Many times when patients are at their doctors office suffering from spine pain will ask whether they should see an orthopedist or a chiropractor for the spine pain they might be suffering. There have been many studies that have shown that chiropractors do give effective treatment for some types of back pain. But, not all causes of this pain can or should be treated by a chiropractor. There are many conditions out there that really need to be both identified and treated by a medical doctor.
Most of the spine pain that might be suffered by patients can indeed be treated quite effectively by a chiropractor. Many chiropractors have proven to be very good at treating acute spine pain. But, there are some conditions that can really cause some very serious problems that need to be considered before having any kind of treatment. Most of which can be screened with a full history and a examination.
There symptoms of spine pain that cause the most concern for any doctor include the following:
- Problems controlling the bladder or bowel
- Numbness around the genital areas
- Pain accompanied by a fever, sweating or chills
- Pain that wakes the patient up at night.
There are also some other symptoms that are far better treated by an orthopedic specialist than a chiropractor and these are:
- Back pain combined with leg pain
- Numbness and/or tingling in the patients legs
- Muscle weakness in the legs
Those patients who seem to have symptoms of any kind of nerve or spinal cord compressions definitely should not have any chiropractic manipulation done on them unless it is approved by a medical doctor first. Also, there are rare conditions like infections and tumors of the spine that cannot be treated by a chiropractor either. There have been some awful stories of some patients be severely hurt by chiropractic manipulation when they didn't realize they had nerve injury and it caused severe complications. The cases for this are rare, but they can happen and so it is important that a patient have a very good understanding of what is causing their back pain before they have any kind of manipulations of the spine.
Picking a chiropractor can be very difficult since there is such a huge variety of different styles of the same practice so it is best to talk to a medical doctor who can connect you to a highly qualified chiropractor in the area that you live in.