When deciding who should be treating your back pain, there are many doctors possessing an assortment of special skills and abilities at your disposal. Your primary healthcare provider is usually the first person you’ll see for this type of pain. However, if you’re not experiencing relief from prescription meds and other initial treatment options, you’ll likely be referred to a specialist.
Just because you’re referred to a Los Angeles spine surgeon doesn’t mean surgery is in the cards. Spine surgeons have a more comprehensive approach to diagnostics that can help identify what might be causing your back pain. You’ll have a choice between:
- Orthopedic surgeons – For treatment of a bone or joint pain or a spinal deformity like spinal stenosis, these specialists should be considered
- Neurosurgeons – These specialists usually treat nerve-related issues with the spine or the spinal cord
Musculoskeletal disorders with no clear structural cause are treated by a physiatrist with non-surgical pain management options. Treatment often involves a combination of physical therapy and other techniques, including TENS units and epidural steroid injections.
Though this may seem like an unorthodox choice, many anesthesiologists are trained in pain management. Some even specialize in the treatment of spinal disorders.
Physical or Occupational Therapist
Physical or occupational therapy specialists often work with your primary care physician or spine surgeon to determine an appropriate routine. The goal of treatment is to condition and strengthen the muscles supporting your spine.
If the underlying issue contributing to your back pain is arthritis or muscle inflammation or irritation, you may be referred to a rheumatologist. These internal medicine doctors can also team with your other doctors to fine tune treatment recommendations.
Back pain is unique because there is rarely one single doctor who is going to be making all the treatment decisions. Integrated spine care clinics are becoming increasingly popular because patients have access to multiple specialists in one location.
Narrow down your choice of a specialist by writing down your symptoms, how long you’ve been experiencing pain, and whether or not anything else you’ve already tried has helped at all. You want a doctor or board-certified spine physician who is going to clearly answer your questions and present your options.
There are many options for relieving back pain, from minimally invasive surgery to non-surgical procedures like acupuncture. For more information on the spinal fusion Los Angeles physicians provide, get in touch with The Spine Institute today at 310-828-7757. Dr. Bae and his team of expert physicians can help you start working toward a pain-free life.