Back Pain Doctor

A female back pain doctor holding a model of the human spine and speaking with a male patient about his treatment options.

Back to Bliss: Finding Relief with a Back Pain Doctor

Curious about the ins and outs of what a back pain doctor does and whether you need one? You’re in the right place. Today, we’ll dive deep into the world of these specialists, exploring how they diagnose, treat, and prioritize your well-being.

Here’s what’s on the agenda:

  1. Discovering the diagnostic and therapeutic techniques used by back pain doctors to tackle a range of spinal conditions.
  2. Exploring non-surgical options like medication management, physical therapy, spinal injections, and alternative therapies such as chiropractic care and acupuncture.
  3. Using self-assessment tools to help you figure out if a visit to a back pain doctor is the next step for you.
  4. Getting tips on how to lean towards non-surgical treatments for better outcomes and improved quality of life.

Ready to embark on this journey with us? Let’s uncover the secrets to a healthier, pain-free life.


But first, what does a back pain doctor do?

Well, that’s kind of a big question. The answer might seem relatively straightforward, but unfortunately, it’s not. Fortunately, though, it’s still simple; there’s just a lot to it to explain.

More commonly referred to as spine specialists or orthopedic surgeons specializing in spinal disorders, these doctors specifically practice in diagnosing, treating, and managing conditions affecting the spine. These conditions may include but aren’t limited to herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and vertebral fractures. Any of those sound familiar?

To do this, they employ various diagnostic techniques such as physical examinations, imaging studies X-rays and MRI scans), and sometimes nerve conduction studies to accurately assess the underlying cause of back pain. Based on their findings, they then develop personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s specific condition and needs.

So, what does that mean for you? What if you suffer from herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, or vertebral fractures—Or something else you haven’t figured out yet?


How to treat back pain

The treatment modalities back pain doctors might offer can include non-surgical interventions such as medication management, physical therapy, spinal injections (Epidural steroid injections), and alternative therapies like chiropractic care or acupuncture. However, in cases where conservative measures fail to provide adequate relief or when the condition warrants surgical intervention, they might also perform surgical procedures like spinal fusions, discectomies, laminectomies, or artificial disc replacements.

Regardless of which path a patient may go down, throughout the treatment process, their doctor should always prioritize education. Education empowers individuals with knowledge about their condition, preventive measures, and rehabilitation strategies to optimize long-term outcomes and improve quality of life.

Neither are bad paths. However, if you have any say in it, find a doctor who will take you down the former before anything else. The non-surgical options over the surgical ones.


The non-surgical options a back pain doctor can offer

Of course, these aren’t all the options, but they’re certainly a start. If you want to learn more about all of your non-surgical back pain options, look at what we specifically offer here at Bergen Pain Management.

Until then, let’s look at one option that become very popular in our society today and another we’ve seen work with incredible results firsthand.

Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy focuses on improving strength, flexibility, posture, and overall function through targeted exercises and therapeutic techniques. A physical therapist designs a customized treatment plan tailored to address the specific needs and limitations of the individual. This may involve exercises to strengthen the core muscles that support the spine, stretches to improve flexibility, manual therapy techniques such as massage or joint mobilization, and education on proper body mechanics and ergonomics to prevent future injury.

And although we believe in physical therapy and its efficacy, we also believe in addressing the root issue immediately. That’s why we lean more toward spinal injections.

Spinal Injections (Epidural Steroid Injections):

Spinal injections, such as epidural steroid injections, are minimally invasive procedures used to deliver anti-inflammatory medications directly to the affected area of your spine. During an epidural steroid injection, a back pain doctor administers a corticosteroid medication along with a local anesthetic into the epidural space surrounding the spinal nerves. This helps to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and improve function in cases of nerve compression or irritation due to conditions like herniated discs or spinal stenosis.

Spinal injections are often performed under fluoroscopic guidance. This ensures maximum precision and safety the first time, which also means maximum results the first time.


Alternative therapies like chiropractic care or acupuncture

But let’s just say neither of those are your speed; physical therapy sounds like too much work and injections are a little scary. What are your options then? Kind of like physical therapy, where it certainly has its place in the medical world, but it doesn’t necessarily treat the root issue as efficiently as an injection, alternative therapies might be an option for you.

Alternative therapies such as chiropractic care and acupuncture offer additional options for managing back pain, particularly for individuals seeking non-pharmacological or non-invasive approaches.

Chiropractic care involves the manual adjustment or manipulation of your spine to correct misalignments (Subluxations) and improve spinal function. This may help alleviate pain, improve range of motion, and promote overall wellness. Acupuncture, rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on your body to restore the flow of energy (Qi) and relieve pain and discomfort. Both chiropractic care and acupuncture may be used as standalone treatments or as adjuncts to conventional therapies for back pain management, depending on individual preferences and treatment goals. It’s essential for individuals considering alternative therapies to seek qualified practitioners and discuss these options with their doctor to ensure safe and effective integration into their treatment plan.


Do you need a back pain doctor?

The short answer: Yes. The long answer: Also, yes.

Let’s do a quick self-assessment to help you take inventory of your body. Follow along and ask yourself if you’re either predisposed to any of these conditions or have experienced any of their symptoms, impacts, or events:

Duration and Severity of Pain:

  1. Is the pain persistent or recurrent, lasting for more than a few days or weeks?
  2. Is it severe enough to interfere with daily activities, work, or sleep?
  3. Have attempts to manage it with medications or home remedies been ineffective?

Nature of Symptoms:

  1. Does the pain radiate down one or both legs, accompanied by numbness, tingling, or weakness?
  2. Does it worsen with specific movements, positions, or activities?
  3. Are there any other concerning symptoms such as bowel or bladder dysfunction, fever, or unexplained weight loss?

Impact on Function:

  1. Does the pain limit mobility, range of motion, or the ability to perform routine tasks?
  2. Has it affected participation in work, exercise, or recreational activities?
  3. Are there any noticeable changes in posture or gait associated with the pain?

Previous History of Back Problems:

  1. Have there been previous episodes of back pain or a history of spinal injury, surgery, or degenerative conditions?
  2. Are there any underlying medical conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, or scoliosis that may contribute to back pain?

Lifestyle and Risk Factors:

  1. Do you engage in activities or occupations that involve heavy lifting, repetitive motions, or prolonged sitting?
  2. Are there lifestyle factors such as obesity, poor posture, or smoking that may exacerbate back pain or increase the risk of spinal problems?

Impact on Quality of Life:

  1. How is the pain impacting your overall quality of life, emotional well-being, and relationships?
  2. Is there a desire to seek professional guidance and support to address the pain and improve function and comfort?


The bottom line with Bergen Pain

If you find yourself experiencing significant or persistent back pain that affects your daily life, mobility, or overall well-being, consult a back pain doctor. We don’t want you to put it off any longer. You deserve relief. Early intervention and appropriate management can help address underlying issues, alleviate pain, prevent further deterioration, and promote optimal spinal health and function.

And if you still need time to think about it, that’s okay. If you want, here are all the conditions we typically treat at Bergen Pain Management.

And when you’re ready, give us a call. Bottom line, our goal is to set you on the right back to better health and a happy life.

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