When you’re dealing with a sports or spine injury, you want pain relief as soon as possible. That’s why it’s important to find a reputable doctor who will provide you with quality care and individualized attention. It’s crucial that you’re comfortable with your doctor and that you trust him or her with your health and quality of life.
You should start looking for a non-operative musculoskeletal physician when you first start experiencing pain. Follow these tips when searching for a doctor and start treatment as soon as possible:
When you’re looking for a non-operative physician, start by asking neighbors, friends, and family around the community. There’s a good chance that someone has had experience with a good physician in your area that they would recommend. After you’ve narrowed your search down to a few doctors that come highly recommended, schedule appointments to talk with the doctors and get to know a little more information about them.
You can also surf the web and check out reviews of practices in and around your neighborhood. Review websites such as Yelp and Google are full of comments from people who have had experience with a certain physician and whether they recommend them.
Evaluating physicians to ensure you will receive top-notch care is essential. You want to make sure that your physician is qualified and experienced in providing non-operative treatment methods. Determine whether the physician specializes in orthopaedic conditions and take into consideration any other specialties. It’s best to choose someone who specializes in the specific area of your injury.
Another key aspect to evaluate is the physician’s board certification. You may want to opt for a doctor who holds certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties. The areas of board certification for musculoskeletal medicine include sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and pain medicine.
Many reputable physicians are also members of one of the following non-operative sports and spine rehabilitation organizations:
- American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine
- American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
- International Spine Intervention Society
- North American Spine Society
- American College of Sports Medicine
- American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
It’s also important to consider how long the physician has been practicing medicine and how many patients he or she has treated. Ask the physician how many times he or she has treated your injury within the past three years. If the answer is a very low number, look elsewhere for a physician who is more experienced in that particular area and injury.
If you are experiencing a painful sports or spine injury, it’s important to seek treatment sooner rather than later to relieve pain and reduce the risk of further injury. Keep these tips in mind when looking for a physician and you’ll find a qualified physician you can trust.
For more information on non-operative treatment methods and spinal injuries, download our e-book, Understanding Your Options: The Non-Operative Treatment Guide for Sports and Spine Injuries.