If you are experiencing chronic neck or back pain and think spinal stenosis could be the culprit, it is time to see a doctor for a professional diagnosis. While the occasional ache or pain in the spine is normal, persistent and debilitating discomfort is not. In the event that you do discover that spinal stenosis is the source of your pain, you’ll likely wonder what kind of doctor treats spinal stenosis. Would it be the physician who diagnosed you, or should you see a different doctor? The answer to that question can take several different forms and may depend on the underlying cause of your spinal stenosis.
The Role of Your Primary Care Physician
When you first seek to confirm that the cause of your pain and other discomfort is spinal stenosis, you’ll likely schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. When you meet with your primary care physician, one of the most important things you can do to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis is to report your symptoms in as much detail as possible. Note the location and severity of your symptoms, in addition to other pertinent details about your discomfort. Your doctor will also perform a physical exam, review your medical history and possibly order imaging scans so that he or she can get a clear view of what may be causing your spinal canal to narrow and compress nearby spinal nerves.
Types of Spinal Stenosis Specialists
A variety of doctors specialize in treating neck and back conditions like spinal stenosis, including:
- Orthopedists – Orthopedists specialize in conditions of the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, joints, tendons, muscles and ligaments. Someone with spinal stenosis caused by a herniated disc, bulging disc, bone spurs or spinal osteoarthritis may seek treatment from an orthopedist.
- Orthopedic surgeons – An orthopedic surgeon is an orthopedist who performs surgery. You will likely only need to see an orthopedic surgeon if your stenosis symptoms do not improve with conservative treatments like pain medication, physical therapy and behavior modification.
- Neurologists – A neurologist treats disorders of the brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves. While this type of doctor may treat conditions like Parkinson’s disease, speech disorders and epilepsy, a neurologist can also address spinal stenosis that is causing compression of, or damage to, the spinal nerve roots or the spinal cord.
Learn More from a Spine Specialist at Laser Spine Institute
If you have been diagnosed with a degenerative neck or back condition like spinal stenosis and would like to speak with a specialist about your options for treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute. We offer a broad range of minimally invasive nerve decompression procedures aimed at relieving the debilitating symptoms associated with conditions like spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis, herniated discs, bulging discs and degenerative disc disease.