Types of back and spine specialists
Patients who see specialists of the back and spine are seeking help for a broad range of spine conditions. Specialists treat patients with degenerative age-related issues, including arthritis of the spine, bulging discs and sciatica, as well as patients with traumatic injuries sustained during car accidents and athletic activities.
Just as there are dozens of conditions that cause neck and back pain, there are several types of specialists who treat these spinal conditions. If chronic back pain is affecting your life to the point that it is straining your relationships, work and hobbies, learning more about the specialists who may be able to offer you lasting relief is an important step in your treatment.
Common types of back and spine specialists
Some of the most common types of specialists for the back and spine include:
- Physical therapists. Physical therapists assist patients with strengthening the muscles in the neck and back, as well as reducing pain in these areas. This can be done through a number of means, including stretching, strength exercises, heat therapy, electrical stimulation and massage.
- Chiropractors. Chiropractors work to improve the mechanics and alignment of the spine and the flexibility of spinal joints through manual adjustment or with devices.
- Rheumatologists. Rheumatologists treat the various types of spinal arthritis and other ailments, such as spinal stenosis, through a number of means, including prescription drugs and exercise therapy.
- Neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons. Neurosurgeons specialize in treating disorders affecting the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, through surgical means. While orthopedic surgeons specialize in the musculoskeletal system. Both types of surgeons can perform spine procedures to treat patients whose symptoms have failed to respond to more conservative therapies.
When to see a specialist for surgery
If weeks or months of fully exploring conservative methods have not brought you the relief you require, your primary care doctor may refer you to a back and spine specialist for a surgical consultation. Traditional open spine surgery is highly invasive in nature and comes with many downsides, including blood loss, risk of infection and a long, sometimes painful, recovery period.
If you want to learn about minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery that can help you find relief from neck or back pain, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery, offering our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery period.^
We can provide you with a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to help determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.