Is your back frequently in pain? When it's out of action or causing you grief, it can leave you feeling helpless. Every step hurts, and lying down never seems to help. The only solution is to visit a back pain specialist. However, you don't want to hobble from one doctor opinion to another to find out what's wrong with you. You want to see the right medical professional first so that you can get better as quickly as possible. But how do you know who to book an appointment with? Is an upper back specialist different from a lower back pain specialist? Rather than cause yourself more stress, take a look through this guide to ensure you visit the right professional who can help you get back to normal.
Once you start experiencing back pain, your first stop should be to your local general practitioner. They can prescribe some painkillers to help you manage the discomfort. They should also provide you some exercises and a referral to a physical therapist. If they think the damage is more serious, you might need to complete some diagnostic tests. However, you might need to lead this discussion by being open and honest about the level of pain you're in.
If your back pain requires urgent medical attention, then you should see a doctor in the emergency room that can assist your immediate distress. While it might seem extreme to visit an emergency room for back pain, there are scenarios where it's necessary. If you're struggling to walk or control your bowels and bladder, then it means that something is seriously wrong and you need help immediately.
The best back pain specialists are often orthopedic surgeons. This is because they specialize in knowing everything about the musculoskeletal system. They can help diagnose and treat scoliosis, ruptured discs, and other painful back problems. If you require surgery to deal with a spinal issue, make sure that an orthopedist is the one holding the scalpel. They regularly perform operations such as discectomies and spinal fusion when it's required.
These physicians treat multiple types of arthritis, even when it involves the spine. A large percentage of them only work on inflammatory arthritis of the back to avoid diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis from occurring. They are also helpful when it comes to spinal stenosis, as this is similar to osteoarthritis. If you've left your pain untreated for too long, it's often best to treat these specialists to rule out these diseases.
If your back pain isn't related to your spine or muscles, then it could be the nervous system that's responsible. If that's the case, a neurologist can confirm this for you and let you know the origin of the pain. The only thing to consider is that these medical practitioners don't perform surgeries. They can only examine your nerves and prescribe you medication. They might also refer you to another specialist if you require additional treatment.
A physiatrist is much more of a holistic type of medical professional. They specialize in physical functions and provide rehabilitation for a variety of injuries and conditions. Some of the most common reasons people visit them are for sporting injuries, strokes, and all types of back pain. Instead of getting treated by one specialist, you might work with a team of specialists to develop a plan of attack for your trauma. They might also seek advice from the other members of your medical team to ensure that the treatment will be effective.
For a more hands-on approach, a chiropractor might be able to help with your back pain by ensuring that your spine is aligned. Not only do these adjustments help relieve your back pain, but they are also known to improve other health issues too. This is achieved by removing any interruptions in nerve transmission. Most chiropractors' goal when they are adjusting your spine is to loosen your muscles and increase flexibility. These specialists aren't for everyone, though. You should avoid visiting them if you have osteoporosis or are loose-jointed as an adjustment may cause severe damage.
These specialists also prefer to take a more holistic approach when treating back pain. While they can prescribe your medication and are able to perform some minor surgeries, this is not their preferred approach. Instead, they'll consult you on your environment and lifestyle, so they can advise you on treatments that can manage any strains on your back. They're also skilled when it comes to performing massage and manipulation on the spine. This knowledge comes from their medical school training, where they're required to complete up to 500 hours, specifically on the musculoskeletal system. Are You in Need of Assistance? You must consult a back pain specialist when you first start noticing any discomfort. If you choose to try and live with it, then it may cause more damage to your body and lead to drastic treatments such as surgery. Are you struggling to manage your back pain? Rather than waiting for it to heal up, why not visit one of our physicians? We've helped thousands of people manage severe headaches, back pain, and many other ailments. Please don't wait for it to get worse, schedule an appointment with us today.