What type of back pain specialist is right for me?

Back pain is something that most people will experience at some point in life. While back pain is sometimes mild and only lasts a few days, it can also be chronic and last several months without showing signs of decreasing. This type of chronic pain can prevent you from enjoying your daily activities and hobbies, and can even continue to worsen over time.

To help maintain your quality of life, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor if your back pain lasts more than a few days to a week. Your doctor can help determine the cause of your pain and potentially recommend a specialist for further diagnosis and treatment depending on the severity of your condition.

Types of back pain specialists

Your primary care doctor can often make a preliminary diagnosis of your condition based on a physical examination and diagnostic testing like an X-ray. He or she can also recommend basic treatments like over-the-counter medication or exercise. In some cases however you may be referred to a back pain specialist in your area who can help you with a more in-depth diagnosis and treatment plan for pain relief.

A back pain specialist can include:

  • Physiatrist. Treats chronic injuries and musculoskeletal conditions with nonsurgical treatments aimed at helping patients to improve their mobility through physical therapy, occupational therapy and nerve stimulation, among other treatments. Conditions treated include work-related injuries, occupational injuries and chronic pain.
  • Rheumatologist. Treats joint disorders and other diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system like gout, fibromyalgia, lupus and osteoporosis.
  • Neurosurgeon. This type of specialist treats disorders of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system; conditions treated include spinal stenosis, carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic back pain.
  • Orthopedic surgeon. Treats disorders of the musculoskeletal system including the spine; conditions treated include fractures, arthritis, scoliosis, herniated discs and bulging discs.

Seeking further treatment for back pain

For degenerative spine conditions like osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease, specialists should recommend fully exhausting conservative treatment options like medication and physical therapy before asking you to seriously consider back surgery. If you are researching your surgical options, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery.

By using muscle-sparing techniques, including direct visualization technology, our surgeons are able to access the spine using only a 1-inch incision. This means our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with patients able to be up and walking within hours of surgery. ^

To learn more, contact our dedicated team today. We will be happy to help you receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.