We may not be aware of this, but there are different types of health professionals who can help us with our back pains. These health practitioners come from different backgrounds as they have varied forms of training and specializations. Each of them also has various roles, so how do we know which type of doctor to see for our back pain? This also depends on your condition and your symptoms and how long you have had your situation.
The most common set of practitioners that people often first resort to when they experience pain in the back are chiropractors, medical doctors, and osteopathic medicine doctors. However, if the condition became worse and did not get better on treatment with a pain reliever or exercise, then you may have to consult a spine specialist.
Which Doctor Should We Consult?
There are three groups of health care professionals that we can turn to for back pain, and these are:
- Primary caregivers – this group includes family doctors, pediatricians, obstetricians, internists, gynecologists, chiropractors, and doctors of osteopathic medicine. These types of doctors are usually our first option when we encounter some pain in the back.
- Spine specialists – physiatrists, surgeons, neurologists, rheumatologists, and anesthesiologists are part of this group. These kinds of doctors offer a more particular area of expertise in terms of making diagnosis and treatment.
- Therapists – this group specializes in occupational or physical rehabilitation for pain in the back or provides psychological help for persistent pain. These health practitioners include occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, and physical therapists.
Now having some idea about the types of doctors that can help us solve our pain in the back, how should we know who to approach? Since each doctor's group has a different approach to treatment and diagnosis, sometimes the decision comes down to your personal perspective about medicine and the body. If you are not the type of person who likes taking medication to relieve pain, you may be open to chiropractic care to solve the situation. Other times, the decision may be influenced by your own doctor's beliefs.
Perhaps the best way to choose the most appropriate health practitioner type is by first consulting your family doctor, especially if the strain or injury has only happened recently. But if your condition worsens and there are accompanying symptoms to the pain, then it would be best to see either a chiropractor or a physiatrist so they can further assess your back pain and suggest a treatment that would be best for your situation. When you go to these types of doctors, do expect that they may recommend either chiropractic care or physical therapy. These forms of treatments are non-surgical and non-invasive, so you have nothing to be scared about.
What Causes Pain in the Back?
All of us have encountered pain in the back, and the most typical is felt in the lower back. This kind of experience usually goes away on its own and lasts for a few days. Sometimes we do our own treatment by taking some pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen; other times, we apply either a cold or hot compress or do some exercise. Taking it easy while staying active and avoiding bed, rest may also work. However, if the condition persists and does not go away for a longer time and have other symptoms like fever, loss of bowel or bladder function, weakness, sudden weight loss, etc. then you should see a health care provider.
There are many reasons why we experience back pains, and some of these are disc pain, nerve pain, joint pain, or muscle pain. Often they are harmless and non-threatening, but there are also instances when they are a symptom of a more severe condition such as an infection, cancer, or a fracture.
If your doctor of choice has ruled out a more severe conclusion like a tumor, then you can select which type of treatment would work best for you.
The Types of Doctor Who Can Treat Back Pains
Depending on your situation and the severity of the pain that you are experiencing, what will also determine which doctor you should go to so you can get the most appropriate treatment?
Doctors who do primary care can diagnose and evaluate their patients' conditions and determine the results of lab tests performed. From their assessment of a patient's condition, they can suggest some preventive care methods. Some primary care providers are family doctors, chiropractors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, physiatrists, and surgeons.
Each of these types of doctors has specific roles and varied training. A family doctor's approach to treating pain in the back is non-invasive and usually prescribes a pain reliever medicine to the patient to alleviate inflammation and pain. On the other hand, chiropractors can evaluate problems related to the muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems of the body and specialize in the spine. They are usually the "go-to" of people when they experience some back pains. Being a Chiropractic doctor is not as easy as they go through intensive training and a significant amount of education. Chiropractors need to complete a 4-year education at an authorized chiropractic college, which comes with activities plus an internship year. When you go for treatment under a chiropractor for your back pains, they recommend some chiropractic care such as physical manipulation, which typically concentrates on spine manipulation. If you choose to go for chiropractic treatment, do make sure that your chiropractor has board certification and has a state license. One of the names you can trust is the Yentz Family Chiropractic.
Another type of doctor that you may want to consider are the Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine. These doctors assess and offer treatment to all kinds of injuries and illnesses and are focused on providing preventive care that highlights the need for the body's systems to be in proper relationship with each other. Osteopathic doctors also specialize in neuromusculoskeletal design. This type of doctor is Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree holders, and they have the same training that is very much like the MDs. They focus on musculoskeletal manipulation and the treatment of the whole body and are authorized to give prescriptions and do surgery.
A physiatrist is another type of doctor that can help in relieving back pains. They are MDs whose specialization is rehabilitation and physical medicine. Physiatrists usually have a wide range of expertise, although others only focus on a specific area. Another type of doctor who can treat pains in the back but specialize in more sensitive and delicate cases is the surgeons. They do invasive treatments and deal with patients who do not get better through non-invasive and non-surgical methods.
Depending on your symptoms and conditions and the cause of your pain in the back, the types of doctors that have been mentioned are the ones that you can go to and consult with. If you would like to have a chiropractic treatment, though, check out Yentz Family Chiropractic as they are the type of chiropractor you can surely trust as their goal is to provide a holistic and natural healthcare and wellness to individuals who seek their care.
Yentz Family Chiropractor offers the following services:
- spinal care exercises that you can do at home
- they share some resources about health and well-being
- they do an efficient and specific correction of the spine
- they give workshops and health talks
- they suggest nutritional plans
- they have scientifically-designed exercise programs.
This chiropractic clinic believes in incorporating the five essentials: exercise, detoxification, a healthy nervous system, proper nutrition, and a positive mindset. Their belief is in line with its mission: to promote a healthier and longer life through chiropractic practices. Whether you go to their clinic for treatment or simply enhance your experience or improve your overall health and well-being, they can certainly deliver and help you out with your needs.
People experience pain in the back most of the time due to various reasons. Though not really harmful, it can cause many discomforts and even anxiety, especially if the pain is a little severe and goes on for days, which is why it needs to be dealt with. Most people take some medication to alleviate the problem, while others do some form of exercise or other therapy types, but some prefer the chiropractic approach. For people who like the latter, just be sure that you go to the ones that have the right credentials and have the proper license and certification.