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What Doctor Do I See for Back Pain?

If you’ve been experiencing back pain, you’re not alone. It is one of the most common issues impacting American adults. It’s estimated that approximately 31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time, and roughly 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Depending on the location and severity of your pain, it can be a minor nuisance in your life, or it can have a severe impact on your ability to perform routine daily activities.

Your back is one of the most complex regions of your body. It comprises a vast network of bones, nerves, muscles, and tissues, which are delicate and susceptible to injury. In addition, back pain can be caused by various factors and impacts different regions, from your neck down to the base of your spine. This can make diagnosing and treating your condition complicated.

With many complex factors impacting the cause, nature, and severity of back pain, it should be no surprise that several different medical specialists care for these injuries. Consulting the right back specialist is critical to ensuring your condition is appropriately diagnosed, and you receive the proper treatment to eliminate pain.

When Should I See a Doctor for Back Pain?

It’s essential to see a back specialist anytime your pain is due to an injury or trauma to the region. However, not all back pain can be directly attributed to a specific injury. Sometimes it develops slowly over time. If your back pain becomes increasingly severe and doesn’t improve with rest, it’s crucial to get evaluated by a doctor.

In addition, the following signs may indicate that you should schedule an appointment with a back specialist:

Types of Doctors Who Treat Back Pain

back specialist There are several different types of doctors who treat back pain. Each type of specialist takes a different approach based on the training associated with their discipline, and identifying the right back specialist to visit can make a huge difference in your ability to restore a pain-free life as quickly as possible.


Physiatrists specialize in nonsurgical treatments for back pain. They treat both acute (sudden) and chronic back pain. These back specialists provide treatments intended to restore function and improve pain. They accomplish this in several ways:

Pain Management Specialist

Pain management specialists have undergone specialized training in diagnosing and treating pain, and they often work with individuals who have experienced chronic back pain lasting for three months or longer. A pain management specialist can provide a variety of treatments aimed at helping to eliminate your chronic back pain. These include:


A neurological condition may cause some back pain. If a nerve issue is responsible for your back pain, a neurologist may be the right specialist to provide the needed treatment. Common back issues treated by a neurologist include sciatica or neuropathy.


If your lower back pain is caused by arthritis, a rheumatologist may be the right specialist to visit. Rheumatologists specialize in treating autoimmune disorders associated with bones and joints. They can provide treatments that will address the inflammation causing your back pain.

Orthopedic Surgeon

back surgeon If conservative treatments these other back specialists provide fail to alleviate your pain, you may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon. An orthopedist specializes in treating conditions and injuries associated with your musculoskeletal system, and they regularly work with patients experiencing back injuries.

As part of your treatment, an orthopedic surgeon will perform a thorough diagnostic evaluation to determine the precise cause of your back pain. This may include imaging such as X-rays to see if your spine has any fractures or alignment issues. You may also undergo an MRI of your spinal cord to detect any issues with your nerves and spinal joints.

While orthopedic specialists perform various surgical procedures, surgery is typically viewed as a last resort. This will be the first approach if they can treat your back pain with nonsurgical methods. However, if spine surgery is necessary, an orthopedist will be the right back specialist to perform the procedure.

Spine surgery has become more advanced than ever, and there is a wide range of procedures that can be performed to eliminate your pain and restore full function.

Other Healthcare Professionals Who Treat Back Pain

physical therapy for back pain Doctors aren’t the only people who treat back pain. Other healthcare professionals can help provide the relief you need. In many instances, these professionals will be seen in conjunction with a back specialist, providing complementary treatments that enhance the results achieved by your doctor’s efforts.

Physical Therapist

Physical therapy is often a critical component of back pain treatment. Physical therapists will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that helps reduce pain, improve mobility, and restore function. This plan can include stretching exercises to improve flexibility, strength exercises to build up your back and core muscles, and other lifestyle adjustments, such as improving your posture, which may help alleviate back pain.


Chiropractors are medical professionals who specialize in caring for your spine. They manipulate the spine and neck joints to ensure they are correctly aligned and promote self-healing.

Massage Therapists

Massage therapists can also play a role in alleviating back pain. Massage can increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles in your back to relieve pain and facilitate the healing process. In addition, massage is an effective way to relax and rejuvenate muscles that have become tense and sore, which is a common occurrence when you experience back pain.

Colorado Advanced Orthopedics Can Help Alleviate Your Back Pain

If you’re experiencing back pain, Colorado Advanced Orthopedics can help. Our team of board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctors have extensive experience treating back injuries, and we can help you eliminate pain so you can enjoy your favorite activities again.

Our spine team includes Dr. Justin Grant, DO, who performs our back pain and conservative management treatments, and spine surgeon Dr. J. Alex Sielatycki, who has completed a comprehensive spine fellowship. Working with orthopedic surgeons specializing in back procedures ensures you’ll receive the best possible treatment.

If you need surgery, our in-house physical therapy team provides the best option for your rehabilitation care. Our physical therapists work closely with your back surgeon to develop the right rehab plan for your needs. This coordination of your care leads to exceptional spine surgery outcomes.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.

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