Most people are under the impression that neurosurgeons deal with brain-related issues. But in reality, neurosurgeons do more than just that. They get to deal with the entire body too as the field of neurology deals with the nervous system. This includes the brain, spinal cord as well as the network of nerves branched out over the entire body.

In reality, about 70% of a neurosurgeons time is spent dealing with issues related to the spine. This includes conditions like neck pain, back pain and associated leg pain. Neurosurgeons also get to deal with painful conditions like sciatica, stroke, epilepsy, carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerves, low back pain and chronic pain. To put it simply, neurosurgeons focus on the body’s nervous system and the problems arising from it – whether it’s due to degenerative conditions, chronic pain or trauma.

Out of these, back pain is a common disorder which affects millions of people every year. Your neurosurgeon will help in finding out the reason of your back pain. Most are due to muscle sprains, strains or spasms and intervertabral disc degeneration. Diagnosis can be based on x-rays, CT scans, MRI scan or myelograms which give detailed views of the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Neurosurgeons first attempt to treat the back pain with conservative means, including anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy and hot/cold packs, etc. Surgery is only considered if these non-invasive therapies fail.

Some of the common causes of back pain include:

  • Sciatica – pain along one leg due to pressure on the sciatic nerve
  • Spondylosis – stiffening of spine from wear and tear
  • Herniated discs – intervertebral disc moves out of position
  • Sacroiliac joint disease
  • Spinal stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Spinal compression fracture
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Spinal tumors
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Trauma due to accidents
  • Back muscle strains

While most cases of back pain don’t require surgery, there are some symptoms that are red flags and need the prompt attention of a neurosurgeon. These symptoms include:

  • Back pain radiating down the buttock, leg or foot, indicating possible radiculopathy
  • Back pain including weakness or numbness indicating possible spinal cord compression
  • Back pain following trauma
  • Back pain accompanied by fever
  • Back pain accompanied with bowel/bladder incontinence
  • Back pain that worsens at night
  • Back pain lasting more than two weeks
  • Back pain coupled with weight loss

If you do have any of these symptoms, consider making an appointment with an experienced neurosurgeon. The Sita Bhateja Specialty hospital in Bangalore has a team of highly specialized neurosurgeons for whom treating such conditions is a way of daily life. Check here for more information: http://www.sbshospital.com/