3 Types Of Doctors Who Treat Spine Pain

Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 13, 2017

Spine Pain Doctors

When it comes to treating a health issue or injury, there are a wide variety of doctors and specialists who can help diagnose and treat the condition. That sentiment is true no matter what area of your body is aching, but it’s especially true for your spine. Since it is such an intricate structure, patients with spine pain oftentimes have to see more than one doctor to fully recover. However, if you know what type of doctor to look for, you may be able to cut down your recovery time. Below, we take a look at three common doctors you may run into while seeking treatment for back pain, and we’ll explain their roles.


Primary Care Providers

This is often the first place people stop if they have back pain. This group includes your family care physician, your chiropractor or your pediatrician. These professionals are great for minor back injuries like tweaks and sprains, but they aren’t always your best option if you are dealing with serious spine pain. They have the tools to diagnose your back pain, but their treatment methods often don’t go beyond rest, ice, physical therapy, exercise and anti-inflammatory medications. If you have a serious injury or are dealing with a lot of pain, you may be able to save yourself some time and money by skipping to number two on this list.

Spine Specialists

Spine specialists, as the name implies, are doctors who have a deep knowledge base on all things back and neck. Oftentimes these specialists are also surgeons who can not only diagnose your pain, but they can install hardware or remove a damaged disc in your spine if need be. They are an ideal fit for someone suffering from a significant spinal issue because they can provide assistance in three crucial phases – diagnosis, treatment and recovery. If your spine pain is significant, you should consider going straight to a specialist, because your primary care physician may refer you to one after your visit, so you can save yourself a visit by going straight to the specialist.

Recovery Specialists

The final group of professionals who can help you with your back injury aren’t one that you would head to first. This group of recovery specialists includes physical therapists, occupational therapists and mental health counselors. Their job starts after diagnosis if conservative care is the plan, or after surgery if an operation is necessary. Their job is to help you strengthen areas of your spine that have been damaged or weakened so that you can regain your independence. Oftentimes your primary care doctor or spinal specialist will refer you to a recovery therapist after their job is complete, because doctors don’t have the time to sit with a patient during a 45-minute rehab session. All therapists are licensed, but they aren’t necessarily doctors, even though they work closely with one another.

So in the end, you can probably get by with a visit to your primary care doctor for minor back issues, but if the problem is severe, consider going straight to a specialist.

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