Selecting a spine physician: should I see an orthopedic physician or a neurologist?

Choosing a spine physician isn’t the easiest choice for a Scottsdale resident. You have to consider experience, skill and personality to make sure a prospective care provider can give you the best chance of finding relief. Another important issue you may encounter when choosing your spine physician is deciding whether you need to turn to an orthopedic physician or a neurologist.

Both types of physicians might prove useful in cases of degenerative spine issues but they may specialize in different conditions. In many cases, your general practitioner could guide you in making this decision, but it can also be helpful to educate yourself about the differences between these two types of specialists.

Orthopedic physician information for Scottsdale residents

Orthopedic physicians treat disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system, which comprises a substantial portion of the body’s mass and volume. Because they treat everything from muscles and tendons to bones and joints, they are one of the most commonly referred specialists that general practitioners will recommend. In the case of the spine, such a physician is usually sought when bulging discs, ruptured discs, degenerative disc disease or sciatica are suspected to be the root problems behind neck and back pain.

Neurologist information for Scottsdale residents

Neurologists are another type of spine physician that might be sought by Scottsdale, Arizona, residents to help in cases of neck and back conditions. In contrast to the orthopedic focus on the muscles and bones, neurologists are concerned with issues of the nervous system. Patients with a spine condition may be referred to a neurologist if neck or back pain is accompanied by severe neuropathic symptoms such as tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.

Laser Spine Institute

Spine physicians will typically begin treatment of a degenerative spine condition with a course of conservative treatment options such as physical therapy, medication, therapeutic massage or spinal injections. Surgery may be recommended if weeks or months of conservative treatments have not brought the relief required to comfortably engage in normal activities.

If you are in this situation, contact the caring and dedicated team at Laser Spine Institute. Our board-certified+ team of neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons treat neck or back pain with minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery performed in state-of-the-art centers across the United States, including our Scottsdale facility.

Find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures by asking for your no-cost MRI review* review today.