What type of specialist to see first for degenerative disease?
Given that I recently learned that I've quite a bit of degenerative changes in the cervical and lumbar regions of my spine, what type of specialist should I see first?
I've noticed that people on this forum have seen several types of specialists, such as neurologists, rheumatologists, osteoarthritis specialists, orthopedic surgeons, and pain management specialists.
My only symptoms so far have been intermittent tingling and numbness in my left arm and an intermittent sharp pain in my left hip, which I've assumed is caused by a pinched nerve in my spine. Since I have so little pain, I'm most interested in a specialist who can provide non-surgical treatment at this point with the aim of slowing, halting, or reversing (is that possible?) the degeneration.
Will appreciate any suggestions on where to start - or where not to start.
The first thing I would do is see a neuromuscular specialist and have an EMG done. This will test to see the extent of the nerve being pinched or if it is damaged. Hopefully it is being pinched. I didn't catch mine in time and I have permanent nerve damage. But, this specialist havs been a blessing. She has halped me more than any of the others by a long shot. She helped me find the very best surgeon for the fusion in my cervical spine, has helped me with physical therapy needs, medication, vitamin needs, exercise. But, if you are having the numbness, pins and needles feeling in your left arm, it sounds like a nerve is being compressed against your spinal cord and needs to be tested to make sure. An EMG is the test to make sure. Good luck and let me know what happens.
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