In simplest terms, a spine specialist is a health professional who primarily focuses on treating spine-related conditions. It’s a good idea to see such a specialist when your back pain is becoming progressively worse or not responding to initial treatments. Now comes the hard part – deciding what particular “spine specialist” is most likely to be able to address your needs, and, more importantly, offer treatment options likely to lead to meaningful relief.
For spine-related pain resulting from strained muscles or herniated discs not requiring surgery, chiropractors can offer safe ways to strengthen muscles and tendons supporting your spine. Since chiropractors are trained to both treat and diagnose patients, it’s not unusual to be referred either back to your PCP when a spine problem has been ruled out or to another specialist if a diagnosis can’t be made.
Neurosurgeons and Orthopedic Surgeons
You’ll likely be referred to a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles after you’ve been diagnosed with a spinal condition, such as spinal stenosis, spinal cord injury, or disc herniation, not responding to conservative treatments and requiring surgical intervention. Anesthesiologists and related support staff can also be considered spine specialists if they primarily assist with spine-related surgeries.
When spine pain is related to conditions like spinal osteoarthritis or inflammation affecting nerves supporting the spine, you’ll likely be referred to a rheumatologist. This particular specialist is trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting any of the joints, bones and muscles within the human body, including those supporting your spine and neck.
If your spine condition doesn’t require immediate surgical intervention, you may be referred to a physical therapist. These particular professionals are trained to recommend controlled movements and exercises in a supervised setting to increase muscle strength and flexibility. You may be referred to a physical therapist if more serious spinal conditions have been ruled out or while recovering from recent spine surgery.
To learn more about your treatment options, schedule an in-person consultation at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. We take a conservative approach to spine care that includes exploring all non-surgical options before looking at treatment methods such as decompression, fusion, or artificial disc replacement. Call us at (310) 828-7757 and meet with Medical Director, Dr. Hyun Bae, today.