Choosing a Doctor Who Treats Neck and Back Pain

Choosing a Doctor Who Treats Neck and Back Pain

There are many options, just like there are rainbow colors. There are many different doctors in the medical field (including doctors of osteopathy and medical doctors). Many doctors in the medical world, including family physicians, orthopaedists and neurosurgeons. They also have physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists. Some psychiatrists can even treat lower back conditions. These disorders can be treated in a variety of places.

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There are many non-medical practitioners that you can choose from. They also vary in their respective specialties. A chiropractor, massage therapist or acupuncturist can be your choice.

Internists and Family Practice Physicians

Family physicians and internists are the most common entry point to the world of medical care. Back pain is the second most frequent reason to visit your primary care physician. This is one of the most challenging jobs. They must be knowledgeable about the heart, circulatory, liver, kidneys and spine. This is the most difficult job in medicine.

Initial treatment might include medication and restrictions on activity. They might refer to a physical therapy if their treatment fails. Others may be referred to chiropractors. Osteopaths can treat the problem by using manipulation and muscle techniques. It doesn’t matter where you are, if the problem has been resolved, there is no need for further treatment.

Physician Specialists

  • After medical school, the physical medicine & rehabilitation (PM&R doctor) has a four year residency. This is different than the spine surgeon or neurosurgeon. They do not have to be surgeons, and they are provided with a thorough education on spinal disorders. They can also specialize in nonsurgical back treatment. EMGs, which are electrical nerve diagnostic tests, can be performed by many doctors to identify the root cause of nerve pain. To complement their treatment, others have received fellowships in interventional spine injections. These people are an excellent choice for first treatment.
  • neurologist can also have a great understanding of spinal disorders. They complete a four year post-medical school residency. They specialize in diagnosing and treating neurological disorders, of which spine disorders are an integral part. Many can receive extensive training in the science of spinal biomechanics and apply this knowledge to their practice. They are experts in diagnosing nerve disorders like peripheral neuropathy or multiple sclerosis. They are experts in EMGs. Your family doctor would usually refer you to this specialist.
  • Another option for treating patients is the rheumatologist. A specialist in joint disorders, including the spine, he or she can be found. After completing a residency, they then complete a fellowship training in rheumatology. They are true specialists in autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid and SLE (lupus). You would normally see this specialist through a referral from another doctor.
  • The doctor of osteopathy is probably the most misunderstood group of physicians. Osteopathic schools train them in the same areas as medical schools. Many graduates go on to residencies in medicine, while others choose to pursue osteopathic residencies. They are basically medical doctors, but with the initials DO (doctor in osteopathy) rather than MD. Although all are certified in osteopathic manipulations, many do not use this type of therapy in their practices. Many become specialists after completing a residency in PM&R, neurology or orthopaedics. Many of them are an excellent choice for back and neck specialists.

Physical Therapists

A physical therapist studies for four to six years at college before obtaining a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in PT. They are highly skilled in anatomy, biomechanics and exercise therapy. They are equipped with therapeutic equipment to help reduce swelling and promote healing. Some therapists are specialists in spinal rehabilitation while others specialize in treating all the body joints. Others also treat stroke victims and cardiac rehabilitation.

They can assess the body for injuries, and develop a treatment plan to heal or compensate for them. Many physicians rely on them to treat the lumbar spinal condition.

Personal trainers

Personal trainers who have completed an athletic training degree are usually well-informed about the human body. Although they haven’t been trained in diagnosis, most personal trainers will steer clear of activities that cause pain. Core training, the exercise of the muscles surrounding your core, is a favorite among many.

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