Fishkin Center: Common Questions
Can your approach cure my pain?
It’s not possible to know if a treatment will be curative, whether mine or another’s, but in many cases my approach enables me to exercise more and better control of the problem, and thus a better chance of resolving it completely.
Can surgery cure my pain?
In some cases surgery is the right path to take, but it must always be the last choice, not the first. Spinal surgery, for example, involves a number of unforeseen and uncontrollable aspects that do not apply to other types of surgery, which sometimes makes it difficult to achieve a cure. Therefore, fully explore all other, more conservative options before undergoing surgery. The good news is that the patients I refer to surgery typically have a better-than-average outcome as a result of the care I take to ensure that surgery is actually warranted.
How long will it take to get better?
I’ll strive to get you stable and functional as quickly as possible, but how quickly depends on a number of factors, beginning with the severity of the problem and how long you’ve been dealing with it. Other factors include your general health, occupation and work environment, and personal habits.
Will I have to come forever?
No, certainly not. I want you to get better and live your life. However, while some patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions may need to return for regular checkups, others just feel healthier after a tune up, a matter of personal choice.
How should I expect to feel after treatment?
In most cases you’ll feel better and lighter, freer of pain. Depending on the treatment, you might feel a little sore, like you would after working out a little too hard, but this is temporary and usually by the next day you’ll feel better. Or, you might feel no better but no worse, in need of more time or a different approach.
How often do I need treatment to get better and stay better?
It depends on the severity and urgency of care needed, whether it’s acute or chronic, and other contributing factors.
My friends who have the same problem had success with surgery, why not me?
No two people are alike, therefore no two people have the same problem, even if each one has low back pain. Your individual problem requires a personalized approach.
What caused this problem in the first place?
In most cases, we can’t know unless you were involved in a car crash or fell on your bum. Most people report doing something very slight and then having a dramatic event of pain and immobility. That’s because most back problems develop slowly and silently over time. This is true of many problems in modern society, diabetes and heart disease to name the biggest. These diseases don’t develop overnight. It takes years due to many behavioral, genetic, occupational and other factors.
Should I have a shot (injection) in the back?
Depends on the situation. The first thing to know is that a shot in the back, also called an epidural steroid injection, or selective nerve root block, may quell the inflammation that’s the primary source of pain but doesn’t get to the cause. So, it may only offer you temporary relief as you work to resolve the underlying cause of the problem. But there is a limit to how much and how often you can have this procedure because of the negative effects steroids can have on your body. It’s best to reserve their use to those times that you really need it, and I’ll help you in making that choice.
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Our Offices in Maryland