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Spine specialists are orthopaedists who specialize in the health of the spinal column. These specialists devote their full attention to spinal health. As with orthopaedists, spine specialists come in two general varieties: those who offer general spinal health assistance, and those who offer spinal surgery. If you're planning to undergo spinal surgery, it's safest to select a spinal surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery or by the American Board of Spine Surgery.

Before selecting a spinal specialist, ask the following:

  • How long have you practiced, and are you board-certified?
  • Do you partner with neurologists or other experts in brain and spinal health?
  • Do you perform surgery, or refer to another specialist for surgery?
  • How many cases like mine have you treated, and what were the outcomes?

Some chiropractors also refer to themselves as spine specialists. Though chiropractors can provide supplemental care and help with symptom management, a chiropractor is not equipped to treat brain or spinal cord injuries. Before working with a chiropractor, ask your primary care provider or neurologist if chiropractic care is appropriate for your situation.

Spine Specialists Directories

  • Spine Universe maintains a comprehensive, location-specific list of doctors who specialize in spinal health. Note that not all are board-certified, and some are chiropractors, not medical doctors.
  • The American Board of Spine Surgery also offers a search tool that is limited to board-certified spinal surgeons. You can use it to verify your doctor's credentials, or to look up providers in your state.