A herniated disc specialist is a back, neck or sciatica pain doctor who focuses most of their practice on treating prolapsed disc conditions. Being that disc herniations are one of the most common spinal abnormalities, there is always plenty of work to go around for any disc specialist.
This article will detail the various types of disc pain experts. We will explore why treatment with a specialist can be beneficial in some instances, but may be damaging in others, particularly when the doctor may be more inclined to make money than to provide relief for their patients
The most common form of disc specialist is an orthopedist or orthopedic surgeon. This medical profession deals with the skeletal system and many doctors focus their expertise exclusively on the spine. Orthopedic physicians are best suited when the cause of pain is deemed to be in the musculoskeletal realm.
Chiropractors can also specialize in herniated disc care. Chiropractors are well rounded healthcare providers, but also generally concentrate on treating spinal conditions. Chiropractic is a healing science which believes in preventative care, as much as curative treatment.
Some physical therapists might also specialize in disc pain and general back rehabilitation techniques. Physical therapists are ideally suited to rehabilitate injuries and surgical wounds, as well as deal with a variety of soft tissue pathologies.
In addition to these common professions that deal with disc conditions every day, there are a wide range of complementary and alternative therapists who also offer disc pain treatments, including acupuncturists, Alexander therapists, Bowen therapists, reiki practitioners and many, many more.
While it might seem like a good idea to see a specialist for any health condition, sometimes the opposite is true when it comes to back pain. Specialists make money from treating disc conditions. It is unlikely that they will go against the grain established within the back pain community and tell you the objective facts about bulging and degenerated discs. In essence, they need you to fear the condition to make a living.
In my first 18 years suffering from degenerative disc disease and 2 herniated discs at L4/L5 and L5/S1, I only met one specialist who did not make me desperately fear the spinal conditions in my back. One orthopedist told me that my spine was not that good, but also that it was not that bad. He did not recommend surgery and did not really make me believe that my future would become a downward spiral of pain and suffering.
The remainder of literally dozens of herniated disc doctors and chiropractors all had nothing but negativity to say about my future prognosis. The doom and gloom they offered really helped to escalate and perpetuate my pain, due to the scientifically proven nocebo effect.
I spent tens of thousands of dollars out of my own pocket to support these ill informed practitioners and not one of them ever filled me in on the well known and accepted facts about herniated discs. When I remember how much money I was paying them, that comes as no surprise.
All of all the doctors I have consulted with, Dr. John Sarno was one of the most interesting. If you go to see him in his Manhattan office, he will probably tell you something like: "Sure, you have a herniated disc. So what?"
Dr. Sarno realized years ago the incredibly common incidence of disc herniations and their generally asymptomatic demeanor. He really opened my eyes to some of the lesser known facts of back and neck pain and pulls no punches in his criticism of the modern medical system. I consider Dr. Sarno a mentor. Meanwhile, some physicians view him as a traitor. After all, he is spoiling all their fun in misleading patients into profitable, but often unneeded care. Sorry docs. Sometimes, the truth hurts.
In summary, I recommend seeing a variety of doctors before making up your mind on a particular treatment approach. I advise you consult with an orthopedist, a neurologist and a physical therapist.
If I had to choose the best type of doctor when it comes to evaluating disc pain, I would stick to a spinal neurologist. After all, disc pathologies can only cause pain when they interact with nerves. Therefore, this places the symptomatic expression well within the comfort zone of all neurology professionals.