A neurologist is a physician who deals with conditions that are associated with the nerves and the nervous system. This kind of doctor has received specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that relate to the brain, muscles, peripheral nerves and the spinal cord. The majority of the time, a primary care physician will refer a patient to this kind of specialist if they are exhibiting symptoms that point to a neurological problem.
Some of the most common diseases that are managed by a neurologist include stroke, neurological trauma, tumors and infections of the nervous system, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and other types of autoimmune diseases. This doctor also treats patients who suffer from peripheral nerve diseases, dementia and neuromuscular diseases. A doctor may also send a patient for a consultation to this type of physician as a result of headaches, sleep disorders and movement disorders.
A family doctor may not be certain after examining a patient if they are showing the signs of having a neurological problem or if there is something else wrong with their health. There are some symptoms a practitioner will recognize as being a good reason to refer a patient to a neurologist.
The advice of a specialist in the area of the nervous system would be useful for those who are suffering from severe headaches, as well as sudden onset headaches. Practically everyone suffers from a headache once in a while. Not every pain in the head is a sign of a major health problem. Often they are the result of tension or a mild illness such as sinus congestion or a cold. However, some individuals suffer from more extreme pain in their head region, such as frequent migraines. In the rarest of cases, a headache can be brought about by something major, such as pressure on the skull or bleeding into the brain. In this case, seeing a neurologist for treatment would be smart.
Chronic pain is another reason that a physician may feel it is in the best interests of a patient to have them examined by a healthcare provider who specializes in everything nerve related. There are plenty of people who suffer from pain in their neck or lower back region. While this type of discomfort can often be treated by a family doctor, sometimes a specialist will become involved if it is accompanied by other issues, such as numbness, weakness, or problems with controlling the bladder or the bowels.
Dizziness can be symptomatic of any number of medical problems. A nerve specialist may be consulted when a patient is experiencing vertigo and disequilibrium. When vertigo takes place, there is a sensation of spinning, as if one were on the merry-go-round at the fair. Disequilibrium relates to a lack of balance or coordination. A person may experience one or both of these problems. The causes for these issues may be minor, but in some instances, can be serious and should be checked out right away.