What is an Orthopedic Spine Specialist?
An orthopedic spine specialist is an orthopedic doctor who has additional training in surgery of the spine.
What is a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor has a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, and they focus on treating the whole body through spinal adjustments.
How are Orthopedic Spine Specialists and Chiropractors Similar?
Spine doctors and chiropractors both want to get their patients back to doing what they love. Some of the other similarities they have include:
- They both have a doctorate degree: Orthopedic spine specialists either have a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. Chiropractors have a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree.
- They treat similar conditions: Back doctors treat conditions related to the neck and back, and chiropractors manipulate the neck and back to treat conditions of the neuromusculoskeletal system. Examples of conditions they both treat include low back pain, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, osteoarthritis, scoliosis, and more!
- They may suggest other treatment methods: Both spine doctors and chiropractors want their patients heal in the most efficient and effective way. Sometimes they may recommend treatment outside of their organization. A back doctor may recommend seeking help from another medical provider if they think the patient may benefit from a service they can’t provide. A chiropractor may suggest getting surgery if the patient’s condition is too severe.
How are Orthopedic Spine Specialists and Chiropractors Different?
Both a back doctor and chiropractor have the same goal of treating your condition; however, they have many differences:
- They have different educational requirements: An orthopedic spine specialist must undergo a bachelor’s degree, 4-year medical degree, 5-year medical residency, and a fellowship in spine surgery. A chiropractor needs to have a bachelor’s degree, spend a minimum of 4,200 hours at a chiropractic college, and obtain a chiropractic certification.
- Their treatment methods are different: The main difference between a back doctor and a chiropractor is their treatment methods. At Elite, our back doctors always focus on conservative/minimally invasive treatment methods first. Some of the treatment options our spine specialists may recommend include: activity modification, anti-inflammatory medication, injections, physical therapy, and minimally invasive spine surgery. A chiropractor treats patients by manipulating their spine. They believe that spinal manipulation can realign joints and help the body to heal itself. Unlike a spine surgeon, a chiropractor will never perform surgery.
- They prescribe different medication: If you have back pain or neck pain, an orthopedic spine specialist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to relive your pain. A chiropractor will not prescribe any medication to you; however, they may recommend supplements or nutritional advice.
Should I see a Spine Doctor or Chiropractor?
Whether you choose to seek help from a spine doctor or chiropractor for your back pain is completely up to you.
Regardless of what type of doctor you choose to see, it is extremely important to do your research on the doctor and practice, as the well-being of your neck and back is essential.
If you are experiencing neck or back pain, seek help from one of our orthopedic spine specialists in Nashville or Franklin, TN. If you are interested in seeing a chiropractor as well, our spine doctors can assess your condition and evaluate if seeing a chiropractor would be helpful or harmful.