What Type of Doctor Should I See for Back Pain?
Back Pain Always Has a Cause
When it comes to back pain, most people will receive poor advice that remains a barrier to their recovery.Because of poor advice, many back pain sufferers remain in pain unnecessarily.Some receive pain-numbing medication that does not stop the cause of pain. Others are told that they must learn to live with the pain, rather than being shown why they have back pain along with a roadmap of the steps to reduce it.The truth is, when most people have back pain, they visit doctors or healthcare practitioners who are not qualified to actually treat it.Back Pain is complex and the pain mechanisms are vast.Some of the primary reasons people have failed previous approaches to treating their back pain include:They were give pain medications that simply cover up pain and do not address the primary problem.They were given inappropriate exercises, or there were barriers to relief that were not understood and addressed.They did not undergo proper testing and assessing.
Where To Start With Back Pain?
Low back pain is one of the most common complaints on the planet.
And when someone starts experiencing back pain it can be so frightening that we immediately want an expert that will somehow magically get rid of it.
Unfortunately, there’s just no unicorns and rainbows when it comes to solving back pain.
Realize that most back pain will resolve on its own. What I’m saying here is that your major ache or tweaked out back doesn’t require a specialist in most cases.
Some of the most common causes of acute or sudden back pain include an injury:
to a muscle or tendon (a strain)to a back ligament (a sprain)to a bulging disc (basically a sprained disc that swells and irritates nerves).
And the reality is, many of these issues will eventually resolve on their own.
In my personal opinion, the first time someone starts to experience back pain, they should immediately start doing back extension exercises.
I would continue to do back extensions every 3-4 hours throughout the day for at least 3 days.
And if you notice that you’re feeling better, continue for another 1-2 weeks.
But if your low back pain doesn’t improve, then maybe there is something more serious happening.
More serious causes of back pain include:
a narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis)disc tears or herniationssevere degenerative joint diseasesevere degenerative disc diseasespinal infections
So if your back pain doesn’t improve with back extensions and modified activities, then you’d want to consider someone who is qualified to properly assess the situation.
Best Doctors For Back Pain
Since you shouldn’t try to diagnose your own back pain, make your first call to a professional who can assess your problem, such as a primary care physician or a chiropractor.
Both can serve as an entry point for back pain.
Generally speaking, your primary care provider will only offer pain medications or injections designed to reduce pain, but not necessarily correct the issue.
Chiropractors on the other hand, have much more training when it comes to addressing back pain.
A chiropractors training contains over 150 more hours of education in biomechanics, while medical students learn more about pharmaceuticals.
Chiropractors use posture exercises and hands-on spinal manipulation to relieve back pain, improve function, and help the body heal itself.
According to Harvard Health, the most positive research on chiropractic therapy has focused on spinal manipulation for low back pain.
Here’s a few quotes including the scientific journal reference discussing chiropractic care for back pain:
“For patients with chronic low back pain, clinicians and patients should initially selectnon-pharmacologic treatment with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction (moderate-quality evidence), tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low-level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation (low-quality evidence).”
American College of Physicians (2017)
“[Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy] in conjunction with [standard medical care] offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning when compared with only standard care, for men and women between 18 and 35 years of age with acute low back pain.”
Goertz et al. (2013), Spine
“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”
Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
“Reduced odds of surgery were observed for…those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 42.7% of workers [with back injuries] who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor.”
Keeney et al (2012), Spine
“Acute and chronic chiropractic patients experienced better outcomes in pain, functional disability, and patient satisfaction; clinically important differences in pain and disability improvement were found for chronic patients.”
Haas et al (2005), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Next Steps for Unresolved Back Pain
If your condition is serious enough, then there is absolutely a time and place to consider more invasive treatment options.
So if you find yourself needing to step up your back pain treatment game, there are many experts who can help, depending on your needs.
You may be referred to any of these:
A neurologist, a doctor specializing in treatment of the nervous system. Back pain is commonly associated with lower-extremity symptoms, such as numbness and tingling. These symptoms can also be caused by neurological conditions that are not spine-related, such as multiple sclerosis. Neurologists are great at sorting this out and offering solutions.A physiatrist, a doctor with expertise in physical medicine and rehabilitation. This may be helpful for back pain related to a sports injury, if surgery is not needed, and when medications are not working.A rheumatologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the joints, muscles, and bones. Referral is most appropriate when there is inflammation of the joints in the back, or if the back pain might be related to an inflammatory disease, such as psoriatic arthritis.A physical therapist, a licensed therapist who can help you strengthen back and core muscles to absorb pressure on the spine.A pain management physician, a doctor who can prescribe medications, provide injections, and consider other approaches. People with symptoms that aren’t responding to treatment are great candidates for pain management, such as injections or procedures to smaller joints in lower back.An orthopedic spinal surgeon or a neurosurgeon who primarily does spine surgery, if surgery is likely needed for severe, unrelenting pain that may be due to a disc or spinal column problem.
Chiropractic Care for Back Pain
It may take several types of tests including x-rays, MRIs, and blood tests, to determine the exact cause of your back pain.
And you may need more than one expert managing your back pain.
It really just depends on your specific situation and the amount of damage that has occurred in your spine.
But for back sprains, strains, and even herniated discs, a visit to your local chiropractor may be all it takes to start feeling better.
The post What Type of Doctor Should I See for Back Pain? appeared first on Family Health Chiropractic.
By: Dr. Daniel Gonzalez
Title: What Type of Doctor Should I See for Back Pain?
Sourced From: familyhealthchiropractic.com/what-doctor-to-see-for-back-pain/
Published Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2020 15:10:27 +0000