Which Doctor For Back Pain?
By Dean Moyer
Author of Rebuild Your Back
If you've been paying attention you already know that I'm diametrically opposed to chiropractors and chiropractic spinal manipulation. This, of course, raises the obvious question of just which doctor should you see when you have back pain?
Like many of my readers, I'm one of those people who will do just about anything to avoid going to the doctor. However, there are times when you should seek medical attention and back pain qualifies as one of those times.
Your First Back Pain Doctor
The first doctor you should see is your family physician even if he later decides to refer you to a back pain specialist.
Your family physician (also known as a family practitioner) will know your medical history and has the training and experience to spot any conditions or symptoms that might require more specialized attention.
A family practitioner is more than qualified to determine if your back problem is beyond the scope of a simple strain or sprain. Plus, he is in a better position than anyone else to recommend the correct specialist should you require one.
If you don't have a family physician, you can locate one here. In addition, many communities now have walk-in clinics (also known as immediate care clinics) where you can see a family practitioner without an appointment and usually for a very reasonable fee.
The Back Pain Specialist
Considering that 90 percent of all back injuries are only minor strains, there is no reason to assume that you need to see a specialist.
If your family physician determines that you do indeed require specialized treatment he may refer you to a physical therapist, a physiatrist, an orthopedic surgeon, a neurologist or a neurosurgeon. I know that's quite a list but that is precisely why you should get expert guidance.
Attempting to choose a specialist on a hit and miss basis is both expensive and time consuming. You often have to wait weeks just to get an appointment and one visit can run as much as ten times the cost of seeing a family practitioner.It just makes sense to see your family doctor first.
Don't Be Foolish About Back Pain
There are times when a medical opinion is called for and, for those times, it only makes sense to get what you're paying for. By that I mean you're better off talking to a real doctor who has actually been to medical school and has the scientific training and experience to back up what he's saying.
After all, it's your back we're talking about here.
Always get the best,
About the Author
Rebuild Your Back
Rebuild Your Neck
The Pain Relief Manual
Last updated: March 11, 2010