Back pain specialists are doctors who diagnose and treat pains arising in different parts of your body, including your back, knees, hips, shoulders, etc. Back pain and spine specialists identify the true source of the pain using advanced diagnostic methods, like X-rays and MRIs, and curate the ideal back pain treatment for your specific needs. Most back pain specialists recommend a treatment regimen comprising RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), physical therapy, and minimally invasive or surgical treatments. However, the specific combination of treatments depends on the root cause and severity of your back pain.
You should generally avoid chronic pain specialists who focus entirely on opioid management. Doctors who only recommend pain medicine management aren’t right for you because painkillers are a temporary, and often addictive, solution. They may relieve back pain symptoms initially, but they don’t treat the actual root cause of back pain. As such, you may suffer from back pain repeatedly, creating an unhealthy dependence on drugs. In fact, the overprescription of addictive painkillers and medications has thrown the United States into an opioid epidemic. You must find back and spine specialists who address the root cause of your back pain rather than offering temporary relief.
But how do you find the right back pain specialist? What are the factors to consider? In this article, we discuss a few factors you must consider when looking for back specialists.
Top Board-Certified Spine Specialists
You must always determine if your pain specialists are board-certified in pain management and medicine specifically. Back pain and spine specialists can only get board certification once they go through strenuous and challenging professional milestones, such as completing their residencies and fellowships. Board certification isn’t necessary to practice pain treatments, but it helps you identify the most experienced and skilled pain doctors. You should ideally look for multi-board-certified physiatrists who specialize in interventional pain management.
Interventional Pain Specialists
There are several types of doctors, commonly called “pain doctors.” Palliative specialists generally provide pain medications and emotional support for people suffering from chronic back pain due to underlying diseases, like cancer. Chronic pain specialists focus primarily on opioid management and must be avoided.
You should primarily look for interventional pain specialists or doctors who focus on interventional pain management. These are pain doctors with advanced and specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of functional pain in the joint tissues, bones, muscles, or spine. Interventional pain specialists and spine surgeons treat the underlying root cause of back pain, ensuring long term relief.
Advanced Non-Surgical Therapies
Most forms of back and spine pain can now be treated with advanced minimally invasive procedures. You must look for interventional pain specialists who focus on minimally invasive therapies instead of surgical procedures. The pain doctors must stay ahead of the curve, offering minimally-invasive and laser treatments that cause minimal side effects or complications.
You must look for pain specialists with decades of experience in their field. Back pain can occur for a wide range of reasons, so you must find pain specialists who have enough experience to have dealt with all forms of back pain. You should look for back pain specialists who have a perfect track record, something you can determine by going their patients’ reviews and testimonials online.
If you follow all of these tips, you’ll find the best back pain specialists for your specific needs.