Board Certification And Strong Educational Background
Consider the doctors board certification. The best knee pain doctors are board-certified in the field of pain management. This denotes that theyve gone through advanced residencies and fellowships, which makes them far more experienced than regular knee pain doctors. You should also consider the knee pain doctors education background and go for doctors who have graduated from Ivy League universities or those of equivalent stature.
Why Go To An Orthopedic Doctor
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.
Holistic And Osteopathic Specialists
In the event of chronic or severe back pain, many individuals tend to prefer to see osteopathic or holistic specialists. These types of doctors and professionals include osteopathic physicians and chiropractic specialists.
Osteopaths are put through the same training and licensing/certification processes that all medical doctors must obtain to practice medicine, but they tend to do additional studies of the musculoskeletal system. They then will prefer to treat pain problems medically, but with an additional emphasis on the potential lifestyle and environmental factors which may be contributing to the pain problem.
Chiropractors are trained in the proper alignment of the spine and may be able to provide some of the most immediate relief to back pain problems. This is done through periodic adjustments and treatments that attempt to maintain alignment and prevent further pain issues.
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Discusses Potential Therapies That Could Help
With their specialized training, pain management doctors have access to the latest research on therapies that work. Theyre also likely conducting their own trials and studies on patients whose pain hasnt responded to conventional therapies.
After diagnosing your pain, a pain management doctor will review available therapies for your condition and find the one that works best for you. Great pain doctors will use interventional or pharmaceutical treatments in conjunction with complementary therapies. For many patients, using complementary therapies can reduce the amount of medication you have to take or the procedures you have to undergo.
Your pain management plan may include a variety of complementary therapies, including:
Read more about each of these therapies in our post on interventional pain management.
Although no single remedy will cure your pain, combining multiple methods can help you find the best mix to maximize your quality of life. In severe cases, surgery may be warranted. This should only be used when other less invasive methods havent worked, or your condition is seriously affecting your quality of life.
A note on medications
If you do use prescription medications to manage your pain, its important to be smart about taking it. Additionally, your pain management plan shouldnt rely entirely on medications. If your pain management doctor suggests this, it may be time to see a new doctor.
Which Doctor Should You See For Back Pain
Back pain is so common, experts say, that approximately 80 percent of adults will have an aching back at some point in their lives. Truthfully, its probably closer to 100 percent, says , a spine surgeon at HSS.
If youre in this group and youve been avoiding seeking relief , Dr. Dowdell would like to put your mind at ease. Not only is spine surgery not always necessary for treating back pain, sometimes its not even helpful.
There are so many variables when it comes to back pain, he says. How it can be treated depends on whats causing it. Ultimately, some types of back pain can be helped with surgery, and some cant.
For example, a may be helped with surgery, while is often managed with physical therapy, exercise and anti-inflammatory medications. If you wind up , you may be able to with rest, stretching, ice or heat, and anti-inflammatories.
The one thing thats the same for nearly everyone, says Dr. Dowdell, is which type of doctor to approach first.
Heres where he suggests you start, what to expect…and what may happen next if your pain doesnt go away.
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Medical And Family History
Your doctor will ask questions about your medical and family history to help determine if an injury or underlying medical condition is the source for the back pain. Some questions your doctor may ask:
- Can you describe your pain?
- Where is the exact location of your back pain?
- When did the pain start and how long have you had the pain?
- What were you doing when you first noticed the pain?
- How severe or bad is the pain?
- What makes the pain worse or better?
Your doctor may ask you to rate your pain on a scale from 1 to 10 to gauge the severity of the pain and talk to you about your ability to perform activities of daily living.
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: 123RF.com.
There 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.
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What Happens When I Visit A Back Doctor
We gather a full medical history of your back problems and perform detailed physical examinations, said Dr. Guo. That includes checking for tenderness, spine range of motion, strength, sensation, and reflexes. Depending on your symptoms, we may perform provocative tests to find out what triggers your pain. We may order imaging studies, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. We may order electromyography and a nerve conduction study, which assess whether you have muscle and/or nerve problems that may cause your symptoms. We use all the information to help identify the cause of your back pain and associated symptoms, and provide the most appropriate treatments for you.
Bowel And Bladder Issues
If you find yourself running to the restroom or sitting on the toilet for hours , it may be time to see a specialist.
Some of the issues that can affect the bowel, bladder, and back include Irritable Bowel Syndrome and nerve damage.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome can cause abdominal cramping and extreme stool , which can then lead to lower back issues.
Flipping it around, nerve damage in the back can create abdominal pain and disrupt digestion.
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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.
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.
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If Youre Still Not Better Youll Likely Get An Mri
If youve finished your PT but your pains not improved, your physiatrist will likely send you for an . This type of test looks at whats going on inside your body using a high-powered magnet. An MRI can help doctors see if a nerve is being pinched, if theres wear-and-tear on the cartilage or bones, or if theres another physical problem that might be at the root of your pain.
Who Treats Back Pain
Different types of health care providers treat back pain, depending on the cause:
- Pain specialists, who are physicians including anesthesiologists with specialized training in evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all different types of pain.
- Family or primary care doctors.
- Orthopaedists, who treat and perform surgery for bone and joint diseases.
- Neurologists, who treat disorders and diseases of the spine, brain, and nerves.
- Neurosurgeons, who perform surgery for disorders and diseases of spine, brain, and nerves.
- Rheumatologists, who specialize in treating musculoskeletal diseases and autoimmune disorders.
- Physical therapists, who specialize in movement and strengthening muscles.
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Here Are 3 Ways To Tell If Your Doctor Is Experienced At Evaluating And Treating Tailbone Pain:
College And Medical School
All licensed physicians â whether theyâre MDs or DOs â have both bachelorâs degrees and advanced degrees from medical school.
After four years of undergraduate studies, aspiring doctors must pass the Medical College Admission Test . Itâs a rigorous exam â only about 50% of test-takers pass on the first try .
Once theyâve passed the MCAT, future doctors go through another four years of schooling. The first two years of medical school are primarily classroom and laboratory work the second two years mostly consist of hands-on work under the supervision of experienced doctors.
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Why Does My Back Hurt
There are various causes of back pain, including muscle pain with or without muscles spasms, disc pain, joint pain, or nerve pain. In most cases, these are not harmful or dangerous.
Muscle pain is the most common acute back pain. The period of acute pain is usually limited and may be treated at home or by primary care doctors. Sometimes, these patients may be referred to doctors who specialize in back pain. Some back pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem, like a fracture, infection, or cancer in the spine, said H. Michael Guo, MD, a Duke physiatrist who specializes in spine care. These patients should be seen by spine doctors. Fortunately, spine infections and cancer are very rare and usually only affect people with special risk factors. Spine fractures are also rare and may be associated with thinned spine bones or injuries.
What Conditions Do Spine Specialists Treat
Because of their specialized knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, spine specialists are well equipped to handle back pain and neck pain caused by a number of underlying conditions. In this section, weâll take a look at a few types of cases commonly treated by these specialists. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give you a good sense of what conditions would warrant a visit to a spine specialist.
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.
Internists And Family Practice Physicians
Internists and family physicians are the most typical entry into the world of medical treatment. The second most common reason for a visit to your primary care doctor is back pain. These individuals have one of the most difficult jobs. These doctors have to know about heart disease, circulation, lungs, liver, kidneys, diabetes, infectious disease, as well as spine. They have the hardest job in medicine.
These docs might initially use medications and activity restrictions. If their treatment is not effective, they might refer to a physical therapist. Some may refer to . Osteopaths may treat the problem themselves with manipulation and muscle techniques. No matter to which you go, if the problem is resolved, obviously there is no further need of treatment.
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Living With Back Pain
Living with back pain can be challenging however, most people find relief within 6 weeks. Remember to follow the recommendations of your health care providers. The following may make it easier for you to manage your pain and recover:
- Add exercises gradually and talk to your doctor about the types of exercises that are best for you. There may be certain activities or exercises you should avoid.
- When sitting for a prolonged period get up, move around, and switch positions frequently.
- Wear comfortable shoes with a low heel.
- When driving long distances, try adding some support behind your back, and stop frequently to stand up and walk around.
- Sleep on your side, and place a small pillow between your knees. If you tend to sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees. If possible, try to avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- Limit the amount you carry. Instead of carrying more items at once, make a few extra trips to avoid carrying too much weight.
Imaging And Blood Tests
Most people do not need additional testing however, sometimes doctors order tests to rule out a specific cause for your pain or to confirm a cause for your back pain. Your doctor may order the following.
- X-rays only show bones and can help diagnose:
- Broken bones or fractures.
- Changes due to aging.
- Changes in the alignment of the spine.
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