Back Specialist - Types of Specialists
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Types of Back Pain Specialists
There are many different types of back pain specialists.  It can be confusing to choose between them.  I consulted a variety of people with different backgrounds and training to finally heal my back without surgery

This guide presents an overview of the different types of back pain specialists, in plain English but does not recommend a particular course of treatment.  It is up to you, together with your doctor to choose the best path for you.

Primary Care Physicians
Your primary care provider is generally not a back specialist but will help by referring you to the appropriate caregiver for your condition.  My experience was that the primary care physician was well intentioned, but had one or two types of practitioners that she generally referred to & it was up to me to get more information about who were the best specialists in my area.  In some cases, the treatments offered by different types of specialists might be the same or similar, so I chose to try to find the best people regardless of what type of specialist they were.

Chiropractors
Chiropractors specialize in back and neck pain, and are often among the first practitioners a patient will visit when experiencing back pain.  They may use a variety of treatments, including spinal adjustment to treat back pain, but are not surgeons and are also unable to dispense medication.  When appropriate, a chiropractor may refer a patient to another practitioner.

Osteopathic Physician
A Doctor of Osteopathy emphasizes preventative care and treats all injuries or illnesses.  They focus on the neuro-musculoskeletal system

Spine Surgeons
The name says it all.  A spine surgeon, also called an Orthopedist or Neurosurgeon focuses primarily on surgical interventions to end or reduce back pain. A spine surgeon may also administer Pain Medication,

Orthopedic Surgeons focus on surgical treatment of musculoskeletal conditions during their training while Neurosurgeons focus on neurological conditions involving the brain, spine, spinal cord, nerves, etc

Physiatrist
A medical doctor who focuses on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Generally this type of doctor will focus on conservative treatments and does not perform surgery.  For example, a Physiatrist may recommend Physical Therapy, Exercise, Aquatic (water) Therapy, McKenzie Technique or other treatments.

Anesthesiologist
An anesthesiologist is focused on pain relief and may prescribe Pain Medication,or administer pain relief injections.  I saw an Anesthesiologist for my Epidural Steroid injection

Neurologist
A neurologist focuses on disorders of the nervous system, but does not perform surgery.  They may evaluate a patient's situation and serve as a consultant with other doctors and recommend a course of treatment.

Rheumatologist
Specializes in the treatment of arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases.  They are trained to thoroughly evaluate whether a rheumatic disease may be causing the patient's back pain.  In general, a rheumatologist would act as a member of a larger team evaluating and treating a patient.

Therapists
Therapists include Physical Therapists focus on evaluating things like range of motion and working with the patient on any of a number of physical treatments, including Exercise, Aquatic (water) Therapy, McKenzie Technique and others. 

Occupational therapists focus is on helping a patient become independent in their life and may help the patient figure out how to adapt their home or work situation so that they can successfully complete activities of daily living.  A

Psychologist may help a patient work through psychological causes of back pain or deal with the psychological impacts of dealing with pain and limitations

I have no relationship with the solutions I describe and created this site purely to inspire others to go take control of their own back care and to provide some ideas of treatments to discuss with your doctor. If you find this website useful, please add a link to it from your website or blog.

     
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How I healed my herniated disc without surgery