Selecting the Right Spine Doctor for Your Condition: Advice from Our Newport Beach Neurosurgeon at SPINE – Dr. Jeffrey Gross
When something has clearly gone wrong in your spine, the resulting pain, stiffness, or other uncomfortable symptoms will probably compel you to seek out an experienced spine doctor. But the term “spine doctor” actually covers a lot of ground — including multiple medical disciplines from several different kinds of practitioners
The sheer wealth of choices can introduce a lot of confusion, and if you don’t know where to turn, you may end up delaying the care you need so badly. That’s why our Newport Beach neurosurgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Gross, wants to give you this introduction to three specific types of spine doctors so you can find it easier to make the right choice.
Not sure which is right for you? Make an appointment with spine doctor, Jeffrey Gross to review the sources of your pain and problems, and be directed to the right specialist or specialists in a conservative path starting with non-invasive. Dr. Gross considers surgery the last option in most cases.
Neurosurgeons: Skilled Treatment for Your Nervous System
The spine serves as the central conduit for nerve transmissions via the spinal cord (which attaches directly to the brain), its major nerve roots, and the many lesser nerves that branch out from the nerve roots throughout the body. Unfortunately, a variety of spinal problems can interfere with this communications network. That’s when you need the services of our neurosurgeon in Newport Beach.
A neurosurgeon specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of any and all spinal conditions that involve the brain, spinal cord, central nervous system or peripheral nervous system. These conditions may include:
- Brain or nerve tumors
- Spinal degeneration that can also cause nerve compression (such as herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, or resulting spinal stenosis)
- Referred pain syndromes such as carpal tunnel syndrome, radiculopathy, and
- Chronic neck or back pain
- Diseases or disorders of the blood vessels that serve the brain or spine
- Neurological disorders such as epilepsy
- Traumatic or medical disease-related damage to the nerves
Our Newport Beach neurosurgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Gross, may offer any of several treatment techniques. You may benefit from non-surgical treatments, minimally invasive treatments, pain management, and/or open surgical spinal fusion or disc surgery, endoscopic surgery, radiosurgery, and/or the installation of a shunt or other devices.
Orthopedic Surgeons: Medical Care for Painful or Injured Joints
Does your spinal problem require the attention of an orthopedic surgeon? These specialists focus on finding and correcting musculoskeletal diseases, disorders, and injuries. This area of expertise includes both the bones and the many structures that make up the joints, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
There is overlap between orthopedic surgeons and neuro-surgeons. A spine-fellowship trained neurosurgeon provides the best of both the neurological and musculoskeletal fields into one specialist.
Orthopedic surgeons and spine-fellowship trained neurosurgeons treat a variety of common conditions, both acute and chronic. Common examples include:
- Spinal or long-bone fractures
- Strains and sprains
- Severe spinal osteoarthritis
- Injuries to the hands, wrists, ankles, elbows, knees, or feet
- Congenital deformities that may be causing or contributing to back pain
If your particular condition mainly involves musculoskeletal problems with or without neurological involvement, an orthopedic or spine-fellowship trained neurosurgeon might be the right choice for your needs. These surgeons provide consultations, non-surgical treatment, and can perform surgical procedures to mend broken bones and correct joint alignment.
Chiropractors: Restoring Joint Alignment and Spinal Function
Could your spinal problem respond to non-invasive treatment? In many cases, the answer is yes — and that’s when you might consider seeing a chiropractor as one non-surgical option. Chiropractic treatment focuses on correcting alignment problems within or between joints. Even a small spinal misalignment can cause serious problems, from chronic muscle strain and vertebral joint pain to pinched spinal nerve tissues. Chiropractic can be part of a rehabilitative physical therapy program, as long as there is no spinal cord impingement.
Chiropractors can diagnose and treat spinal problems, including:
- Back sprains and strains
- A form of tailbone pain called coccydynia
- Alignment problems caused by (or involving) what some people call “degenerative disc disease”
- Spinal osteoarthritis
- Adhesions (internal scarring)
- Chronic pain conditions (including pain referred by a spinal nerve impingement)
While traditional chiropractic adjustments are made by hand, many chiropractors have also embraced instrument-assisted methods such as the Activator Technique, Graston Technique, and non-surgical spinal decompression through the use of a special mobilized table as part of a rehabilitative program,
Other Spine Doctor Options
While the three practitioners listed above treat a wide range of spinal complaints, they’re not the only professionals who might prove helpful. Some patients can make use of other specialists such as:
- Physical therapists for spinal injury rehabilitation and/or chronic pain management
- Massage therapists for treatment of acute or chronic muscle/ligament pain in the neck or back
- Rheumatologists, who specialize in the treatment of inflammatory auto-immune issues such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Oncologists, experts in the treatment of spinal cord tumors and other forms of cancer
Still Have Questions? Talk to Our Neurosurgeon in Newport Beach
Finding the right spine doctor can make all the difference in making sure you get an accurate diagnosis and specific forms of care as soon (and as skillfully) as possible. Our neurosurgeon in Newport Beach is more than happy to guide you along the right path. Call our Henderson NV or Newport Beach CA office today!
Dr. Jeffrey Gross MD is sought out by many other professionals for not just his treatments but also for second opinions prior to surgery. If you find yourself facing the decision of whether or not to do surgery, call us today to know what all your options are…. sometimes it doesn’t have to be surgery.
 The aging changes of the spine do not constitute an actual “disease” and this phrase is use mostly for lay purposes, as it does not speak adequately to the cause of spinal pain and/or problems.
 Some people vaguely refer to these tissues as “soft tissue”