Overview of an Upper Back Pain Doctor
In most instances, it is not necessary to visit an upper back pain doctor, since the pain might disappear even without treatment. However, if you have consistent tingling and numbness, or if the condition does not improve upon taking medication, then you should see a specialist. Moreover, if your upper back pain is accompanied by weakness, trouble urinating, numbness in the legs, severe pain, unintentional weight loss, and fever, you should not hesitate. Such symptoms could lead to a serious problem, if not treated soon.
Which Upper Back Pain Doctor Should You Visit
If you are suffering from upper back pain, then you must be confused as to the one you should visit. Every individual is different. This means that your personal preferences and specific situation, will determine which doctor to see.
Many doctors trained for back pain have different skills, training and levels of specialization. If you are suffering from several conditions, your treatment can be coordinated by a single medical specialist. The same does not apply when it comes to upper back pain. There is not a single doctor who can address all your problems.
Finding the Right Specialist
If you encounter upper back pain for the first time, it is first important to consult your primary healthcare provider, chiropractor, or osteopathic physician. The health practitioner will first conduct an initial assessment or examination. Based on the results of the exam, you may be referred to a spine specialist.
There are no set standards on when to go for further treatment. However, if the situation does not improve after around 5 weeks under chiropractic care, then you should probably see a specialist. If you are referred, then you will have to see one of the following.
Anesthesiologist (Pain Management)
Many people believe that the services of an anesthesiologist are only needed when administering and monitoring anesthesia during surgery. As much as they are mainly active during surgical procedures, they have actually specialized in pain management. Some of them even focus on treating and managing spinal disorders.
Therefore, when you get referred to them, just know that you are in safe hands. Chances are very high that you will be placed under their services to manage your pain, as the spinal specialist assesses your condition for further treatment.
Occupation or Physical Therapist
Therapists are trained to handle both occupation and physical rehabilitation for people suffering from back conditions. Rehabilitation is one of the most used methods of dealing with upper back pain. Other specialists may also offer physical therapy, as the main part of their practice. Such specialists include osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, and physiatrists.
This is an internal medicine doctor, who has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of most rheumatic diseases, which affect musculoskeletal system. This means that if your back pain is due to any form of arthritis, a rheumatologist will be your primary care giver. They will administer the right medications to treat the arthritis. If the arthritis can be handled at this level, then chances are very high that you will not have future upper back problems.
Integrated Spine Clinics
For better diagnosing, treating, and managing complicated upper backproblems, healthcare experts drawn from different specialties, may sometime come together. They may combine their skills under one clinic to provide integrated spine care clinic.
With access to a variety of specialists under one roof, you will benefit from a coordinated treatment plan as well as expertise from different health care specialists. In other cases, you might find each specialist allocated a clinic. This ensures that every region is represented.
Your primary care specialist can be a great resource, if you are suffering from upper back pain. He or she will direct you to the right upper back pain doctor, to get the help you need. It is also advisable to look out for the options in your area so that you can find the most appropriate solution. Therefore, if your current treatment method is not working, then you will need to consider your options, and look for solutions elsewhere.