This article discusses the basics of the neurologist profession, focusing on the particular types of treatments a neurologist offers.
Who are they?
A neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the categories and conditions related to the nervous system. The nervous system consists of the nerve cells and fibers that transmit nerve impulses between parts of the body. Neurologists have extensive medical training. They have completed:
- Undergrad (bachelors);
- Medical school;
- An internship; and
- At least three years of training in a neurology program for a residency.
By treating and managing neurological conditions and problems, neurologists are specialists when it comes to the nervous system.
If a patient has a symptom that a neurologist might treat, that patient should go to their primary care doctor first. Usually, the patient’s primary care doctor will refer the patient to a neurologist if needed. In most cases, a patient should see their primary care doctor before seeing a specialist, unless it is an emergency, then the patient should go to the emergency room or an instant care doctor.
What kind of injuries do they treat?
A neurologist treats many types of injuries and conditions. Neurologists treat patients who suffer from:
- Movement problems
- MS (multiple sclerosis)
- Sleep disorders
- Vision problems
There are plenty of other injuries and conditions they treat. Neurologists are trained to help patients with the pain and condition of their nervous system. Chronic pain related to the nervous system is something a neurologist might treat. For example, if someone had back surgery and their pain has not gone away even though they have completely healed from the surgery, the neurologist would treat that patient, especially if the patient suffers from weakness, numbness, bladder or bowel problems.
What kind of treatment do they provide?
They provide many types of treatment, but usually, a neurologist will start the treatment by a neurological exam, examining the brain and function of the patient. With the assistance of technology, neurologists can not only rely on their expertise but the accuracy and consistency of computers for treatment. Neurologists need to be able to identify potential risks associated with the nervous system. For example, a patient who has lost the ability to move certain parts of their body could be suffering from a brain tumor. Neurologists are trained to address this immediately with examinations and procedures while also prescribing medicine.
Neurologists can recommend surgery, but they are not surgeons themselves. With extensive knowledge, neurologists' recommendations are very accurate. If a patient is suffering from a nervous system-related injury or disease, surgery might be the best option for treatment. The neurologist might recommend surgery from a neurosurgeon - a surgeon who is specialized in performing surgery on the brain and nervous system.
The illnesses and conditions neurosurgeons treat are related to the brain, spine, arteries, stroke, back pain, tumors, and face abnormalities. Some conditions that a patient has required treatment, but a non-surgical procedure might be recommended. The neurologist or neurosurgeon may perform X-rays, MRI, CT scan, PET imaging, and other types of diagnosis. This diagnosis allows the specialist to understand the patient's condition and helps the specialist address the condition with more accuracy.
Non-surgical procedures can consist of injections to the bone, joints, or muscles. Short-term relief can come from narcotic, non-narcotic, anti-inflammatory, prescription or non-prescription drugs. Biologics can be injected into the tissues to help with swelling and bruising. Steroids can also be injected into the affected area. Prolotherapy is an injection to stimulate the nervous system; this is especially helpful when the tissues have become weak due to the patient’s condition.
Nervous system and the brain
The nervous system, along with the brain, is the most important part of the body. The brain controls everything in your body; if there is a problem with it, that problem should be addressed immediately and with the utmost care and protection. What connects the brain and nervous system together with the rest of the body is the nerves. The nerves in our bodies are like wires connecting everything together - connecting the brain and body to the heart, digestive system, immune system, etc.