Back Pain

Oakland Orthopedic

Bruce T Henderson, MD

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon located in Pontiac, MI

Almost everyone experiences back pain at some time in their life. There are at least seven or eight possible diagnoses for these symptoms. Very few physicians are knowledgeable about how to sort out what is the cause of the symptoms.Without an accurate diagnosis it is not possible to properly treat the problem. At Oakland Orthopedic in Pontiac, Michigan, Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Bruce Henderson, MD, is an expert at diagnosing spinal problems, including the specific cause of back pain or neck pain. A proper diagnosis is essential to providing the most effective treatment. For expert management of your neck or back pain, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Back Pain

What is back pain?

Back pain is a common pain complaint. It includes any discomfort that affects the back as well as the neck.

For most people, back pain is acute and occurs after a fall or injury. This type of pain resolves within a few weeks. However, some people experience chronic back pain, which is pain that lasts three or more months. 

No matter the severity or longevity of the neck or back pain, Dr. Hennderson can help. After many years of orthopedic practice, he’s an expert at finding and addressing the root cause of the pain.

The risk of developing neck or back pain increases as you get older because of the degenerative changes that occur in the spine over time. Despite the common belief, most back pain originates from problems related to the spine, not back muscles.

Common causes of back pain include:

  • Sprained disc
  • Fractures
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Trauma
  • Spinal Instability
  • Arthritis
  • Sciatica

What can I expect during a back pain evaluation?

With all of these many causes of back pain it is most important to accurately define the problem before initiating any treatment program. This is essential but most often it does not happen.  A problem well defined is half solved. 

Unfortunately, very few physicians are knowledgeable enough about the above diagnoses to design a proper treatment program.

Sadly, most patients who see a physician about a back problem do not get an accurate diagnosis first. Of course, this can lead to ineffective or even harmful treatment. Physical Therapy and arthritis medicines are almost never the correct treatment.

At Oakland Orthopedic, you can expect a patient-focused exam when you come in to see Dr. Henderson for help with your back pain. He excels at finding the root cause of your back pain so he can provide the most effective treatment. Dr. Henderson is a skilled and experienced orthopedic surgeon, but for most patients, he recommends nonsurgical interventions to alleviate neck or back pain.

In most cases, Dr. Henderson determines a diagnosis after discussing your medical history and performing a thorough physical exam, with X-rays. However, in some cases, he may request other diagnostic tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to confirm a diagnosis.

  • Learning proper posture
  • Improving body mechanics
  • Activity and lifestyle changes
  • Braces
  • Injections
  • Physical therapy

Of course, there are many other causes that may lead to back pain, hip pain, weakness, numbness, or sciatic pain radiating down the leg. It is essential that the proper diagnosis is made first so that proper treatment can be initiated. Especially when it comes to symptoms of the spine, a “problem well defined is half solved”. Unfortunately, few practitioners are knowledgeable about properly diagnosing spinal problems.

At Oakland orthopedic Partners, we are experts in the proper diagnosis of spine and back problems from the neck down to the tailbone. This allows us to treat the problem properly, most often with non operative means. You should know that almost all back pain originates in the spine and not the back muscles. The most common treatments involve proper posture, body mechanics, activity and lifestyle changes, braces, and injections. Surgical intervention is RARELY necessary!  Call our office at 248-334-0524 to learn how this applies to you.

Dr. Henderson rarely performs surgery to treat back pain. However, when it’s needed, he uses minimally invasive techniques to reduce trauma, post-surgical pain, and recovery time. He performs surgery to relieve pinched nerves from spinal stenosis or herniated discs.

Dr. Henderson also treats vertebral compression fractures from osteoporosis with kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure that provides immediate relief of pain! Please see our separate service heading: Sudden Back Pain

To get relief from back pain or neck pain, call us or book an appointment online today by calling 248-334-0524.