Back Pain 101: When It’s Time to See a Spine Specialist

Back Pain 101: When It’s Time to See a Spine Specialist

Back pain is one of the most common types of pain that can be life-altering and debilitating. Knowing when it is time to see a spine specialist can be a bit confusing or concerning.

At Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates (CONA), our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Spine Specialists have extensive experience in properly diagnosing back pain. Patients are encouraged to use the information presented in the post to help them make their treatment decision.

Understanding Back Pain

Back pain presents in many forms and locations. Minor injuries and medical conditions that have not reached moderate to severe stages cause uncomfortable pain. Pain usually comes and goes and may improve with:

  • Activity modification
  • Ice
  • Rest
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories

If pain and the injury or condition causing it is not treated, it may become worse. Aching, burning, shocking and radiating pain may present and be accompanied by:

  • Difficulty bearing weight
  • Difficulty moving
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness

Pain and associated symptoms may be experienced in the cervical (neck), thoracic (midback) and lumbar (lower back) spine regions. The extremities may also experience symptoms.

A spine specialist should be seen when:

  • A severe accident or injury occurs (i.e. a car wreck or sports injury)
  • Severe pain and/or associated symptoms present
  • Rest, ice, activity modification and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications do not improve pain
  • A general practitioner makes a referral

A spine specialist finds the cause of back pain and prescribes and effective treatment plan. Commonly treated conditions are:

  • Osteoarthritis. Vertebral bone and cartilage slowly deteriorate. 
  • Spinal stenosis. The spinal canal narrows and pinches spinal nerve roots.
  • Herniated disc. An intervertebral disc slips into the spinal canal and pinches a nerve root.
  • Sprains and strains. A ligament or tendon is partially torn.

Multiple treatment options are used to eliminate pain and associated symptoms as quickly as possible. Nonsurgical treatment options treat the majority of back pain cases.

Minimally invasive spine surgery may be a recommended treatment option when pain does not respond to nonsurgical treatment options.

Make an Appointment
with A CONA Specialist!

If you are experiencing back pain, we encourage you to make an appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates (CONA) Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Spine Specialist as soon as possible. We have offices located in Spartanburg, Duncan and Greenville, SC.

Remember, the road to recovery starts when you walk through our doors. 

what Our Patients Are Saying

Read Their Success Stories

I am happy with this practice all my questions are answered within 24 hours. Dr. Hoenig is great, his bedside manner is wonderful, he is very thorough, and makes personal calls after surgery to check on patients. I would definitely recommend to family and friends!

Tori S.

Dr. Hoenig

This has been one of my most positive experiences at a Dr's office. I was treated with respect and love. They made my surgical procedure less stressful and very positive.

Mindy U.

General Practice

These are the best group of doctors that myself & my family have ever been treated by in this field of medicine. They listen to how you feel instead of telling you how you feel. Thank you all for your caring & kindness.

Lori L.

General Practice