A majority of people, approximately 80 percent, experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain ranges in severity from dull and achy to sharp and incapacitating and is caused by a variety of ailments. A number of standard and complementary therapies are available to those suffering from back pain. A back pain clinic specializes in treating back pain in a variety of individuals with a battery of methods.
Individuals with chronic or severe back pain may need more specialized care than a general practitioner can offer. In these instances, a back pain clinic, a general pain clinic or a neck and back clinic is utilized. Instead of focusing on the entire body and a variety of ailments, doctors working at a back clinic focus solely on treating the localized pain in the back. The purpose of a back pain clinic is to determine the overall cause of the back pain and alleviate the pain via the appropriate treatment.
A doctor at a back pain clinic is referred to as a back pain specialist. This doctor specializes in diagnosing, treating and prognosing back pain. The personnel at back pain clinics have the same training as other doctors and nurses, but have focused their studies and devoted their time to the myriad forms of treatment for back pain.
Neck and back clinics can be privately-run institutions or may be part of a larger entity, such as a hospital, urgent care center or university. Back pain clinics can focus on a certain type of treatment, such as chiropractic care, holistic therapies or chronic pain management. Others may utilize different methods tailored to the patient in order to get the best results.
Procedures performed at a back pain clinic range from routine to complex. A general examination, manipulation, and rehabilitative physical therapy are considered routine treatments. More advanced treatments that can be performed at a back pain clinic include injections such as sympathetic nerve blocks, epidural injections or electric therapy with a TENS unit. Holistic and alternative therapies include prolotherapy and acupuncture or acupressure. Some back pain clinics can perform surgery in-house, while others work with a local hospital or surgical center.
Some back pain clinics require a referral from a patient's regular physician while others accept patients on a walk-in basis. If you are having trouble finding a back pain clinic in your area, consult your general practitioner, insurance company or local department of health.