Don't let your back pain go unchecked. Long term chronic pain can be detrimental not just for your physical health, but also your mental wellbeing. Read on to find out who you can consult for your back pain.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 30 Nov 2021.
8 Specialists Who Can Ease Your Chronic Pain
Living an active life may seem out of reach if you are one of the many people who suffer from chronic pain. It is, nevertheless, achievable with the proper treatment and support. You have probably already seen your usual doctor, but there are also pain specialists who can collaborate with you and your doctor to help you find relief.
Pain Medicine Specialists
What they treat: A wide range of pain problems, including surgery-related pain, injury-related pain, nerve damage, and diabetes-related pain. They may also help with the pain that has no apparent reason. They utilise medicines that are taken orally or via injections.
Orthopaedic Specialists and Surgeons
What they treat: Musculoskeletal system injuries and diseases, including your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Many focus on specific body areas, such as the hips, knees, and shoulders. After determining the cause of your injury or condition, they will devise a treatment plan that may involve medication. They may also suggest exercises (or send you to a physical therapist) to help you regain mobility, strength, and function while also teaching you how to avoid future problems. They have been trained as surgeons, so they can do it if surgery is required.
What they treat: Osteopathic doctors receive additional training in the musculoskeletal system, including nerves, muscles, and bones, compared to medical doctors (who have also gone to medical school but have to DO after their names instead of MD).
What they treat: Arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and tendonitis are all rheumatic diseases that cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, muscles, and bones. Medicines or anti-inflammatory or pain-blocking injections in your tendons or joints may be used as treatments.
Physiatrists or Rehabilitation Physicians
What they treat: Injuries and illnesses that impair your ability to move. They utilise non-surgical methods to diagnose and treat pain caused by nerves, muscles, and bones, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back pain, sports and work injuries, herniated discs, arthritis, pinched nerves, and concussions. These doctors can also help with post-surgery discomfort.
Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists
What they treat: These experts help individuals who have been injured or have had surgery. Massage, stretching, heat, cold, and exercise are some of the techniques used by physical therapists to relieve pain and improve mobility. They often carry out physiatrists’ instructions.
What they treat: Headaches, knee pain, low back pain, neck discomfort, sciatica, sprains, and osteoarthritis are among the ailments that acupuncturists are trained to treat. They use thin needles to puncture particular areas of your body to promote recovery. Although needles may seem to be frightening, most individuals experience little or no pain.
What they treat: People go to chiropractors for various reasons, including back discomfort, but they also treat pain from other conditions, injuries, and accidents, including persistent headaches. They do not provide medication, but they do utilise hands-on methods to help people feel better.
- American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: “FAQs about PM&R," “Conditions & Treatments."
- American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Orthopaedics."
- American College of Rheumatology: “What is a Rheumatologist?"
- American Chiropractic Association: “Frequently Asked Questions."
- American Physical Therapy Association: “Who Are Physical Therapists?"
- The American Occupational Therapy Association Inc.: “Patients & Clients."
- American Osteopathic Association: “What is a DO?"
- American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine: “The specialty of chronic pain management."
- National Institutes of Health: “NIH Analysis Shows Americans Are In Pain."
- UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine: “How Acupuncture Can Relieve Pain and Improve Sleep, Digestion and Emotional Well-being."