Back pain seems to be a problem that plagues so many, so it can be easy to operate under the assumption that treatment is relatively interchangeable. There are actually many different types of doctors that specialize in more specific areas of treatment when it comes to back injury or chronic pain.
It is important that you seek help from the correct type of doctor if you want your pain addressed in the most expedient and thorough fashion. Here is a more in-depth look at the most common types of spine doctors and how they might be able to help you with your pain.
Family Doctor or General Practitioner
Most back pain problems are first addressed in the office of an individual’s general practitioner or primary care doctor. This is because it is often a pain problem that goes on for a length of time prior to the individual asking for help with it.
The most likely course of treatment if your family doctor is prescribing it will be medication therapy and/or physical therapy regimens. Your general practitioner will likely not be as well appraised of treatments for specific back pain problems as their specialist counterparts, so they might opt to order some tests to confirm their suspicions and then use those findings to refer you to one of the specialists listed below.
You might consult an emergency room doctor if you are suffering from back pain that you require immediate treatment for. Either the pain is so intense, or it has become severe enough to cause other issues in your body, and so you are seeking emergency medical care.
These ER incidents generally arise when the back pain occurs in response to trauma or an accident of some kind. If you haven’t been involved in an incident that causes you to require emergent medical care, you might consider scheduling time with a more appropriate specialist.
If the back pain is happening to a child, the first step for acknowledging the pain and beginning the path to treatment is to visit the child’s pediatrician. They will have more appropriate suggestions and referrals relative to issues common in children.
Orthopedic doctors and surgeons are trained experts in the healing functions relative to the musculoskeletal system. This type of doctor is board certified and can help to treat any issues you may have with pain in the neck, spine, disc-related pain, and other common back pain complaints.
Another type of doctor who might be helpful in treating your back pain would be a rheumatologist. These specialists are experienced and capable of treating issues that cause back pain in individuals who have various forms of arthritis. Inflammation in the spine can be a major contributor to significant and felt back pain problems. You will likely see a rheumatologist as a result of a referral from your family doctor.
Neurologists and Neurosurgeons
For spinal and back pain issues that seem to have neurological implications, your GP might recommend you see a specialist such as a neurologist or a neurosurgeon. These types of doctors will help to treat or surgically repair disorders or injuries that relate to the brain, spine, and also the peripheral nervous system. These issues can cause back pain that you might find difficult to cope with.
Holistic and Osteopathic Specialists
In the event of chronic or severe back pain, many individuals tend to prefer to see osteopathic or holistic specialists. These types of doctors and professionals include osteopathic physicians and chiropractic specialists.
Osteopaths are put through the same training and licensing/certification processes that all medical doctors must obtain to practice medicine, but they tend to do additional studies of the musculoskeletal system. They then will prefer to treat pain problems medically, but with an additional emphasis on the potential lifestyle and environmental factors which may be contributing to the pain problem.
Chiropractors are trained in the proper alignment of the spine and may be able to provide some of the most immediate relief to back pain problems. This is done through periodic adjustments and treatments that attempt to maintain alignment and prevent further pain issues.
Regardless of the specifics of your back pain problems, it is essential that you obtain help and begin the path to treatment and relief. The team of spine and orthopedic doctors at AICA Orthopedics specializes in many of the disorders and issues which cause debilitating back pain for our patients. Contact us today to see how you might be able to treat your back pain and feel better sooner!