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Ask Our Physicians: Back Pain

Posted on January 12, 2018
Joel Norman, MD of the neurosurgical team at TN Brain and Spine
Joel Norman, MD

Dear Dr. Norman:

I’ve suffered back pain for several months. It started in my lower back, but now the pain is also in my legs, and they tingle all the time and feel weak. Physical therapy and over-the-counter medications don’t seem to help. Is there anything I can do?

Back pain alone typically isn’t a neurosurgical problem and often can be treated with conventional therapies like massage, steroid injections, physical therapy, or chiropractic treatment. However, you may have a serious spine injury or condition that requires care by a neurosurgeon if you’re experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Radiating pain in the buttocks, legs, or feet
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs or feet

There are many spine conditions that can cause this type of pain, including:

  • Compression or trauma to the sciatic nerve
  • Sprains or strains in the back
  • Herniated or ruptured discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolysis – a crack or stress fracture of the spinal vertebrae
  • Spondylolisthesis – instability of the spinal vertebrae
  • Stenosis – narrowing of the passageways between vertebrae

During your visit with us, we’ll review your symptoms, medical history, and MRI results, which should be obtained prior to your appointment. Our office is conveniently located at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, where your MRI can be scheduled by one of our staff. Depending on the severity of your condition, surgery may be recommended.

At TN Brain and Spine we use advanced technology and procedures for minimally invasive surgery, which offers patients many advantages, including a smaller incision, less post-operative pain, reduced risk of surgical complications, and a faster recovery.

Learn More

If you’re experiencing back pain that radiates to the buttocks, legs or feet, or includes weakness, tingling, or numbness, call us at (865) 331-2835. No physician referral is necessary.

Disclaimer: please note that this information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have a specific medical question or issue, we encourage you to call our office at (865) 331-2835 and schedule an appointment.

About Dr. Norman

Joel Norman, MD is board certified in neurosurgery. Click here to view his profile. He is accepting new patients, and you can schedule an appointment by calling (865) 331-2835.

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