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What Kind Of Doctor To Go To For Back Pain

Christopher Dr Glattes Patient

When to See a Doctor for Back Pain

Christopher began experiencing back pain that was interfering with his daily activities. He experienced back pain just from getting out of bed in the morning.

After having surgery with Dr. Glattes, Christopher is feeling better, and walking with a cane. Christopher states, My quality of life has changed dramatically since coming to Elite.

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.

What Should I Bring To My First Visit To A Pain Management Doctor

For your first visit, your doctor will focus on diagnosing the exact cause of your pain. Because of this, you should bring:

  • A pain journal that details your symptoms, triggers, and pain intensity over a given period
  • Your treatment history, as well as any X-ray or MRI scans
  • A list of any medications youre currently taking
  • Your insurance information
  • Any information about what makes your pain better or worse

A forum post on also has answers to this question from pain patients across the U.S. Most of all, make sure to be honest and upfront during your first visit. Explain exactly how youre feeling, what youve tried, as well as your for pain relief. A good pain doctor will listen to your concerns with a compassionate ear and work to put together a pain management plan.

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

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.

Amy Dr Crosby Patient

Back Pain: When to See a Doctor

Amy began her journey at Elite after being diagnosed with a bulging disc. Her condition was limiting her active lifestyle and preventing her from doing normal day-to-day activities.

Dr. Crosby has helped Amy get back to where she wants to be while also listening to her needs. She states, I dont like taking meds, so he has worked with me to offer treatment to ease the pain, but doesnt rely solely on medication.

Amy has been able to return to almost all activities again.

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Informed Choice Can Help You Choose A Trustworthy Provider

There are as many choices as there are colors in the rainbow. There are a number of distinct physicians within the medical world that you have a choice from. Internists, family physicians, orthopaedists, neurosurgeons, spine surgeons, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, neurologists, anesthesiologists, and even some psychiatrists that treat lower back disorders. There are places that have multiple specialists who treat these disorders as a group.

There are a number of distinct physicians within the medical world that you have a choice from. Photo Source: are many types of nonmedical practitioners to choose from, and they vary greatly even within their own specialty. You can go to a chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, athletic trainer, acupuncturist, Feldenkrais or Pilates practitioner, personal trainer, or even an aroma therapist.

Back Pain And Ulcerative Colitis

Research indicates that nearly 25 percent of people with inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease experience chronic lower back pain. Ankylosing spondylitis and axial arthritis both of which can cause back pain are two common causes of back pain in people with UC.

That said, a doctor may not suspect that a person with back pain has UC unless they also experience gastrointestinal symptoms. If you do experience back pain, its important to let your doctor know even if you dont suspect that its related to UC. They will be able to determine the cause of your pain and work with you to find the best way of managing it.

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Diagnosing Back Pain In Ulcerative Colitis

Diagnosing back pain as a symptom of ulcerative colitis can be tricky. Back pain can be attributed to a number of causes, including injury and strain. Because of the other potential causes, some people may not think to mention their backaches when seeking care for their UC. Whats more, back pain may develop years before UC does, making it more challenging to note the connection between the two.

If your doctor suspects that your UC has led to axial arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, they will likely ask you to come in for a physical exam and tests. During this exam, they may test the range of motion in your spine and gauge your ability to take a deep breath. The doctor may also try to pinpoint the location of your pain by moving your legs or pressing on certain areas of your pelvis.

Radiographic tests are also commonly used to diagnose axial spondyloarthritis. Your doctor may use an X-ray to check for damage to your bones or joints. If no inflammatory damage is visible on the X-ray, your doctor may also order an MRI scan to get a more detailed view of your soft tissue and bones. An MRI scan can be particularly helpful, as it can allow doctors to catch and start treating your axial arthritis or AS before damage becomes extensive.

Types Of Doctors That Specialize In Back Pain

When to See a Doctor for Back Pain


If you have back pain, there are a number of different specialists that can help. Back pain can be caused by a number of different reasons, and as a result, there are a number of different doctors that specialize in treating back pain in different ways. It can be difficult to know which type of doctor to see, so we have compiled a list of some of the most common back pain specialists, in order for you to make a more informed choice about your future treatment.

If you are experiencing severe pain and feel ready to find the best back pain doctor and book an appointment today, you can jump straight ahead to the bottom of this article and submit a contact form, or give us call at 767-3227. One of our team members will help you identify the best back pain doctor near you.

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What Is The Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve is part of the nervous system and categorized as a major nerve that starts in the lower back, runs down the back of the thigh and branches off just above the knee into smaller nerves that run the length of the legs to the feet. What most people do not realize is that the sciatic nerve has the largest circumference of any nerve in the human body. It is no wonder that when damaged it can cause excruciating pain.

What Causes Back Pain In Ulcerative Colitis

  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

A person having backaches may not realize its related to digestive problems or think to mention it to their doctor. However, ulcerative colitis can cause extraintestinal symptoms including back pain.

Although back pain can result from other causes, such as injury or overexertion, UC-related back pain stems from inflammation. Generally speaking, people with ulcerative colitis can trace their back pain to spondyloarthritis. Spondyloarthritis, also known as spondylitis, is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation specifically in the axial joints those of the spine, chest, and pelvis. Spondyloarthritis includes axial arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

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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?

Common Types Of Shoulder Pain & When To See A Doctor

When Should You See a Doctor for Back Pain?

While not as frequently discussed as other types of joint painincluding knee pain and hip painshoulder pain is extremely common across the U.S. Over time, damage to the muscles, tendons, and cartilage surrounding the shoulder joint can trigger mild pain that worsens as the inflammation grows.

If youre experiencing stiffness, soreness, pain, swelling, redness, or slight discomfort in/near your shoulder, dont take it lightly. Heres a roundup of the four most common types of shoulder pain and a guide to help you decide when to seek help.

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Dr R Christopher Glattes

Dr. Glattes is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in surgery of the spine. He has been with Elite since 2008 and has been named a Castle Connolly Top Doctor three consecutive times, making him one of the best back doctors in Nashville, TN.

Here is what Dr. Glattes told us patients can expect working with him:

You can expect me to listen to you and try my best to put myself in your shoes. If your condition is not related to the spine, you can trust that I will send you to one of my partners for the best care.

How To Find Pain Doctors Near Me

Of course, once you know you want to visit a pain doctor, your first step will be finding one that can help with your pain. ASRA recommends:

The most important consideration in looking for a pain management specialist is to find someone who has the training and experience to help you with your particular pain problem and with whom you feel a comfortable rapport. Since many types of chronic pain may require a complex treatment plan as well as specialized interventional techniques, pain specialists today must have more training than in the past, and you should learn about how your pain physician was trained and whether he or she has board certification in pain management.

You can find more information about finding a compassionate, highly-qualified pain management doctor in our post, How To Find Pain Management Doctors Near You. We recommend using credentials, as suggested by ASRA, as well as with personal or online reviews to narrow your search. The Arthritis Foundation also has a great list of questions to ask a potential pain clinic before committing to treatment.

You can also find a listing of all of the pain management doctors by clicking the button below. These doctors are highly-trained and part of a network of doctors committed to relieving your pain.

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Should I See A Doctor

While frozen shoulder can pass with time, patients experience recurring pain that affects their ability to perform routine chores and takes a toll on their mental health. To improve the condition, consult a doctor close to when you experience the onset of symptoms. Frozen shoulder can be corrected with physical therapy and steroid injections.

You Have Unexplained Weight Loss

What is the Best Type of Doctor For Low Back Pain?

If you experience sudden weight loss that can’t be explained by diet and lifestyle changes, then you should always pay attention to what your body is telling you. This is especially true when the unexplained weight loss is accompanied by back pain. See your doctor to rule out the possibility of a more severe condition, such as an infection or tumor.

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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.

Common Causes Of Hip Pain

Hip pain usually arises due to injury or inflammation in or around the joint. The most common causes of hip pain include:

  • Hip fracture

  • , which is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve

  • Structural damage to any surrounding soft tissues, such as a hip labral tear, blunt trauma, , or an inguinal

Rarely, hip pain can be caused by a , such as , or infection, such as .

The location of your hip pain often can tell your doctor a great deal about what is causing it. For example, when climbing stairs may indicate sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Hip pain after sitting might be caused by trochanteric bursitisinflammation of a bursa located on the outer point of the hip.

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Performs Any Interventional Procedures

If you do need interventional treatments, such as steroid injections or neuromodulation, your pain management doctor will likely perform them. You can find live videos of many procedures on our YouTube channel. These can help you know what to expect before your procedure, and during your recovery. You can see an example of this in the following radiofrequency ablation video.

Again, a good pain management doctor should be combining these interventional procedures with complementary therapies to reduce the risk of side effects and improve your overall health outcomes.

Chiropractic Care For Back Pain

Which Type of Doctor Should You See for Your Back Pain?

It may take several types of tests including x-rays, MRIs, and blood tests, to determine the exact cause of your back pain.

And you may need more than one expert managing your back pain.

It really just depends on your specific situation and the amount of damage that has occurred in your spine.

But for back sprains, strains, and even herniated discs, a visit to your local chiropractor may be all it takes to start feeling better.

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Schedule An Appointment With Your Doctor

Pain Treatment Specialists has some of the best knee doctors in the country. Our knee pain doctors Dr. George Hanna, Dr. Namrata Khimani, and Dr. Michael Nguyen are board-certified interventional pain specialists who have graduated from Ivy League universities. They diagnose the root cause of your knee pain using X-Rays, CT Scans, and MRIs and then they treat it using the latest minimally invasive knee pain treatments. For more information, please schedule an appointment with your doctor today.

Stretches To Prevent Back Pain

Taking a small amount of time every day to stretch you back can have a massive impact on your spine health.

An exercise program and physical therapy can help to relieve pain from conditions like spinal stenosis. Here are 5 stretches you can do from your desk chair at work or at home to help prevent and relieve back pain:

  • Chest Opener Stretch

  • Photo by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash

    According to Merriam Webster, the definition of ergonomics is an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact the most efficiently and safely.

    Working at an office job daily can have a negative impact on your back health and can lead to many spine conditions. Luckily, implementing ergonomics into your routine can help!

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    Sensations That Might Indicate A Medical Emergency

    1. Sharp pain rather than a dull ache: This could indicate a torn muscle or ligament, or a problem with an internal organ in the back or side.2. Radiating pain: This pain “moves” or shoots to the glutes or legs, which could indicate a nerve compression condition.

    3. Sudden weakness in the legs: Limb weakness can be caused by compressed nerves in the spine due to conditions like sciatica or spinal stenosis. However, sudden leg weakness could also indicate a stroke.4. Incontinence: Back pain paired with inability to control the bowels or bladder might be a sign of serious nerve compression or a spine infection, such as discitis or meningitis.5. Numbness or pins and needles in the groin or glutes: This is known as saddle anesthesia and is also a sign of a serious nerve or spine condition.

    If you have leg weakness, incontinence, and numbness together, you might have cauda equina syndrome, a serious illness characterized by spinal cord nerve damage. This is a medical emergency, and patients usually need surgery immediately to decompress the nerves and reduce permanent damage.

    Related reading: Get help for back, neck, and leg pain caused by spinal stenosis

    Incontinence Or Leg Weakness

    Lower Back Pain: When to See Your Doctor

    If controlling your bladder or bowel has rapidly become a challenge, and/or your legs have been growing progressively weaker, you should seek immediate medical care.

    Bowel and bladder incontinence, progressive weakness, and loss of sensation in the seat area are symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, which is a very serious condition. Cauda equina syndrome generally requires emergency back surgery.

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