Spinal Pain SpecialistsTampa, FL
Back and spinal pain is highly prevalent. Almost everyone has or will experience back pain in their lifetime. A spinal pain specialist can evaluate, diagnose, treat, and prevent different types of back and spinal pain.
Learn how experienced spinal pain specialists may be able to help you get back to feeling better and returning to a life that you enjoy. Spinal pain specialists are available at Body XI in Tampa and the surrounding area. Call our office at (813) 518-0566 for more information or schedule a consultation.
Understanding the Spine
The spine can be seen as “the highway of the body.” It is the body’s central support structure and connects multiple components together while also being composed of several different structures. Parts of the spine and back include:
These joints have slippery connective tissue – cartilage – that allows vertebrae to slide against each other. The primary purpose of facet joints is to allow people to twist and turn and provide flexibility and stability. Due to age and the wearing of cartilage, these joints can develop arthritis and cause neck and back pain.
Intervertebral discs are flat, round cushions that sit between vertebrae and act as shock absorbers and spacers for the spine. The discs are under constant pressure. They consist of a soft, gel-like center surrounded by an outer ring.
Spinal cord and nerves
The spinal cord is a column consisting of nerves that go through the spinal canal. It extends from the bottom of the skull to the lower back. 31 nerve pairs branch between openings in the vertebrae. The nerves transfer information between muscles and the brain to allow the body to move.
Soft tissues are ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Ligaments are short bands of flexible and tough tissue that connect the vertebrae to stay in the correct and functional position. Muscles are fibers that support the spine and upper body, allowing people to move from place to place. Tendons are cords of tissue that connect muscle to the vertebrae and support movements.
The spinal canal is formed by 33 bones called vertebrae. It divides the spine into five regions: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, and coccyx. Most vertebrae move to allow people to move freely, but the sacrum and coccyx regions, which sit at the bottom of the spinal cord, are fused together and do not move.
When the spinal structure is out of alignment or experiences a traumatic injury, it invades the space that other spinal column components need to function properly. It causes swelling, pain, and irritability. Nerve flow can also be interrupted, contributing to the confusion of pain and nerve signals.
Causes of Spinal Pain
Spinal and back pain is one of the most common medical reasons that people seek medical care or miss work. According to research, back pain accounts for 264 million lost work days annually, or two work days, per American worker. Spinal and back pain is the leading cause of disability among Americans under 45. It can be caused by a physical condition, living an overly active or sedentary lifestyle, occupational strain, and traumatic injuries, such as a work injury or car accident. It can also occur due to mechanical, inflammatory, or other medical conditions.
The pain can be described as a dull ache to a burning or stabbing sensation. It can range from mild to debilitating and prevent people from enjoying everyday life. Pain can spread down a person’s legs or arms and worsen if they bend over or make certain movements at specific angles.
There are two types of back pain: acute and chronic. Acute back pain is milder and can usually resolve on its own with rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, light stretches, and exercises. However, chronic back pain can be caused by more serious injuries, illnesses, or medical conditions, such as osteoporosis or herniated discs. Chronic back pain should be a physician or specialist experienced in spinal care and pain management.
Spinal Pain Specialists
Many different health providers and practitioners are able to treat back pain symptoms, such as primary care physicians and ER doctors. However, if they are unable to make a diagnosis for chronic back pain, they may refer them to a back and spinal pain specialist. Spinal pain specialists can better evaluate and diagnose certain chronic pain conditions. They can also identify any underlying symptoms or conditions that may be causing or contributing to the problem. There are several different types of traditional as well as alternative medical specialists that can help patients with chronic pain, such as:
- Neurologists or neurosurgeons
Chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiatrists are complementary and alternative physicians and practitioners that can help patients with some forms of back and spinal pain. Their goal is not only to improve physical function but also to treat the problem at its source. These physicians play an important part in recovery after a patient experiences spinal operations or needs additional treatments with their traditional care.
Types of Chiropractic Pain Management
As previously mentioned, a spinal pain specialist’s main goal is to provide pain relief and improved function and identify the underlying symptoms causing the patient discomfort. Chiropractors can provide treatment not based on prescriptions or surgical procedures but by realigning the spine and promoting the body’s natural healing abilities. The two most common and effective approaches that chiropractors use are spinal manipulation and spinal mobilization. Depending on the patient's individual needs, they may use these techniques together or in combination with other types of manual therapy modalities.
Spinal manipulation, also known as a chiropractic adjustment, uses short and sharp movements. The chiropractor use their hands or a device to apply pressure through a controlled thrust to the joint of the spine. This technique moves the joint further than it would naturally.
While spinal mobilization is similar to spinal manipulation, there are stark differences between the two techniques. The main difference is that the practitioner moves the joint quickly but stays within the joints’ natural range of movement. Patients may choose spinal mobilization as the primary part of their treatment plan as it is considered more gentle than spinal manipulation.
The practitioner may use either technique or a combination of both throughout treatment sessions. Manual therapy works best as part of the larger treatment plan that most often includes massage therapy, exercises, stretches, nutrition and diet, and life-change advice. Patients should have a good understanding of the spinal pain specialist they choose so they are comfortable with the treatment plan and can begin to recover.
Risks and Benefits of Seeing a Spinal Pain Specialist
There are several reasons why a person with acute or chronic back and spinal pain may seek out a spinal pain specialist and want to receive chiropractic care. It is an effective option for those wanting relief without surgical complications or prescription medication. It uses the body’s natural healing abilities and treats the underlying cause of the symptoms rather than masking them.
While chiropractic care is often a safe and beneficial treatment option when performed by an experienced spinal pain specialist, there are still risks and complications to consider. Patients with the following conditions should not receive chiropractic adjustments if they have:
- A bone abnormality in the neck
- Bone infections, fractures, or tumors
- Cancer in the spine
- A high risk of stroke
- Numbness, tingling, or loss of strength in limbs
- Severe or advanced osteoporosis
Not all back and spinal pain can be treated solely by chiropractic care. The team at Body XI spends a lot of time ensuring that chiropractic care and other manual therapies are beneficial to the patient and their need. Our spinal pain specialists study the patient’s case to fully understand their medical history, physical condition, diet, and lifestyle to design the most effective and safe treatment plan to match their needs and get them back to living their lives pain-free.
Schedule an appointment today
If you struggle with chronic back or spinal pain that will not go away on its own, Body XI can help. Our experienced team will work with you to design a custom treatment plan that targets your pain at the source. CallBody XI today at (813) 518-0566 to learn more about our specialized services or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What information should I bring to see a spinal pain specialist?
You should bring any information that would benefit your care and future treatment plan. The more information Body XI initially has, the better we can treat you. Make sure to tell us important things like injuries, surgeries, medications, or chronic conditions that spinal treatment may adversely affect. Also, describe the pain you are experiencing, how long it has been happening, when and why it started, and any activities that trigger symptoms.
WIll I need to have an X-ray?
It depends on a patient’s situation. They are recommended to diagnose a possible trauma that may have resulted in a fracture or to monitor a spinal deformity. However, most chiropractic patients do not need an x-ray for back and spinal pain unless deemed clinically necessary.
When should I seek help for back and spinal pain?
In most cases, back pain will resolve on its own with rest, ice and heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain medication. However, there are cases when that may not be enough. You should seek medical care if you experience:
- Pain after a fall, car accident, or other traumatic incident
- Weakness or numbness in your limbs
- Pain with a fever and/or sudden weight loss
- Severe chronic pain
- Ongoing pain after attempting home remedies and treatment
Many general practitioners and ER doctors can treat acute and chronic back and spinal pain. If they are unable to diagnose underlying symptoms, they may refer you to a spinal care specialist. Depending on your condition and wellness goals, you may be able to receive chiropractic care in addition to traditional treatment.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
While every medical treatment comes with risks, chiropractic care – specifically spinal manipulation – is proven to be safe and effective for acute and chronic back pain. Our team is trained and specialized in treating your pain and helping you get back to living life. Your safety and comfort are our top priorities, and we would not recommend treatment that makes you feel unsafe.
Does insurance cover chiropractic care?
Many insurance companies include chiropractic treatment under services they cover. It is advised that you explore your insurance benefits and consult your provider to learn which services are covered or may require copays. The Body XI team is here to help walk you through your policy as well.
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