neurology. Ask your doctor if an e-consult may be an option in your case.

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Back and Neck Pain

Understanding Back and Neck Pain

Every year more people seek medical care for back and neck pain than for any other condition except the common cold. An estimated 31 million adults suffer from back pain, and back problems account for an estimated 40 percent of all recorded workplace injuries.

Common causes of back pain include:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Degenerative disc or joint disease
  • Herniated disc, sometimes called a slipped, bulged or ruptured disc
  • Fracture – often as a result of injury or osteoporosis

Getting to the Cause of Your Pain

Relief begins with properly diagnosing the cause of your pain. Your physician may use some or all of the following tests to arrive at an accurate diagnosis:

  • Physical exam
  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Bone scan
  • Bone density testing
  • Electromyogram (EMG)
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Myelogram
  • Discogram

Treatment Options

If your doctor determines that the problem is in your back or neck, he or she may recommend one or more of the following treatments, depending on the cause and your individual symptoms.

  • Rest or modification of your activities
  • Oral medications
  • Heat or ice
  • Gentle stretching
  • Rehabilitation Services, including:
  • Medications injected directly into the afflicted area – MidMichigan has a physiatrist qualified to give spinal injections.
  • Vertebroplasty – an X-ray-guided injection of surgical bone cement to stabilize a collapsing vertebral body. MidMichigan has a neuroradiologist qualified in vertebroplasty.
  • Surgery – MidMichigan has board-certified surgeons who can perform a range of simple to complex spine procedures, including laminectomies, diskectomies and fusions, with or without instrumentation.

Talk to Your Doctor

To get started on the path to relief, talk to your doctor about your back pain and ask whether a referral to rehabilitation services or a specialist may be right for you.