Where should you turn when all you can think of is pain?

Sponsored by The Spine Center of Baton Rouge

If you are experiencing extreme back or leg pain, your first action may be to search the Internet for information, but that can lead to unnecessary anxiety. There are so many potential answers for so many potential problems, with very little personalization. If you are in this situation, Dr. Nathaniel Rawicki of The Spine Center of Baton Rouge is someone you can turn to for answers.

Dr. Rawicki says one of the most rewarding parts of being a spine surgeon is helping patients navigate these types of situations. It’s essential to seek out a physician who is willing to walk you through your condition and take the time to explain not just the condition, but also the options available to you.

“Focusing on a patient’s specific problem and taking the time to listen to their unique experience is important,” he says. “Knowing that just because their MRI may show a similar problem to someone ese, it doesn’t mean that their experience is the same.”

The great news for most people is that many of these pain experiences will go away with limited intervention. There is a great deal of power in conservative options such as physical therapy, activity modification, the use of over-the-counter NSAID medications and time itself.

More great news is that even for those patients who are unable to get the relief that they desire from those modalities, there are plenty of surgical options which are far different from what has been done in the past.

The advent of intra-operative navigation, endoscopic spine surgery, robotic spine surgery and the over-arching umbrella that is considered “minimally invasive spine surgery” has changed the perception of spine surgery. What was once done through large incisions with significant pain and long-term hospital stays, has been replaced with techniques which allow for quicker mobilization, minimal muscle damage, limited narcotic usage and a quicker return to a life that you want to live.

Rawicki says it’s imperative for spine surgeons of our time to both embrace the capabilities of technology and minimally invasive spine surgery, but also to make sure that the tenets on which spine surgery was built are followed. There are situations where larger, more-invasive surgeries are necessary, and the most important thing is getting each patient back to the quality of life that they desire.

“A mentor once told me, ‘The Decision is much more important than the Incision,’” Rawicki says. “I can ensure that each decision for your care will be made through a partnership together, and together we can decide which treatment plan is right for your specific situation. My promise to you is that we will take the time to listen to you, that you will be heard, and a plan will be made with the quickest path (through the least invasive means) back to the life that you want to live.”

If you are in extreme pain and experiencing high anxiety after reading the information available online, make an appointment to see a physician at The Spine Center of Baton Rouge. Call 1-833-SPINEBR or visit online at spinecenterbr.com.