Because of the numbness in your hands, your primary doc no doubt wants the neurologist to do nerve conduction tests --- called an EMG -- that can determine the extent of nerve damage
, if any, from the pressure on those nerve
roots. It is prudent to do these tests before any physical therapy. Sounds like you have a good doc.
I hope that you're being medicated for pain.
Socialized medicine may not be speedy, but the price is right.