Back Pain Relief-Medical Doctor and Chiropractor Differences

Posted on November 29, 2018

There are major differences between the medical approach and natural approach of treating back pain.  The medical approach for back pain most commonly involves primary care physicians, spine specialists, physiatrists and orthopedic surgeons. A person will find different specialists within the chiropractic profession including clinics centered around sports injuries, prenatal care, spinal disc specialists, family practice, workers compensation and personal injuries. This article discusses the most common differences in the approaches by both paradigms to better help someone decide who they should seek for back pain relief in Charlotte.

The most common process that a person goes through when seeking the allopathic model (medical doctor approach) includes an examination, diagnostic tests such as spinal x-rays or an MRI and blood tests that lead to a diagnosis. Treatments are dictated by the diagnosis and for musculoskeletal spinal problems the protocol typically involves physical therapy and medications unless spine surgery is warranted.  Most surgeons opt for physical therapy and medications before performing surgery.  The major benefit of this model includes accelerated pain relief from medications, but it is often temporary. The cost of MRI’s, therapy, surgery and medications is usually greater and is more invasive than chiropractic care.

The process of seeing a chiropractor includes an examination and diagnostic tests (spinal x-rays are most common) leading up to a diagnosis. Similar to medical treatments, chiropractic care is dictated by the diagnosis and most commonly includes balancing the spine, muscles and easing nerve pain through spine and hip adjustments. A referral to a specialist is necessary if the problem is not within the scope of chiropractic care.  The most common difference between this approach and taking medications includes the long lasting affects. It is common for medications to provide fast relief that is temporary and requires ongoing use.  Chiropractic care may take days to begin providing relief, but because it addresses the root cause of pain, it is long lasting. (as long as it is correctable)  Chiropractic care is also less invasive and more cost affective than medications, therapy and surgery.  

If you are looking for back pain relief in Charlotte, check out Dr. Bob Mason’s approach including tests, adjustments, muscle strengthening and cost here.

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