Types of Back Pain
Upper Back Pain

Upper Back Pain Causes

Chronic Back Pain 

Depression & Chronic Pain


Herniated Disc
Bulging Disc
Degenerative Disc Disease
Facet Joint Disease
Spinal Stenosis
Foraminal Stenosis




Low Back Pain
Causes of Low Back Pain
Low Back Pain Treatment
Epidural Steroid Injections
Surgery For Low Back Pain


Surgical Procedures
Types of Back Surgery
Spine Surgery
Spine Fusion
Spinal Disc Replacement



Back Pain Relief
Back Pain Treatment
Back Surgery
Artificial Discs
Insurance Carriers


Spine Surgeons


Patients often ask if they can or should be seen by a chiropractor for the treatment of back pain. There have been some studies that show effective treatment of some types of back pain by chiropractors. However, not all causes of back pain should be treated by a chiropractor. There are some conditions that should be identified and treated by a spine surgeon rather than a chiropractor.

Why should I be seen by a medical doctor?

Some cases of back pain can be effectively treated by a chiropractor. However, there are some conditions, potentially serious problems, which must be considered before initiating any treatment. Most of these conditions can be screened with a thorough history and physical examination.

Symptoms that raise concern include:

  • Any problems controlling bowel or bladder function

  • Numbness around the genitals

  • Pain with associated fevers, chills, sweats

  • Pain that awakens you at night

Furthermore, there are some symptoms that are better treated by an spine surgeon than a chiropractor. These include:

  • Back pain with associated leg pain

  • Numbness or tingling in the legs

  • Weakness of the muscles of the legs

These above symptoms are found in patients who may have a problem other than a lumbar muscle strain or ligament sprain. When the underlying problem is a muscle strain or ligament sprain, then chiropractic treatments can be effective.


When NOT to see a chiropractor


Patients who have symptoms of nerve or spinal cord compression should not undergo chiropractic manipulations until cleared to do so by a medical doctor. Furthermore, there are rare problems such as infections and tumors of the spine that should not be treated by chiropractors. Unfortunately, there are stories of patients who undergo manipulations of the spine and sustain devastating complications because of nerve injury. These cases are incredibly rare, but it is important that there is a good understanding of the cause of back pain before initiating manipulations of the spine.


Because of inadequate exposure many less invasive procedures may also require an additional standard discectomy to adequately address the problem. This doubles the operative exposure, operating time and cost. Knowing when to appropriately utilize less invasive procedure is a matter of judgment based on the training and experience of the spine surgeon.









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Patient Resources

Anatomy of The Lower Back  -  Misdiagnosing Low Back Pain  -  Functions of The Low Back  -  Before Your Surgery  -  After Spine Surgery

Spine Surgery Questions  -  Anatomy of The Spine  -  Back Pain Definitions  -  Obesity and back pain  -  Orthopedic Surgeons  -  Spine Surgeons

Back Pain Myths  -  Back Pain Medication



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