What Doctor Should I See for Back Pain? – Content If your back pain is from a recent strain or mild injury, your primary care doctor can probably help. But if the pain is severe, ongoing, or accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, it may be time to see a back doctor.
- 0.1 What type of Doctor treats back pain?
- 0.2 Lower back pain: Should Doctor Be Consulted? by Dr.Anil Raheja at Apollo Spectra Hospitals
- 1 What should I do if I have lower back pain?
What type of Doctor treats back pain?
Lower back pain: Should Doctor Be Consulted? by Dr.Anil Raheja at Apollo Spectra Hospitals
In This Article: – There are three broad groups of health providers who treat back pain:
- Primary care providers are often the first port of call for patients when back pain strikes, and generally include:
- Primary care physicians (Family practice doctors, Internists, Obstetricians, Gynecologists, Pediatricians)
- Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine
- Spine specialists have a more specific area of expertise in certain diagnoses and/or treatments for back pain and spinal conditions, and generally include:
- Therapists have expertise in either physical or occupational rehabilitation for back pain or psychological help for chronic pain, and generally include:
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Clinical psychologists
What should I do if I have lower back pain?
– Lower back pain is very common, and there is not always an obvious cause. However, lower back pain can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as an injury, an infection, or spinal problems. Exercising regularly, practicing good posture, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of lower back pain.
When should I see a doctor for lower back pain?
When To See A Doctor – There is not always an obvious cause of lower back pain, and it often gets better on its own. Resting, trying hot or cold therapy, taking OTC pain relievers, and gently stretching may help speed up recovery. However, a person should see a doctor for lower back pain that is severe, does not seem to be getting better, or occurs alongside other concerning symptoms, such as tingling or numbness down the legs.
difficulty walking or moving the legs loss of bowel or bladder function loss of sensation in the legs very severe pain
A doctor can help a person identify potential causes of lower back pain and recommend appropriate treatment.
Can a neurologist diagnose back and neck pain?
Should You See A Neurologist For Back And Neck Pain – Lower Back Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo People often think of a chiropractic doctor for chronic pain, but neurologists also diagnose and treat back pain and neck pain. Neurologists specialize in conditions and diseases that affect the brain, the spinal cord, and the nervous system this often includes chronic pain in the back and neck.
Talk to your primary care provider if you experience chronic back pain or neck pain. Your doctor can help you determine if you should see a specialist, such as a neurologist, for your symptoms. Some health insurance plans require a referral from your primary care physician. Contact Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic to schedule an appointment with our board-certified neurologists in Northwest Arkansas.
Read Also: Is Aleve Or Ibuprofen Better For Back Pain
Should I see a doctor for my lower back pain?
When to See a Doctor for Back Pain Medically Reviewed by on June 01, 2011 How do you know when that achy pain in your back is more than you can handle alone? Experts agree – if your is in conjunction with any of the following symptoms, skip the at-home remedies for in-office help.
- There are several red flags that doctors look for when evaluating low back pain.
- The purpose of these warning signs is to detect fractures, tumors, or infections of the spine.
- If you have any of these red flags along with back pain, see your doctor as soon as possible.
- Sure, your back just could be achy and tight from the flu, but an unresponsive fever accompanied by back pain also could be a sign of a serious infection.
“It’s indicative of something more systemic,” says orthopaedic surgeon Richard Guyer, MD, founder of the Texas Back Institute and Associate Clinical Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. What to expect: Your primary care doctor can rule out an infection.
- If it is an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
- If your doctor rules out an infection, a couple days of rest can be helpful.
- Sometimes back pain can be a result or a secondary consequence of an infection causing the fever.
- But once you start to feel better, doctors typically recommend slowly resuming your daily activity.
Resting more than a day or two can actually make your back pain worse. Trauma If you’ve had a serious trauma – such as a fall from a height or a car accident – or if you’ve had a relatively minor trauma and you’re over 50, your doctor will want to take a serious look at your back pain.
Even falling down a few steps when you’re older can cause a fracture. What to expect: Your doctor will probably take an X-ray to look for, If no fractures are found, you may manage your pain with medication and later your recovery with physical therapy. Numbness or Tingling You might think that you can stop numbness or prickly tingling with over-the-counter medication, but this is usually an indication of nerve irritation or damage and is clinically more significant than your typical pain, says New York City chiropractor Todd Sinett, author of The Truth About Back Pain,
If that pins-and-needles feeling won’t go away, you may be experiencing one of several conditions – such as a herniated disc, – that can cause nerve pressure. “If left untreated, prolonged nerve irritation and damage can lead to permanent disabilities,” says Sinett.
What to expect: It would be smart to first see your primary care doctor for an evaluation. Treatment will vary depending on the diagnosis. Additional testing to image the spine and check nerve conduction may be ordered. Loss of Bowel or Bladder Function Back pain teamed with a loss of bowel or bladder control can be a telltale sign of a rare, but serious condition called, in which the nerve roots in the lower end of the spinal cord have experienced some sort of compression and become paralyzed.
This can happen as a result of a herniated disk, fracture, tumor, spinal stenosis, or trauma to the spine. Symptoms can develop over time and also include numbness and weakness of the legs. Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.
- What to expect: In order to relieve the pressure that is damaging nerves and preserve nerve function, “Your doctor will perform a procedure called a surgical decompression,” says Guyer.
- Medical history of cancer, suppressed immune system, osteoporosis, or chronic steroid use A history of cancer would make your doctor want to rule out cancer spread as a possible cause for your back pain.
Immune suppression could lead your doctor to suspect an infection as the cause of your back pain. A history of osteoporosis or chronic steroid use could lead your doctor to suspect a fracture as the cause of your pain. What to expect: Your primary care doctor may order tests such as blood work or an MRI to check for a tumor or infection or X-rays to rule out fractures.
- You may take antibiotics for an infection.
- Fractures can be treated with medication, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.
- Pain management for cancer that has spread to the spine may include medications and,
- If, while walking, your toes drag along the ground or you have to consciously lift your foot higher to compensate for the dragging, you may be experiencing foot drop, a condition that can be accompanied by back pain, says Sinett.
Foot drop is usually a symptom of a greater issue like a nerve problem (the nerve that tells muscles to lift the foot may be damaged), muscle problem, or a brain problem. What to expect: The first thing your doctor must do is figure out the underlying cause of the foot drop.
- For example, if your doctor suspects a herniated disc, they may suggest treatments such as physical therapy and steroid injections.
- Night Pain All is fine during the day, but as soon as your head hits the pillow your back starts to hurt, making sleep near impossible.
- Sound like you? “Pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night can be the sign of disc degeneration or a sprain, or something more serious like cancer or a tumor,” says Sinett.
Bottom line: Night time back pain shouldn’t be ignored. Make a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible.
- What to expect: Your primary care doctor may order tests like blood work or an MRI to check for infection or tumor.
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- When you have unexpected and unexplained weight loss, your doctor may want to rule out infection and tumors as possible causes for your back pain.
What to expect: Your primary care doctor may order tests such as blood work or an MRI to check for infection or tumor. If these tests are negative, you may be given pain medication and other tests may be performed to see if there is another underlying cause for your weight loss. You may also receive pain medication and physical therapy for your back pain.
- Prolonged Pain (6+ weeks)
- Because 90% of back pain cases get better within six weeks, your doctor will want to investigate more serious underlying causes if your pain is still severe after that much time passes.
- What to expect: After an evaluation of your symptoms and a physical exam, your primary care doctor may order blood work and imaging tests to help determine a diagnosis.
- Advanced Age
- When you’re over 70, there’s an increased risk for infection, tumors, and abdominal causes of back pain.
- What to expect: Your doctor may perform diagnostic tests including blood work and imaging to rule out underlying causes of your pain.
IV Drug Use People who have prolonged use of IV drugs are more susceptible to infection. What to expect: Your doctor will mostly likely order blood work to rule out infection. If an infection is found, you’ll take antibiotics in addition to pain medication. © 2011 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. : When to See a Doctor for Back Pain
What is the best treatment for lower back pain?
- acupuncture,in which therapists insert hair-thin sterilized needles into precise points in the body to release blocked energy
- spinal manipulation,in which chiropractors apply pressure directly to the body to correct spinal alignment
- therapeutic massage to relax aching muscles
How to effectively treat lower back pain?
- Rest. Rest your lower back to counter the pain.
- Heat or ice. Treat lower back pain with a hot or cold compress.
- OTC pain relievers. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers are a noninvasive treatment option for back pain.
- Prescription medications.
- Traction,ultrasound,and TENS.
- Alternative medicine.