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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Specialists Who Treat Back & Neck Pain

There are many types of health practitioners that care for patients with spinal conditions, and each has a slightly different role. Selection of the most appropriate type of health professional—or team of health professionals—largely depends on the patient’s symptoms and the length of time the symptoms have been present.

There are three broad groups of health providers who treat back pain:

Primary care providers are often the first port of call for patients when back pain strikes:
Primary care physicians (Family practice doctors, Internists, Pediatricians)
Doctors of osteopathy

Spine specialists have a specific area of expertise in diagnoses and/or treatments for back pain:
Surgeons (Orthopedic surgeons and Neurosurgeons)

Therapists for back pain or psychological help for chronic pain:
Physical therapists
Clinical psychologists

A Physiatrist is a Medical Doctor who specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). Essentially, physiatrists are nerve, muscle, and bone experts who treat injuries or illnesses that affect how you move.

Physiatrists diagnose and treat both acute and chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders. They can order and interpret all types of spine imaging (x-ray, CT myelogram, MRI, bone scan) and perform specialized nerve tests (EMG and NCS) to help assess the location and severity of nerve damage. Typical treatments may include:

o Referral to Physical Therapy (e.g. exercise, stretching, heat/ice, TENS units)
o Prescription medications
o Electromyographic studies
o Interventional procedures (e.g. epidurals, joint injections)

Physiatrists treat a wide range of problems from sore shoulders to spinal cord injuries. Their goal is to decrease pain and enhance performance without surgery. Physiatrists take the time needed to accurately pinpoint the source of an ailment. They then design a treatment plan that can be carried out by the patients themselves or with the help of a team. This medical team might include other physicians and health professionals, such as neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists. By providing an appropriate treatment plan, physiatrists help patients stay as active as possible at any age. Their broad medical expertise allows them to treat disabling conditions throughout a person’s lifetime.

Texas Orthopedics has two physiatrist, Dr. Kenneth Bunch and Dr. Ai Mukai, that work closely with our orthopedic surgeons to provide comprehensive musculoskeletal care.


  1. Such nice information. Back and neck pain is case of physiotherapists. So specialists doctor may be very effective for back and neck pain. Here is really given nice explanation about both.

  2. I think the first priority I recommending is choose specialist physiotherapists doctor, because they have amount of knowledge about Back and neck pain. Thanks for sharing some exceptional and authentic information about Back & Neck Pain.