The following article:

  • back pain can be among of the main reasons people visit their physician.

  • Sometimes all you require to ease the pain is a few minutes of relaxation and rest. Sometimes, you’ll require a visit to a physician. Know when the right time is to make an appointment.

  • Treatments that are conservative can assist you in staying out of the operating table and address the cause of the symptoms, pain and specific diagnose.

  • If you require surgery If you do, you can be sure that your surgeon has your best interests in mind. Learn what to be looking for in the spine specialist you choose.

This statistic will make you shiver in your spine: almost 65 million Americans have reported a recent episode with back discomfort.

But the story doesn’t end there. Researchers have also discovered that 16 million have chronic back pain. This is the pain is so persistent as to hinder their everyday activities, such as exercising or meeting with friends or doing their chores. The back pain isn’t just an nuisance. It’s preventing people from working back pain can result in the loss of 83 million workdays each year.

Fortunately, there’s aid and hope.

There are numerous methods and treatments to ease your discomfort. Most importantly, many that are most efficient treatments are non-surgical.

“Dealing suffering from back discomfort can be extremely discourageing,” says Stephen Campbell, MD, neurosurgeon at Providence Montana Neurosurgical Specialists. “Luckily there’s no reason for it to be this way. Your doctor can assist you to discover the method that can address the root cause of your discomfort and eases the symptoms. Most people who suffer from neck or back pain don’t require surgery. Instead your doctor will consult together with a group of specialists to determine what’s needed to help you feel at most at ease.”

“At Providence Neuroscience Institute” Providence Neuroscience Institute, we’ve been the primary source of patient-reported outcomes across the entire system for the last few years. We’re now on track to begin piloting the first Spine Intake questionnaire in the system. Our staff members take the time to fully describe the importance of completeness of the questionnaire to ensure the best possible outcome to the patient. It also helps us understand the how other patients suffering from identical symptoms.” states Amy Lybbert, Neuroscience Service Line Operations Manager.

When should you see a doctor?

The majority of the time, back pain can begin to improve by itself after having a rest for a couple of days. The use of heat, ice and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or Aleve may also ease the symptoms. However, if you experience pain for a few weeks and you don’t see any improvement, it is recommended to make an appointment with your physician.

“Your primary physician is a great resource for diagnosing and managing back discomfort,” shares Dr. Campbell. “They’ll be able take an exhaustive medical history, including when symptoms started , and will discuss any issues which could have caused any injury or damage to your spinal. They may refer you to physical therapy or suggest a prescription-strength anti-inflammatory to see if that improves your pain.”

However the doctor. Campbell cautions people experiencing any of these symptoms. If you are experiencing some of these signs with back or neck pain, don’t hesitate to see if your symptoms improve in their own time:

  • Numbness or pain in the legs or arms
  • It is difficult to walk
  • Balance problems
  • Incontinence

“Pain or numbness of the extremities, or problems with walking or balance may suggest that your spinal cord is being stretched, and needs to be examined and addressed promptly,” states Dr. Campbell.

What can you expect when visiting an orthopedic neurosurgeon to treat spine pain

Each provider follows a different approach, but when it comes to visiting any of the neurosurgeons at Dr. Campbell’s office Patients can expect an extensive and thorough examination. It is important to understand that visiting a neurosurgeon does not necessarily mean that you’ll need surgery.

“Our patients are typically able to expect to spend an hour in our office. This includes check-in time, a conversation between the assistant to medical, around 25 to 40 minute consultation with the doctor and then a post-appointment schedule prior to departure,” Dr. Campbell describes. “During an appointment I’ll go over any imaging studies, such as MRIs and X-rays or CT scans together and with patients. Together, we’ll go over the symptoms they experience as well as when the pain began and how it is felt to them. We’ll also go over medical history in the family and personal to pinpoint the reason for their pain.

“Once we are able to determine the root of their issues We can then talk about a treatment plan that is appropriate to them” the doctor says.

Sometimes, this plan could involve surgery, but usually it’s about controlling symptoms and pain. Dr. Campbell works closely with the members of his team that includes pain management doctors and physical therapy.

“What really matters to me is to comprehend not just the cause of pain but also to gain clear on my patients’ objectives. Not every patient wants or requires surgery. Sometimes, it’s obvious that surgery is necessary, and at times, taking a more conservative approach can be the best way to start,” he shares.

“I will always be available for each patient I see to call me back with any concerns or questions particularly if the discomfort continues to increase,” Dr. Campbell says.

Conservative treatments for back and neck in pain

There are many methods to help ease the symptoms and pain that are caused by back or neck problem. Most commonly, they are:

  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist will work closely with you to guide you through exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles supporting your back (including the stomach and leg muscles). They can also teach you how to adjust your workspace and other areas of your home to ease back pain that occurs during daily routine activities.
  • Anti-inflammatories. In many cases, neck and back discomfort can be caused by inflammation of your spine. Your doctor can suggest an approach to decrease inflammation, increase mobility and ease discomfort. This could include prescription anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections, as well as non-opioid pain medications, such as muscles relaxers.
  • Alternative treatments. The most annoying things about back pain that it’s not always a obvious cause or definitive solution. If this is an issue, you physician might recommend alternative therapies to treat pain or supplement the care you’re receiving. This could be the use of yoga, acupuncture, or chiropractic treatments.
  • Treatment for pain. A pain management doctor can do more than just treat your pain or pinpoint the cause of your symptoms. These physicians work in conjunction with a group of specialists that could include physical therapists, psychologists and dieticians among other specialists. Together, they’ll adopt the whole person approach to treating you and help you identify exercises, stretching and ways to control the pain and improve your overall quality of living.


If the non-surgical or conservative options aren’t working, your doctor will take a close look at your medical history and suggest the possibility of a surgical procedure if that’s the best option to treat your ailments. If you’re a potential surgical candidate, then your physician will go over the details of what you can expect from the procedure and why it’s worthwhile to consider.

“At our clinic and in Providence Neuroscience Institute” Providence Neuroscience Institute, we are leading towards a more precise decision-making platform that allows doctors and patients to collaborate to determine whether a patient is suitable for surgery. This can be done by collecting the outcomes of patients’ reports.”

“I recognize that neck and back surgery may sound frightening. But, modern advances have made spinal surgery secure and efficient. Your doctor will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure as well as the reason you’re a good candidate,” Dr. Campbell shares.

“This is the reason it’s so important for patients to receive a an extensive and thorough initial consultation. We can review the scan results and, in many instances, will help us determine if surgery is required or not. Most important is to feel at ease and confident in your surgeon’s advice and expertise,” he finishes.

Find a spine surgeon

The Providence spinal care specialists can assist you in determining the root of your back and neck discomfort. If you’re looking for an expert in your region then you can search our directory of providers.

Get the Providence App

We’re here for you, no matter where you are. Create Providence’s app as your personal link with your healthcare. Set appointments, make virtual visits, communicate with your doctor, access your medical records and much more. Learn more about the app and download the application.

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The information provided isn’t intended to be an alternative to professional medical treatment. Always follow your doctor’s instructions.