I have an appt coming up with a neurologist, I took it upon myself to get this appt, I did not get a referral from my doctor. He has not wanted to diagnose my problem, and part of the time did not want to treat it, as he felt it was just muscular pain. He gave me neurontin and see ya back pain. I mean it's still there, but to kick from severe/moderate to mild and occassionally moderate is an amazing thing. I am still having neuropathic sensations but they have calmed down some. I'm wondering if I should still keep the appt with the neurologist since my back pain is so much better. I was wanting steriod shots when I made the appt but I am not going to need it. What's this mean that the neurontin is working so well? Nerve irritation that just needed calmed down? Does neurontin eventually heal it?
Do you need a referral for insurance purposes to see the neurologist?
When you say your doctor doesn't want to diagnose your problem, are you referring to your primary care doc or a spine surgeon? The step after you work with your primary care doc is typically a spine surgeon, and many people never see a neurologist for their back pain problems. Neurologists are sometimes called upon to do EMG studies and help determine if there is nerve compression somewhere. Unless you have constant nerve compression, an EMG frequently won't pick up any problems. A nerve that is irritated or intermittently compressed often won't show up on EMG studies. What are you hoping to gain by seeing a neurologist?
Neurontin truly can be wonderful at helping alleviate nerve pain. It's not fully understood how it works, but it's believed to work at the nerve endings to dull nerve pain signals basically. However, Neurontin won't heal nerve compression issues so if you stop taking it and there is still nerve compression your pain will quickly return.
I was wanting steriod injections in my back to relieve my pain when I made this appt. I was scared to death it wasn't going to settle down and stop hurting the way it was. No my insurance doesn't require a referral because I've seen this neurologist in the past. I had discussed this with my PCP and he said if the pain didn't stop, he'd do an MRI and send me to a specialist, didn't happen. And I am referring to my PCP. I don't want my back care in his hands anymore. He dx'd fibromyalgia about 10 yrs ago or longer actually in 2000, and I had an autoimmune disease the entire time, now he knows that, still he's blaming my back problems on fibro, or he wouldn't keep saying he thinks it's muscular. I'd like to know in what sense makes him think it's muscular. The pain is not in a muscular area, the pain is dead centered in my spinal bone. If it was off to the side of my back somewhere, then I'd understand that, but it's not. I think he's fixiated on this diagnosis and he can't think straight when there is something wrong here. I can tell him I'm having nerve problems, shooting pains down my arm/legs, numbness, burning, now cooling sensations, twitching, spasms, whatever, every issue with that has been blown off. He didn't want to give me nerve medication. First time I asked he said without knowing the cause behind my symptoms, it would be hard to treat, to wait until I see my rhematologist in April, to see if he thinks it's fibro causing it. That would of saved me alot of heartache and pain if he would have just tried to diagnose and treat it. I had an evaluation by a rhematologist many years ago, I failed the normal fibromyalgia test where you must meet the criteria of having so many trigger areas of pain, failed it big time. My doctor is still fixiated on this diagnosis. I don't know if I want anything from the neuro now, my pain is so much better. But... the nerve symptoms could still used calmed down with something, mainly the tingling. If I depend on my PCP for this, I can keep on dreaming, lets put it that way. Should I drop this appt? I don't know. I am not sure I should. What if things get bad again? I need a doctor I can rely on.
I really think your best bet is to make an appt with a spine specialist....either an Orthopedic or Neurosurgeon who has a fellowship training for the spine. These doctors are the best at piecing together the clues of symptoms, results from MRI's and other tests. They can then discuss with you what your options are for treatment.
Don't let anyone rush you into any surgery....if that is the suggested treatment, get a couple more opinions from other spine specialists who aren't in the same practice. Surgery should be your last option unless you have severely compressed nerves. If you do, then any other treatments will basicaly be bandaids to temporarily ease the symptoms but they won't fix the problem.
It's all very confusing, I know but this is when you have to be proactive, learn everything you can about your diagnosis and the possible treatments so that you can make an informed decision.
Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.
Lumbar surgery x 7 over the last 30 years.
cervical fusion...2 levels
medtronic pain pump implanted
Last surgery Oct, 2010, 3 levels