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Should I See a Doctor or a Chiropractor for Back Pain?

Spine Doctor vs Chiropractor

At Saratoga Spine, we do suggest trying all types of conservative care as long as there are no signs of a serious condition such as weakness, or bowel or bladder dysfunction.

Should I see a doctor or a chiropractor for back pain?

When considering this issue, it might be a good idea for you to have a conversation with your primary care provider. Together, you can discuss your symptoms and determine the next best steps for you to take.

If you decide to see a chiropractor, be sure that he or she has board certification and is state licensed.

What is it like to have Chiropractic Care?

At your first visit, you should be asked to provide a thorough explanation of your back pain as well as your general medical history. Expect also to be asked what might already have provided some relief for your pain and any treatments you have tried.

Next, the chiropractor will conduct a thorough physical exam. There are also times, though this is not common, when you will be asked to have an X-ray or MRI scan to more accurately diagnose your condition and rule out structural abnormalities.

The most common method chiropractors use to do their work is called spinal adjustment or manipulation. It’s a technique that can help to realign the spine and surrounding muscles. Force is applied to joints that are restricted in movement by tissue injury. These types of injuries can occur because there has been some kind of trauma, like falling or incorrectly lifting a heavy object. They can also be the result of repetitive stress. For example, by sitting for extended periods in an awkward position.

During your adjustment, the chiropractor puts pressure to the spine by hand or with a special instrument. In this way, by realigning vertebrae that have moved from their proper positions, the chiropractor is trying to reduce pressure on any pinched nerves, providing your spine the space needed to bend and flex with less pain.

Does Chiropractic Care Work?

Chiropractic care is covered by many insurance plans and is considered low-risk in terms of side effects. Many people have reported that it has been effective in relieving their pain, and helping them return to normal daily activities.

When might it not be a good idea to see a chiropractor?

While chiropractors can provide effective treatment for many conditions causing back pain, chronic pain often requires other approaches. Persistent pain may be due to a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, vertebral fracture or other serious conditions that require the expertise of a physician.

If I do see a chiropractor, how long will the treatment take?

This will depend on your individual needs. Maybe you will have regular weekly visits, or visits every other week, or once a month. It could be that following an injury, you may need several sessions during the first few weeks of treatment. Some patients don’t have regularly scheduled appointments. Instead, they make an appointment following a pain flare-up.

*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery