My Back Doesn’t Hurt – Why Am I Being Referred To A Spine Specialist

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 22, 2023

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In most instances, if you’re dealing with uncomfortable symptoms in a particular area of your body, the problem is housed in the same area. For example, if you’re dealing with ankle pain, odds are the problem is the result of a painful sprain or arthritic degeneration in your ankle joint. However, the reason we said “most instances” is because that’s not always the case.

In fact, many people visit their general practitioner with pain or discomfort in one area of their body only to end up with a referral to a spine specialist. But if you’re experiencing pain outside of the spine, why would you need to be referred to a spine specialist? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog.

Why Am I Being Sent To A Back Specialist?

There are a number of different conditions and symptoms that suggest that your underlying issue is actually a spine problem. Here’s a look at some of the most common issues that occur outside of your spine that may lead to a referral to a spine specialist.

  • Shooting Pain In The Extremities – If you’re dealing with shooting pain down one arm or leg, there’s a decent chance that it is being caused by nerve damage or compression. Typically this compression is occurring somewhere within the spinal column, as it is home to nerves that traverse all throughout your body, including down your arms and legs. Pain, numbness or a tingling sensation are all indications that you may be dealing with a spinal nerve issue.
  • Leg Or Arm Weakness – Similarly, weakness in your arms or legs could be an indication of nerve compression within the spinal column. If your legs or arms are feeling fatigued or weak, the problem may actually reside within your spinal column.
  • Headaches – Headaches can be caused by a variety of issues, so there’s no guarantee that a spine specialist can help solve your chronic headaches. That said, a number of headaches can be tied to tension or alignment issues in the cervical portion of your spine. Through physical therapy or postural improvements, your spine specialist may be able to free you from your chronic headaches.
  • Urinary Issues – Spinal disorders or injuries have also been shown to lead to a number of different bladder-related issues, like frequent urination, inability to fully empty the bladder or incontinence. A spinal condition could be impacting the nearby nerves that control the bladder, so a consultation with a spine specialist can prove helpful.
  • Joint Pain – Finally, if you’re dealing with pain or discomfort in a large joint like your hips or knees, there’s a very real possibility that the underlying issue is housed in the spine. A misalignment issue in your spine can shift how weight is dispersed in your body, which can end up putting more stress on your hips or knees. Over time, this added stress can speed up natural degeneration or cause additional problems for these joints. If your hips or knees are hurting, don’t assume that the root issue is located inside those joints.

If you’ve been referred to a spine specialist and are looking for a professional who can help you get to the bottom of your back pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.

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