The Center Oregon: How to Choose a Doctor for Back and Spine Pain
October 16 marks World Spine Day to raise awareness of back conditions. The Center Oregon shares tips on how to find the right orthopedic doctor for back pain.
Bend, OR (PRUnderground) October 15th, 2019
Unfortunately, back pain is a reality for many of us. On October 16, World Spine Day will raise awareness of the various back conditions that affect people nationwide. An estimated 80% of our world’s population will at some point in their life experience a nagging pain in their back. While some are born with spinal conditions that cause long-term effects, most people experience back pain due to sprained ligaments, strained muscles, ruptured disks, and irritated joints.
Back pain plagues so many of us that it is now one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010. Taking care of our backs should be a high priority so that we can continue doing the things we love without discomfort. Various back conditions can require treatment plans from different types of specialists, so how do you know who to see for your pain? For you to choose the correct specialist, it is first helpful to understand what type of spine and back conditions physiatrists, neurosurgeons, and orthopedists treat.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctors –
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians (physiatrists) specialize in state-of-the-art diagnostics and non-operative treatment of a variety of musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions. Their approach to treatment often includes a non-surgical plan that is created based on a detailed medical history and physical exam, and may involve additional diagnostic tests, including imaging studies, electrodiagnostic testing (EMG), and lab testing. Physiatrists treat back and spinal conditions such as acute/persistent back pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness, back injuries caused by motor vehicle, sport, or occupational accidents, neurologic conditions, and more.
Neurosurgeons specialize in the treatment of medical problems affecting the brain, spine, neck, back, and central nervous system. These conditions can include stroke, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, aneurysms, and diseases of the brain and spine. Some of the spine and back conditions treated by a neurosurgeon include chiari malformations, cerebral palsy, congenital spine conditions, spina bifida, tethered cord, compression fractures, herniated disk, sciatica, spinal stenosis, spine trauma, spine tumors, spondylolisthesis, and more.
Orthopedists focus on conditions and injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system and will often specialize in certain areas, such as knees, shoulders, hips, spine, etc. They can surgically treat spinal conditions and create non-surgical treatment plans for their patients, as well as collaborate with other back and spine specialists. Conditions affecting the spine that an orthopedic surgeon may treat include brain and spine trauma and tumors, chiari malformations, cerebral palsy, congenital spine conditions, spina bifida, tethered cord, among others.
While there are many providers who specialize in the treatment of backs and spines, each one typically plays a specific role. Beginning with a primary care physician can help you narrow down the type of specialist you need to see for your specific condition or pain.
About The Center Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Care & Research
The Center is a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of all musculoskeletal conditions, with ten locations throughout Central Oregon. Founded in 1958 as Bend Orthopedic and Fracture, the practice continues to be driven by leading best practice and innovation. With a staff of 23 physicians and 22 mid-level providers, our expertly trained specialists in orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, sports medicine, and occupational medicine, The Center is here to keep our community healthy, active, and strong.