Looking after your back is important and it is equally important that back pain is not left ignored. Spinal surgeons treat and diagnose spinal diseases and conditions, whether this be non-operative or through surgery. With a referral from your GP a spinal surgeon is the best expert to see about your back pain.
Ormiston Hospital’s newest specialist spinal surgeon Dr Simon Manners sees a wide range of orthopaedic spinal issues, from long-term wear and tear to a possible slipped disc or a simple stiff neck to very serious trauma.
Knowing when to see a spinal surgeon is sometimes hard, but your GP can usually help. Here are three signs to watch out for if you are experiencing any kind of spinal pain. If any of the below apply to you, you should seek help from your GP who may refer you to a spinal surgeon.
- The back pain has lasted more than a couple of weeks despite self-care
If self-care methods are not working (such as rest and taking it easy) and pain persists it is likely that you need to see a doctor. If the pain that is bad enough that you cannot perform everyday activities or you are not getting the quality sleep you should see someone immediately and it should not be left for a couple of weeks.
- Intense pain after an impact or fall
Did your pain start after a serious accident? This could be falling, or injuring yourself while doing something – then you need to see your GP. High-impact falls can cause damage to the vertebra and/or discs which will need medical attention and possibly consultation from a spinal specialist.
Don’t be fooled by delayed onset – sometimes you feel fine after an incident but it’s not until later on that you notice the injury. This type of pain (i.e. whiplash) also requires attention.
- Pain is accompanied by any of these symptoms
The following list is a warning sign that your pain is very serious:
- Radiating pain in your arm or leg
- Any tingling, numbness, or weak feeling in your arm or leg
- Difficult achieving balance, or uncontrolled bowel/bladder (incontinence)
- Fever, chills, or nausea
- Weight loss
Seeing an orthopaedic spinal surgeon before any of the above conditions become more serious can help improve your quality of life. Make an appointment to see your GP and ask for a referral to Auckland’s Ormiston Hospital’s expert spinal surgeon Dr Simmon Manners. If surgery is required it can take place at Ormiston Hospital – Auckland’s premier private hospital. Read more about why Ormiston.