From non-specific lower back discomfort to near-debilitating pain aggravated by movement, back pain comes in many forms. Regardless of the extent of your pain, your path towards relief is likely to start with a visit to your primary care physician. Your PCP will determine if there is a problem that requires further evaluation with a thorough examination and tests like x-rays and MRIs before recommending one of the following specialists.
Physical therapists typically recommend carefully controlled and supervised exercises to strengthen back and neck muscles that may be contributing to your pain. Look for one that specializes in your particular type of back pain.
Chiropractors employ spinal manipulation techniques to stimulate specific parts of the spine. Many licensed chiropractors also use basic tests like x-rays in an attempt to pinpoint the source of your pain.
Some anesthesiologists also specialize in pain management beyond what they normally do for patients. Treatments often include injections into specific parts of the spine to relieve pain if a specific source of your pain can be identified.
If you have chronic back pain with no identifiable physical cause, your PCP may refer you to a clinical psychologist. These specialists will do a little digging to determine if sleep problems or stress may be the true source of your recurring pain.
Surgery isn’t a certainty if you’re referred to a spine surgeon for further evaluation. Even if there is an identifiable cause for your discomfort, other factors like any preexisting conditions and your overall health are also considered when determining if surgery is right for you.
The decision as to whether or not to see a specialist will likely start with a discussion with your PCP to determine if there may be another source of your back pain that he or she cannot rule out or confirm. However, you may end up seeing more than one specialist before finding meaningful relief for your back pain. If, for instance, you’re not getting any significant results after 6 to 8 weeks of chiropractic care, the chiropractor will likely suggest seeing another specialist.
To learn more about your treatment options, schedule an in-person consultation with an orthopedic surgeon in Beverly Hills at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. We exhaust all possible conservative options for meaningful relief before considering surgical options like spinal fusion or artificial disc replacement. Call us today at (310) 828-7757.