Here's a list of the doctors you might consider when dealing with your neck pain:
First, you want to lean toward the more natural treatments. These might include seeing your Chiropractor or Acupuncturist. Most of the ones who do acupuncture seem to be doctors. Seeing a massage therapist isn't a bad idea either and the typically are not doctors.
Most of us will often try the over the counter remedies as well. If you do, pair that with some all natural remedies to... Maybe using some ice or heat at home. A massage gel or spay (they even have a roll-on now), can give relief also. A neck pillow can be another great pain reliever.
After you've tried natural remedies and there was little to no relief, call the doctor. Typically, you first will see your primary care doctor. Or, if you feel this is truly a musculoskeletal issue (involves muscles or the bones), you should contact your Chiropractor. This is also a more natural treatment because prescription medicine will not be used.
Your primary care doctor may give you a short term prescription but may also refer you to an orthopedic doctor, neurologist, osteopath, rheumatologist, physiatrist, pediatrician, chiropractor (if you haven’t gone already), or the physical therapist (not a doctor but are often utilized in these cases).
Let’s talk about the above doctors. Of course if you have an issue that you are worried could be more serious such as a heart attack, stroke, cancer, or something of the like – call 911 or go to the E.R. (Emergency Room).
- Orthopedist – these specialists of deal with spine or bone issues. Not everyone does surgery (orthopedic surgeon), but may use more specific medications such as injectable medication for pain relief and reducing inflammation to a specific area.
- Neurologist – these doctors are focused more on the nervous system; so if the source of your pain seems to be here more then you’ll want to see the neurologist. Same thing goes as above; the neurosurgeon may do surgery but your neurologist may treat with medication your primary doctor doesn’t use.
- Osteopath – similar to the Chiropractor but he may mainly treat with medication. Your primary care doctor may even be an osteopath. Some may do a certain amount of manipulations but many solely use prescriptions.
- You may get sent or go to your rheumatologist – this is mainly because you either have an inflammatory arthritic condition or one is suspected.
- The physiatrist is much like the physical therapist but is a doctor and can prescribe. Their focus will be on musculoskeletal conditions, rehabilitation, and pain medicine.
- Pediatrician – is typically the doctor one takes their children until adolescence. Children should not suffer neck pain for an extended period of time. Please see a doctor right away if your child is suffering pain. Things like a recent car accident or sports injury can be a culprit.
- The Chiropractor does adjustments to the spine (specific movements to restore movement and free nerves from pressure. Just like any other doctor on the list, he or she will refer you to another on the list if progress is not seen in a reasonable matter of time.
- I mentioned the physical therapist because many of the above doctors above may work with and/or commonly refer out to one.
There you have it, your short list of doctors to help you with neck pain. Any combination of these docs helps as well. Also don't forget using some natural home relievers like an hot/cold pack, neck pillow, or pain relief gel, or maybe a home neck stretcher.
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