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What Kind Of Doctor Do I Need For Back Pain

Why Go To An Orthopedic Doctor

Back Pain? Sciatica? When Do You Need To See A Doctor Immediately!

There are a variety of medical doctors who treat specific sets of conditions. Because it is impossible for one physician to treat all types of conditions and injuries that affect the human body, doctors specialize in subfields of medicine. Through this specialization, a physician becomes an expert in a distinct subfield of medicine and can diagnose, treat, and prevent issues within that subfield. One such field is orthopedics.

An orthopedic physician is an expert on the musculoskeletal system . Because back pain is most often caused by injury or damage to one of these components in the back, orthopedic physicians are often referred to for diagnosis and treatment.

Using advanced education and training, orthopedic physicians can pinpoint the exact cause of the back pain. Back pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, including a fracture, herniated disc, muscle strain, or damage to connective tissue. Orthopedic doctors can correctly diagnose the exact cause of the back pain and recommend effective treatment for it.

Orthopedic physicians have access to state-of-the-art and advanced medical technology and treatments that are proven to be effective for musculoskeletal issues. Because of this, when a patient has back pain, orthopedic physicians can offer treatments that will give fast and effective results. Using various methods for pain reduction, which include injections, medication, and physical therapy, orthopedic physicians can offer long-term relief from back pain.

You’ve Been In Pain For Over A Week

Most back pain will subside after a few days, but if you’ve been experiencing pain for over a week, then it’s time to call a doctor. Your doctor will perform any examinations or tests required to help get to the bottom of your pain before it could become a bigger problem. As is the case with many health conditions, prevention and addressing problems early is key.

When Should I See A Doctor For Back Pain

When your back first starts to hurt, try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and applying ice in the first 48 hours. You may apply heat after 48 hours. You may need to take it easy for a while, but its best to stay as active as tolerated, and to avoid absolute bed rest, said Dr. Guo.

If your back pain lasts more than two weeks and keeps you from participating in normal, daily activities, see your family doctor. If your pain is severe, you should see a doctor sooner. You should seek urgent medical care if you have:

  • Fever associated with back pain
  • Back pain after trauma
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Loss of strength in your arms and legs
  • Unexplained weight loss associated with back pain

Also, always be more cautious if you have special risk factors for cancer, infection, or fractures that may affect the spine.

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Causes Of Sciatica Pain

The majority of sciatica pain is caused by the nerve becoming pinched due to compression of the lower back. This can occur by either a herniated disc, bone spur or even a tumor compressing on the nerve. Only a medical doctor or specialist can make a qualified diagnosis. If you suspect you have a damaged sciatic nerve, which type of specialist should you seek out to treat your sciatica pain?

Who To See For Lower Back Pain: Doctors And Specialists That Can Help

Spine Doctor: Do You Need to Visit Your Local Spine Clinic?

Back pain is one of the most common ailments for adults in the United States, with 8% of the population suffering from chronic back pain.¹ Not only does it affect your quality of life, but it can also be concerning when you dont know whats causing it.

There are doctors and other healthcare professionals who specialize in treating lower back pain. Their expertise can help you deal with this condition so you can improve your quality of life.

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Why Choose Atrium Health For Pain Management Care

  • Convenient care and quick relief. With same-day and next-day appointments at 12 locations around Charlotte, NC, its easy to get the care you need, when you need it.
  • Expert care and experience. Our highly trained and caring experts know how to treat pain. Weve been helping patients for over 30 years.
  • Your partner to find relief. Our pain specialists treat every condition from new aches to chronic pain. We listen, help you understand treatment options and create a care plan just for you.
  • Complete pain support. We care for the whole you, including your physical and mental health. If more specialized care is needed, we offer fast access to Atrium Healths award-winning team of specialists.

Ready To Address Your Back Pain

The University of Maryland Spine Network can help you put your pain behind you. With convenient locations throughout the state, the UM Spine Network is home to the region’s leading spine surgeons and specialists that can help you identify the source of your pain and put an end to it for good.

Put an end to your back pain. Find a spine specialist near you.

In This Section:

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Specialists Who Treat Back Pain

There are many types of health practitioners that care for patients with spinal conditions, and each has a slightly different role. Selection of the most appropriate type of health professional – or team of health professionals – largely depends on the patient’s symptoms and the length of time the symptoms have been present.

The different types of health professionals who treat back pain tend to have varied training and interests. While it is common to start off with a primary care provider , if the patient’s back pain is resistant to initial treatment then the services of a spine specialist may be necessary.

Signs That Its Time To Call A Doctor For Your Back Pain

Back Pain? When Do You Need to See a Doctor Immediately!

Most people have experienced back pain at some point in their lives. It’s actually the leading cause of disability worldwide and the most common reason people call out of work. Back pain can come in many different forms, ranging from a dull ache that lasts only a few days to severe pain that lasts for weeks.

Depending on the intensity of the pain, there are many treatments you can try at home to help. But how do you know when it’s time to stop home remedies and see a physician?

If any of the following applies to your back pain, then it’s time to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.

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How Do You Know If Back Pain Is Muscle Or Disc

While pain in your mid-back may be related to a disc, its more likely caused by muscle strain or other issues. Your symptoms feel worse when you bend or straighten up from a bent position. Movement can increase pressure on the herniated disc and the surrounding nerves, causing symptoms to increase.

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Answers To Common Back Pain Questions

More than eight in 10 people will experience upper, mid, or low back pain at some point in their lives. Low back pain is the most common back pain. In most cases, the pain goes away over time. If your back pain is severe or does not improve, you may need medical care. Here are answers to some common questions about back pain and tips on when to seek help.

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Cracked Worn And Broken Teeth

If the muscles, teeth, and jaw joints do not work properly, there is an imbalance in the bite. When your bottom and top teeth come together, there will be excess pressure on some teeth because of misalignment. It causes cracked, worn, and broken teeth in general. Additionally, patients with jaw misalignment disorder try to grind or clench their teeth and cause broken teeth as well. If you have a regular checkup with your dentist, they will tell you if they noticed the symptoms of crack from grinding and clenching.

Help Which Doctor That Specializes In Back Pain Is Right For Me

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There are clearly many different types of doctor that specialize in back pain. All of them focus on different types of back pain, different causes of the pain, and different types of treatment options. These are important factors to consider when you are deciding where to seek medical help. We understand that it can be difficult to try and know where to start, and it may feel frustrating as you try different options, seeking to find one that helps you.

We recommend trying a pain treatment clinic.

A pain treatment clinic is a one-stop shop for understanding and treating back pain. The clinic houses a number of different medical specialists, who are all highly trained in different areas, but all function as pain doctors, to relieve your pain. They will help you to diagnose the cause of your back pain, and work with you to find a treatment option that is likely to help, and suits your preferences.

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Your Pain Extends To Other Body Parts

If you’re experiencing severe back pain that is coupled with pain in other areas such as shooting pain down your leg then you should see a doctor. This could be a sign that you have sciatica, a form of pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back and through the buttocks before branching down each leg. This condition usually results from a herniated disk. A doctor will be able to offer a variety of ways that you can relieve this pain.

Groin Pain Treatment At Home

If your groin pain is the result of a strain, you can treat it at home. The RICE protocolrest, ice, compression and elevationcan help reduce swelling and allow the area to heal.

Follow these steps to address groin pain from muscle strain:

  • Get as much rest as you can to allow the injury to heal and avoid strenuous activity.
  • Put an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel or pillowcase for up to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day. When the swelling goes down, you can use a warm heating pad on the area.
  • Wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage, but dont make it so tight that it causes numbness, increases the pain, or causes swelling.
  • Elevate the injured area whenever you can, keeping it at or above the level of your heart.

If you need pain relief, try over-the-counter NSAID medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen . If the pain doesnt improve, call your healthcare provider, as some groin pain requires medical treatment.

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A Pain Management Doctors Background

Pain management doctors have over nine years of medical training. First, they gain a broad education in medical school. Then, they get another four years of hands-on training in a field like anesthesiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, or neurology. Finally, they complete another year of training, that focuses solely on treating pain. This leads to a certificate from the American Board of Pain Medicine.

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Types Of Specialists Who Treat Sciatica Pain

See your doctor NOW! (BACK PAIN). Understand red flags for lower back pain

There are several specialties of medicine that have the ability to treat and prevent future sciatic nerve pain. The type of specialist best fit for your case will depend on the severity of your sciatica and the cause. Let’s look at six different types of doctors who specialize in treating sciatica and which one may be right for you.

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Learn About The Different Back Pain Specialists

When a back problem occurs, it’s typically a good idea to first consult with a primary care physician. This doctor will conduct an initial exam and, depending on the findings, he or she may refer you to a spine specialist.

If you are referred to a specialist for chronic back pain, it will likely be to one of the following:

What Should I Expect During My First Visit To A Pain Management Physician

Understanding the cause of pain is the first step in treating pain. In some cases, the cause of pain may be apparent, such as a spinal fracture. In cases of chronic pain, there may be more than a single cause, making the diagnosis difficult. A pain management doctor relies on the patients medical history as well as physical and neurological examinations.

On the first visit, a pain management specialist gets to know the patient and their specific pain problem. This appointment will usually involve a detailed medical history, both past and present. It is essential for the patient to describe the pain in terms that help the pain doctor understand. A stoic person may describe a pain as a 2 on a pain scale, while someone else might describe the same pain as a 6. This WebMD article may be helpful in describing the pain.

Often the patient is given a questionnaire before the first visit that asks detailed questions about the pain. The patient may also be asked to bring any imaging studies or other tests that have been performed. Other items to bring on your first visit to a pain doctor include:

  • A pain journal that details your symptoms, the triggers, and pain intensity.
  • A list of any medications you are currently taking.
  • A list of pain relief treatments youve tried.
  • Information about what makes the pain worse and what helps provide relief.

A good pain doctor will listen to your concerns with a compassionate ear and customize a pain management plan.

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Focus On Minimally Invasive Knee Pain Treatments

Finally, its important that your knee pain doctor focuses primarily on minimally invasive treatments rather than complex surgeries or narcotics. Some of the best knee pain treatments include steroid injections, viscosupplementation, genicular nerve block, and genicular nerve radiofrequency ablation. These are all minimally invasive treatments with a negligible risk of side effects and they can provide long term relief from the actual root cause of knee pain.

Do Sports Medicine Doctors Treat Back Pain

6 Back Pain Devices You Can Use At Home

The back is one of the most common body parts where people experience chronic pain. Do you feel stiff when you get out of bed in the morning? Or, maybe you need to get off your feet during the day because your back is aching.

Back pain can be complicated to treat, mainly because various underlying causes can result in chronic pain. A general physician might prescribe pain pills, but these medications simply cover up the symptoms without treating the root problem.

If you want immediate and long-lasting back pain relief, an orthopedic doctor can be a great resource. Many of these doctors specialize in sports medicine since its common for athletes to experience back injuries.

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You’re Having Problems With Your Bowels Or Urination

If your back pain is paired with a loss of control over your bowels or urination, then it’s time to seek help immediately at a local emergency room. These symptoms point to cauda equina syndrome, where the nerves in the lower spine have become paralyzed. While rare, this syndrome can be permanently damaging to the nerves if left untreated. If you experience these symptoms, especially accompanied by numbness in the legs, then you may need surgery to decompress the nerves and preserve their overall function.

How Orthopedic Treatment Can Help

Orthopedic spine specialists who don’t have a specialty in orthopedic surgery use non-surgical methods to treat patients who suffer from lower back pain. They specialize in musculoskeletal disorders that affect the lower back in people with sports injuries and other traumatic injuries, as well as disorders and diseases of the spine. They may work with other spine specialists mentioned above to manage the lower back pain and restore movement.

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Family And General Practitioners

With new neck or back pain, start with your regular doctor. That’s usually a family or general practitioner or primary care provider .

They may:

  • Give you a few exercises to do
  • Possibly send you to a physical therapist
  • Possibly refer you to a specialist

But studies suggest GPs can be slow to adopt new back treatments. So research possible treatment options yourself. And ask a lot of questions during your appointment.

Also, you can always request a referral to a specialist.

You Dont Need To Be A Pro Athlete To Visit A Sports Medicine Doctor

When should you see a doctor for back pain?

There is a misconception among people who dont understand the sports medicine industry: many patients think that sports medicine is only for professional athletes. While sports medicine doctors work with athletes of all ages, they also offer services for non-athlete patients.

You might be a weekend warrior with back pain that stops you from enjoying a weekly scrimmage game with friends. Or, maybe you are an older adult with chronic back pain, making it hard to get through daily activities at home.

Regardless of your age, activity levels, or personal circumstances, sports medicine doctors are available to help with back pain and other types of chronic pain.

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