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What Doctor Should I See for Back Pain?

Lower Back Pain After a Car Accident

If you suffer from back pain, call NJ Pain Care Specialists at (732) 720-0247.

About 65 million Americans report experiencing some type of recent back pain. Back pain can disrupt your life and make it hard to perform daily tasks. Back pain may also require specialized treatment, so this naturally raises the question of what doctor to see for back pain.

Our team at NJ Pain Care Specialists is here with this guide on which doctors can diagnose and treat your back pain. Contact our team to speak to a pain management doctor in New Jersey today!

Types of Doctors That Treat Back Pain

Back pain can have several different causes, which often determine what kind of doctor to see for back pain. 

GP or Family Doctor

Most people’s first instinct is to see their family doctor or a GP (general practitioner) for back pain. In this instance, the most likely outcome is the primary care physician provides some pain medication or recommends physical therapy. They may also refer you to a spinal specialist if you need more targeted treatment. 

ER Doctor

If you are experiencing severe back pain, you may want to go to an ER to immediately address the issue. The ER (emergency room) is for when you have debilitating back pain and cannot wait to schedule an appointment with your GP or another physician. An ER doctor can address the immediate causes of acute back pain and will likely refer you to a specialist. 


Orthopedists are specialist physicians who treat musculoskeletal issues, including spine problems. Orthopedists receive board certification and complete an additional fellowship in their area of specialization. Orthopedic surgeons can treat spinal issues stemming from disc problems, stress fractures, and other common mechanical causes of back pain.  


Another doctor to see for back pain is a rheumatologist. Rheumatologists are doctors who specialize in treating inflammation and conditions that cause inflammation, such as arthritis. Over 24% of adult Americans have some kind of arthritic pain, and spinal pain due to cartilage breaking down is a common result of arthritis. If you see a GP or an ER doctor, they may recommend you to a rheumatologist or a similar type of health professional, depending on the specific causes of your back pain. 


Chiropractors are medical practitioners who treat spinal issues, including spinal pain and spinal unalignment. Chiropractic treatment for back pain may involve a combination of spinal alignment techniques to realign the vertebrae. Chiropractors can also recommend exercises and adjustments to your daily routine to help you manage and reduce spinal pain. 

Physician Referrals

We recommend starting with your GP or family doctor and getting referrals from them if you need additional services. Many health insurance plans require policyholders to receive a referral from their GP before they see a specialist.

Generally, the sooner you see a pain management specialist, the better. Specialists are usually better equipped to address specific causes of back pain and can get you set up on a detailed treatment plan. Plus, a referral can help you more easily determine what doctor to see for lower back and hip pain.

Contact New Jersey Pain Management Specialists

Trigger Point Injections

When you need to know what doctor to see for back pain, our professionals at NJ Pain Care Specialists can help. You can count on our expert team to provide cutting-edge and friendly pain care services. 

We know how debilitating back pain can be, no matter how severe. Our treatment providers take the time to get to know you and understand your pain so we can devise a treatment plan tailored to your unique goals. By combining the latest medical technology with compassionate care providers, our NJ Pain Care Specialists team can provide the personalized care you need to improve your quality of life and find relief from acute or chronic back pain.

Contact NJ Pain Care Specialists online or call (732)720-0247 to book an appointment! Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available.

Read our blog to learn how to avoid back pain when driving.

Back Pain Doctor FAQ

What Can a Doctor Do for Back Pain?

Again, it depends on the specific type of back pain and the specialist. Doctors can treat back pain through non-surgical techniques such as massage therapy, spinal alignment, physical therapy, and deep muscle stimulation. Doctors can also prescribe medication to manage pain and symptoms.

In extreme circumstances, doctors can perform surgery to correct injuries or defects that are causing the pain. 

What Are the Main Types of Back Pain?

The main types of back pain are acute and chronic. Acute pain is sharp, episodic, and usually the result of an injury, while chronic back pain is long-lasting and typically continues for more than 12 weeks, even after the injury or disease heals.

What Is the Most Common Cause of Back Pain?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common cause of back pain is muscle or ligament injury. More specifically, lower back muscle strains and ligament injuries are the most common and affect over 600 million people worldwide

What Specialist Is the Best for Treating Back Pain?

Determining what doctor to see for back pain depends on the cause of your pain, but a good first place to start is seeing a GP or family doctor first. 

About The Author

Picture of Dr. Harris Bram, MD, DABPM

Dr. Harris Bram, MD, DABPM

Dr. Harris Bram is an Interventional Pain Management Specialist in New Jersey. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. His postgraduate training in anesthesia was performed at Hahnemann University Hospital, where he sub-specialized in cardiac anesthesia. He completed his pain management fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.

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