Radiologist

Radiologist

This article discusses details on the profession of radiology including what a radiologist is, who and what they treat, and some of the common types of medical equipment they use.

What is a radiologist?

A radiologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of illness and disease through medical imaging techniques. They, just like other doctors, have completed medical school and completed a residency and additional special training. Some of radiologists techniques include (but are not limited to):

  • X-ray
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Fusion imaging
  • Ultrasound

The importance of a radiologist is high because when an injury isn’t clear a radiologist will test via medical images and direct the patient to the specific care they need. Sometimes multiple medical screens are necessary in order to get the most accurate finding of the injury or illness.

What types of injuries do they treat?

The types of injuries radiologists treat can range from broken bones to cancer. With the use of medical imaging, radiologists can see what is going on inside the body. Injuries that a radiologist might treat include (but are not limited to):

  • Cancer
  • Broken bone
  • Heart disease
  • Blood-related disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Headache and migraine
  • Brain disease

What types of treatment do they provide?

The types of treatment a radiologist provides are mostly based on medical imaging. Some of the techniques that a radiologist might use include (but are not limited to):

  • Breast imaging
  • Cardiovascular Radiology
  • Chest Radiology
  • Emergency Radiology
  • Gastrointestinal Radiology
  • Genitourinary Radiology
  • Head and neck Radiology
  • Musculoskeletal Radiology
  • Neuroradiology Radiology
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Nuclear Radiology
  • Radiation Oncology

With the variety of techniques a radiologist has, they can approach a disease, injury or illness in many different ways. Similar to a sonographer using an image for an ultrasound, Interventional radiology is ‘image-guided’ surgery, meaning the image is used as a tool for the surgeon to see more clearly. A radiologist might use an X-ray image to diagnose a traumatic injury someone may have suffered from in a car crash.

A radiologist is a physician who is specially trained to obtain and interpret medical images, such as an X-ray. They are trained to interpret the images and understand what is functioning normally and if there are any abnormalities. Sometimes it is clear that someone has a broken bone or has a migraine, but a radiologist can see inside the body and understand if there are any underlying issues that are of concern. If the radiologist finds something, they can then treat the patient or refer them to another specialist. For example, let’s say someone twists their ankle and they continue to walk on it. They may say to themselves, “I twisted my ankle but I’m fine. I don’t need to see a doctor”. They might have broken their ankle and a few bones in their foot – if they continue to walk on it and don’t seek any treatment they may make the injury worse. If they saw a radiologist and got an X-ray, the radiologist could recommend certain medicine and therapy for a speedy and full recovery, instead of making it worse.

X-ray

The X-ray was invented in 1896, and have served as a primary tool for physicians since its inception. An X-ray is “an electromagnetic wave of high energy and very short wavelength, which is able to pass through many materials opaque (not able to see through) to light”. In other words, an X-ray machine sends tiny waves through an object and the waves collect the data, sending it to a computer. The data is then collected and used for research and diagnosis. Then the radiologist or doctor can explain the images to the patient.

MRI

An MRI is similar to an X-ray, but it images the water molecules in the body and takes images of tissues. Radiofrequency and electromagnetic field are used to take medical images of the soft tissue (via water molecules). The specialty for an MRI is soft tissue (tissue that connects, supports or surrounds parts of the body, e.x. muscles, tendons, etc.).

CT Scan

A CT scan or ‘Cat Scan’ is a use of radiation waves and takes cross-sectional images of the body using a small beam that sends the waves through the body. In other words, a CT scans the body using radiation instead of an X-ray. The results are then studied by the doctor and shown to the patient, and any abnormalities are addressed.

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Radiologist

McMullin Legal Group

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapists

This article discusses physical therapy in detail included what it is, what types of patients and injuries physical therapists treat, and much more.

What is it?

Physical Therapy is a more natural treatment for injuries as an alternative to drugs or surgery. Physical therapists focus on the development/re-development of muscles, increasing movement in the joints, reducing pain, restoring function, and preventing disability. Physical therapy patients who suffer pain as a result of injury or hereditary illness can benefit from physical therapy. Physical therapists use many techniques to treat patients, including hands-on massage, machines such as a treadmill to increase motion, or exercise equipment to help increase mobility. Chronic pain can be addressed through physical therapy as well.

Patients

The type of people who might seek physical therapists for relief are people who have pain/discomfort from mobility. For example, someone who had a minor knee injury a few years ago might suffer from knee pain while exercising. Surgery is an option, but physical therapy might be a healthier option. This patient could benefit from strengthening the muscles around the knee joint and take some of the stress off of the knee joint. Physical therapy can only do so much for someone. If someone needs a knee replaced, surgery might be the best option. This patient, however, would benefit from physical therapy after surgery.

What types of injuries do they treat?

There are many types of injuries that physical therapists treat, but for the most part, they treat injuries related to:

  • Ligaments and Tendons
  • Tendonitis
  • Fractures/Breaks/Sprains
  • Arthritis
  • Dislocations
  • Lower Back Pain

The goal of physical therapy when it comes to treating injuries is to promote movement and function in the human body.

What types of treatment do they provide?

There are several types of treatment that physical therapists use, which include but are not limited to:

  • Exercise – for overall physical health
  • Ultrasound – for tissue heating and healing (muscles, tendons, etc.)
  • Electrical Stimulation – treats muscle pain and muscle spasms
  • Traction – treats the spine with decompression
  • Joint Mobilization – manual treatment, a ‘hands-on’ technique used by many physical therapists
  • Massage/Heat/Ice – ‘hands-on’ technique to help soreness/tightness in muscles

Surgery

When someone has surgery to fix or restore something in their body, physical therapy may be of benefit to them to re-develop the muscles and joints. The surgery recovery time can be lengthy, but physical therapy can help speed up the recovery time. Surgery can do many things that physical therapy cannot, but they can complement each other. Physical therapy can provide patients who have had surgery with great benefit to recovery, and even speed up the recovery process. Major surgeries usually need time to recover, and sometimes require lots of bedrest. Some leg surgeries require elevation in order to prevent excess swelling. Minor surgeries sometimes are performed so the patient does not have to take anesthesia.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is described as pain occurring from irritation, inflammation and recurring pain. The pain is said to be present even after someone has healed from an injury. While there is no known cure for chronic pain, physical therapy can help reduce the amount of pain someone is experiencing. Physical therapy is considered a healthy alternative to drugs and surgery, but if someone has to have surgery for chronic pain, physical therapy can help with.

Joints

If a patient has suffered an injury or had a surgical procedure on their knee, they may have reduced motion or mobilization in that knee joint. Physical therapists target those specific joints and treat them. When someone cannot run, exercise, or even walk, it can be difficult to deal with mentally and physically. The patient would be advised to see a physical therapist for treatment and pain relief. The physical therapist would diagnose the current mobility and motion of the knee and set goals to increase the mobility and motion. The exercises and techniques used to treat a knee injury or knee surgery will be set at a pace to help but not hurt the patient. The joint in someone’s knee is crucial for everyday life.

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Physical Therapists

McMullin Legal Group

Pain Management Doctors

Pain Management Doctors

This article discusses pain management doctors in some detail focusing on the injuries they treat.

What is it?

Pain management doctors specialize in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of all different kinds of pain. There are many types of pain such as cancer pain (tumor pressing on parts of the body causing pain), chronic pain (long-term pain), and acute pain (short-term pain). The overall goal of pain management doctors is to manage pain and provide comfort to their patients. They do this in a variety of ways.

What types of injuries do they treat?

There are many types of injuries that pain management doctors treat. Below are some injuries and common pain types that are treated:

  • Back pain
  • Constant headaches/migraines
  • Joint pain
  • Post-surgery pain
  • Arthritis
  • Chest/abdominal pain
  • Sports injuries

The above list is not limited; there are plenty of other types of pain and injuries that pain management doctors treat.

What types of treatment do they provide?

The treatment they provide can range from injections to therapy. Here is a list of some common types of treatment provided by pain management doctors:

  • Spinal injections
  • Steroid Injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Joint Injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Neuromodulation

The above list is not complete because there are other forms of treatment that pain management doctors provide. The overall goal of pain management doctors is to treat pain and approach pain to satisfy the patient’s comfort level.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a type of pain that is persistent and can last well over 6 months to many years. Usually, chronic pain occurs after an injury or surgery, but the pain simply doesn’t seem to go away. There are many ways to approach chronic pain, but sometimes the treatment only takes the edge off.

When you feel pain, there are pain receptors that are turned on in that area. The pain receptors send an electrical signal to your brain which tells you that you are hurting. When the body heals itself or the injury is healed, the pain receptors turn off and stop sending those electrical signals to your brain. With chronic pain, however, those pain receptors continue sending the pain signals even after the injury is healed. Some of the leading causes of chronic pain are:

  • Back injuries
  • Surgery
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Arthritis

When someone feels pain from an injury or a symptom well after the body is healed, that person may be suffering from chronic pain. Chronic pain can also affect someone mentally; the can feel constantly frustrated, angry, or depressed. It can also affect sleeping patterns, eating habits, and drain your energy. When our expectations aren’t met, we feel frustrated. We can feel frustrated when we don’t know why something is happening. When someone has chronic pain it can be difficult to manage because that person may not know why they are in such pain or struggle to find a solution to the pain.

Seeing pain management doctors or primary care physicians would be the next step for managing the pain.

Cancer Pain

Cancer pain is daunting to think about, let alone deal with first hand or even personally. Cancer is a word that is not used lightly and should be handled properly. When someone has cancer, there can be a tumor building inside of that person’s body. Cancer pain usually refers to the pain caused by the tumor pressing against nerves, bones, muscles, or organs in the body. This type of pain is hard to manage because of the knowledge. Knowing you have cancer is painful enough, let alone the actual pain from a tumor.

One of the most helpful treatments besides drugs and chemotherapy is an emotional connection with friends and family. Cancer can take a toll on your mental and physical health, so it is important to take care of both.

Acute Pain

When someone has an injury or surgery, they usually experience some level of pain. When the pain goes away when that person is healed, that person experienced acute pain. Acute pain usually doesn’t last over 6 months. Some examples of things that cause acute pain are:

  • Surgery that causes pain for only a month
  • A headache that doesn’t last for more than a few hours
  • A broken bone that heals after two months
  • Cut that heals after a week
  • A bruised rib that heals after 3 weeks

There are plenty of other types of injuries or surgeries that cause acute pain. Treatment with drugs usually relieves the pain but does not fix the injury.

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Pain Management Doctors

McMullin Legal Group

Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Surgeon

This article discusses orthopedic surgeons in some detail focusing on the main treatments they perform.

Who are they?

An orthopedic surgeon is a physician who specializes in the musculoskeletal system. They specialize in diagnosing, preparing, performing surgery, and rehabilitation of the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system consists of the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves of the body. Orthopedic surgeons have extensive medical training. They have completed:  

  1. 4 years of undergrad (bachelor’s degree);
  2. 4 years of medical school;
  3. 5+ years of residency; and
  4. Specialty or additional training

Overall, orthopedic surgeons have at least 13 years of experience in training for what they do. They are trained to help their patients by higher means of medical assistance.

What kinds of injuries do they treat?

Orthopedic surgeons treat many injuries related to the musculoskeletal system; here are some of the injuries they treat:

  • Bone fractures and dislocations
  • Back injuries
  • Deformities
  • Injuries to tendons, muscles, cartilage, etc.
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Leg dysfunctions
  • Growth abnormalities
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sports and work-related injuries
  • Torn, sprained or strained ligaments

Many of these injuries require surgery, but some do not require it. The surgeon and many of their assistants will run tests and interview you about the injury. Usually, the surgeon will come see you a few times before a final decision is made. If an injury is a joint related injury, usually the surgeon will test the range of motion in the joint, along with asking how it happened, what kind of pain was felt, what are you comfortable/not comfortable doing with the injury, etc.

What kinds of treatment do they provide?

Some of the surgeries that an orthopedic surgeon performs are:

  1. Arthroscopy – the procedure of diagnosing, visualizing and treatment of a joint using a camera and other special equipment.
  2. Internal Fixation – a procedure that holds a bone or bones in their proper position by metal plates, pins, screws while the bone heals.
  3. Joint replacement – an injured or damaged joint that is in need of repair; sometimes the joint is partially, revised or totally replaced.
  4. Osteotomy – the cutting and re-positioning of bones for proper placement and correction.
  5. Soft tissue repair – tendons or ligaments in need of repair, usually done by mending.

There may be more than just one form of treatment for a musculoskeletal injury or disease. Orthopedic surgeons want to make the best and most educated decision for you, which is why they and their assistants perform several tests before the final treatment. They will interview you and ask about your history with this injury, they will take blood tests, X-rays, additional diagnostic exams, etc. They want to satisfy you and help you feel back to normal.

When a patient has a musculoskeletal injury but does not need surgery, they may be referred to a pain management doctor or a physical therapist. Some injuries simply require little to no weight-bearing. If someone injures their ankle, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend crutches and physical therapy instead of surgery. They may recommend this if the patient’s ligaments and tendons were not affected. If the patient were to fracture an ankle bone and strain a ligament, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend surgery.

It may be wise to get a second opinion on your injury. For example, you should see a doctor and ask what they think would be the best for your injury. If they recommend surgery, it might be beneficial to see another doctor and ask them the same question. If they both recommend surgery, then surgery is probably the best option.

Orthopedics

Defined as an organ system, the musculoskeletal system gives the human body a range of motion or the ability to move. The system provides support, movement, strength, and stability. It also protects many parts of the body including vital organs. Consisting of bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles, joints and other parts of the musculoskeletal system: the knee supports the body’s weight. The ankle and foot absorb friction when walking or running (there are 26 bones and 33 joints in the foot and ankle). The hip provides stability when standing, walking or running. The rib cage protects the vital organs. The arms pull and lift; hands perform complicated tasks. The human body is amazing and can do amazing things. The most important part of the body is the brain, and the musculoskeletal system helps perform functions and ideas of the brain.

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Orthopedic Surgeon

McMullin Legal Group

Neurologist

Neurologist

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 nerves cells and fibers that transmit nerve impulses between parts of the body. Neurologists have extensive medical training. They have completed:

  1. Undergrad (bachelors);
  2. Medical school;
  3. An internship; and
  4. 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:

  • Dementia
  • Dizziness
  • Epilepsy
  • Movement problems
  • Headaches/migraines
  • MS (multiple sclerosis)
  • Seizures
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stroke
  • Tumors
  • 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.  

Neurosurgeon

Neurologists can recommend surgery, but they are not surgeons themselves. With the 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 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.

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Neurologist

McMullin Legal Group