If you are experiencing back pain, you should know your options for doctors. Here are questions to ask before choosing a back pain doctor.
Low back pain causes more global disability than any other condition. About 25% of American adults reported experiencing low back pain within a three-month period.
If you’re waking up with an achy, sore back, don’t live in pain. Instead, consider looking for a back pain doctor. With their help, you can find the best possible treatment for your condition.
Not sure which doctor will have your best interests in mind? Keep reading to discover the seven questions you should ask before choosing a back pain expert. By asking these questions, you can find the best doctor and start easing your pain away!
1. What Are Your Credentials?
As you begin your search, make sure to look for a back pain doctor that has the experience and expertise you need. You want to make sure to choose a doctor that’s qualified to help. First, look for a doctor that’s completed medical school. If they specialized in treating back pain, they should have completed an internship and residency as well. Choosing a doctor that has plenty of hands-on experience will give you peace of mind about their qualifications. Next, look into their certifications. As you speak with different back doctors, ask about their participation in research and clinical studies. Do they ever lecture at conferences or medical schools? Why did they choose back pain as their area of expertise? Don’t forget to ask about their board certification, too. Make sure all of their credentials are up-to-date.
In order to make sure they’re compliant and accountable, check out the NPI registry. Each health care provider has a unique NPI. If they don’t have an NPI number, continue your search.
Asking a doctor about their credentials will help you determine if they’re experienced. Choosing a doctor that specializes in back pain will also indicate they have the expertise necessary to treat your pain.
2. What Type of Back Pain Doctor Are You?
There are a few different health care providers that can provide back pain treatments. When searching for a doctor, make sure to differentiate between the different types of back pain specialists. For example, you might consider visiting a chiropractor. Chiropractors use physical manipulation to ensure your spine is aligned. When your spine is properly aligned, it can improve blood flow, which can help your body heal. Misalignment can put unnecessary pressure on your spine, which could contribute to your pain. You might consider visiting an osteopathic physician instead. This type of doctor focuses on whole-body treatment. Musculoskeletal manipulation might ease your pain. Osteopathic physicians can also prescribe medications or perform surgery if needed. Physiatrists, on the other hand, specialize in rehabilitation and physical medicine. You might choose a physiatrist who specializes in sports medicine if you sustained a sports injury. Physiatrists also specialize in brain injuries, geriatric medicine, and pediatrics. Otherwise, consider consulting a surgeon. You might consider a surgeon if your back pain is severe. Regardless of the type of back pain specialist you choose, don’t forget to check their credentials. Look for someone with up-to-date state license and insurance documents, too.
3. Can I Speak With Other Patients?
As you research different doctors, ask if they can provide references and reviews from their previous patients. Reading reviews from a patient who was once in your shoes can give you peace of mind. You can learn about their experience before making your decision. As you read different reviews, try to learn as much as you can about each patient’s experience with that doctor. Were there any problems or complaints? If you see multiple negative reviews, consider it a red flag and continue your search. You can check the Better Business Bureau if you’re researching a particular practice. Some doctors also post reviews on their practice websites. However, these reviews are usually cherry-picked.
4. What’s Causing My Pain?
About of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain. Your pain is defined as chronic if it continues for 12 weeks or more. As you speak with different doctors, ask them what they believe is causing your pain. For example, you might have sciatica. Bad posture or a sports injury could also cause your condition. Many causes of back pain are subtle and less obvious, such as repetitive motions or your work environment.
Were you in a car accident? If so we can look at your injuries and help you find a road to recovery. Did you slip and fall? In these cases, make sure to look for a back pain physician who specializes in your type of condition. If the doctor can’t determine the root cause of your pain, keep looking. It’s important to understand your condition before determining a treatment plan. Otherwise, a doctor might suggest a treatment that won’t work for your condition. The right treatment can also help you avoid future back pain issues down the road.
5. What Are My Treatment Options?
As you speak with different doctors, ask about what back pain treatments they’d recommend.our doctor should develop a customized treatment plan based on your condition and needs. Some doctors will suggest physical therapy or chiropractic treatments. Others will suggest surgical options.Most doctors consider surgery a last resort. Make sure to discuss different back pain treatments to discover your options.
6. How Can I Avoid Back Pain?
It’s not enough to get treatment. You’ll also want to take preventative measures to keep your back pain from returning or getting worse. Make sure to discuss your preventative options with your doctor. For example, one doctor might give you a list of exercises you can complete to strengthen your back. Another might suggest you switch to a standing desk at work. If you’re considering surgery, they might have instructions you need to follow before and afterward.
7. What Medications Should I Take?
A doctor might also prescribe medications to help ease your back pain. Make sure to learn as much as you can about these medications first. What potential side effects might you experience? Will these medications interact with something you’re already taking? How should you take these medications? Asking these questions will help ensure you’re treated properly for your back pain.
Ease the Pain Away: 7 Questions to Ask Before Seeing a Back Pain Doctor
Don’t live your life in pain! Instead, ask these seven questions before choosing a back pain doctor. By asking these questions, you can choose a qualified physician capable of easing your pain away. Ready to experience pain relief? Find a Preferred Injury Physicians location and book your appointment today!