Who treats a hernia of the spine doctor

Several specialists are involved in the treatment of spinal hernia. Pathology is manifested by characteristic symptoms that cause a person a lot of discomfort. For painful sensations and in any area of ​​the spine and sensitivity disorders, it is recommended to immediately consult a doctor who will diagnose and prescribe competent treatment. The neglected stage of the disease can lead to surgery.

Threatening signs

Symptoms of a hernia of the spine:

  • severe bouts of pain that prevent the patient from moving;
  • numbness of the upper and / or lower limbs;
  • constant feeling of fatigue;
  • working capacity drops sharply;
  • pelvic dysfunction;
  • deviations in the work of the heart and lungs.

Untreated vertebral hernia can lead to fecal and urinary incontinence, as well as paralysis.

What kind of doctor treats a hernia of the spine?

However, signs of spinal hernia development are very similar to other pathologies. Therefore, you need to contact your doctor who will conduct a differential diagnosis and determine the true cause of the ailment. If a hernia of the lumbar spine is confirmed, then narrow specialists will take part in the treatment.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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General practitioner consultation

The first specialist to contact is a therapist. The doctor will give directions to doctors of specialization and appoint a plan of examination. The duties of the therapist include:

  • initial examination of the patient;
  • active monitoring of the patient’s condition;
  • treatment of related pathologies;
  • prescribing for medicines.

How can a traumatologist help?

A doctor of this profile is examined if a person has received an intervertebral hernia due to an injury. During the examination, the patient will need to go for additional examinations, which then decipher and determine the preliminary diagnosis. The necessary studies include:

  • X-ray examination of the spine;
  • CT and MRI.

Neurologist consultation

You should go to this doctor immediately, since a hernia strongly affects neurological abnormalities. At the patient’s waiting:

  • determination of the final diagnosis;
  • establishing the degree of neurological failure;
  • recommendations for the correction of habits, nutrition and exercise therapy.

Surgeon and orthopedic examination

Often, a hernia is removed only by surgery. In adults, to diagnose a vertebral hernia and determine the treatment regimen will help in the surgical room. The doctor will help:

  • examine the patient and confirm the diagnosis;
  • determine the need for surgical treatment;
  • eliminate education;
  • replace the removed disk with a prosthesis;
  • take a rehabilitation course.

How can a vertebrologist help?

To confirm the diagnosis, the patient will be referred for consultation with an orthopedist or vertebrologist. Doctors in this area have knowledge in the orthopedic, neurological and surgical fields. It is not possible to get advice from a vertebrologist in every clinic, usually they are taken in large or narrowly targeted institutions. The doctor treats hernia of the spine on the basis of advanced technologies, combining conservative, physiotherapeutic and surgical techniques.

Recommendations instructor LFK

Physical therapy is one of the most important methods for the treatment of vertebral hernia. Physiotherapist or instructor LFK will select the necessary exercises, taking into account the characteristics of the patient, his condition and degree of fitness. Also, monitoring of the first few trainings is carried out, recommendations are given for the implementation of the complex at home. The patient is provided with information about corsets, bandages and orthopedic mattresses and pillows.

Physiotherapist consultation

Physiotherapeutic techniques are very relevant for lesions of the spine. Spinal hernia provokes interruptions in blood circulation, causes pain. Therefore, referring to this doctor is mandatory. Therapy is an integral part of complex treatment, the main areas of physiotherapy include:

Is osteopath harmful or useful for hernia?

The impact of osteopathic manipulations penetrates deep into the tissue and affects the spinal column. Such a complex is not used in cases of acute development of the disease, but during a lull period, doctors recommend taking a course. Compliance with the following requirements will help to conduct competent treatment:

  • Therapy is prescribed only by a doctor.
  • It is recommended to check certificates of professional skills of the doctor.
  • Combine the method with the main treatment.
  • In case of unpleasant sensations after the procedure, abandon them.

A complication of osteochondrosis, namely a hernia of the spine, is handled by several specialists at once. This is due to the multiple negative effects of bulging on the body. Depending on the degree of complexity, conservative treatment or surgery is performed. Physiotherapy and exercise therapy are prescribed during the rehabilitation period.

The doctor treating a hernia of the spine: where to go first

Patients experiencing back problems (pain, numbness of the limbs and other disorders) often suspect a diagnosis such as a hernia of the spine. In this case, the question immediately arises, where to go first of all, which doctor treats a hernia of the spine. To correctly answer it, you must first go to the therapist and go through all the necessary diagnostic procedures.

Where to start: appointment with a therapist

The intervertebral hernia is formed due to injuries or due to prolonged pressure of the vertebral bones on the disk, which subsequently begins to flatten. The central part of the disc goes beyond the normal position and begins to put pressure on the blood vessels and nerve fibers of the spinal cord.

As a result, a person almost always experiences pain symptoms that can:

  • have both regular and rather rare, unsystematic character;
  • be aching or harsh, even shooting;
  • sharply intensify with a change in posture, even a small physical exertion;
  • do not allow to stand upright, take weights.

These symptoms are often supplemented by other signs:

  • numbness of the arms and / or legs;
  • feeling of weakness, general deterioration of health;
  • dizziness, jumps in blood pressure;
  • in advanced cases, disorders from other organs (for example, hernias of the lumbar region often lead to violations of urination and bowel movements).

The first thing a person needs to do is contact his local therapist, who will study the medical history and complaints of the patient.

It is important to answer the questions:

  • how long the pain has been observed;
  • which part of the spine hurts;
  • what character does it have (aching, harsh, regular, rare);
  • as a result of which the pain intensifies (after prolonged standing, physical exertion, change of posture, after a night’s rest);
  • what is the nature of the work;
  • whether there were spinal injuries.

The therapist carefully examines and listens to a patient with an intervertebral hernia, makes a presumptive diagnosis, and then directs him to a specialist.

Orthopedist (vertebrologist)

The main hernia doctor is an orthopedic surgeon who takes people with various diseases of the musculoskeletal system, including those with suspected herniated discs. A podiatrist examines the patient, analyzes the medical history and complaints. After that, diagnostic procedures are almost always prescribed to confirm the diagnosis accurately and prescribe the correct treatment (x-ray, MRI, computed tomography and other examination methods).


If there is a hernia of the spine, a general practitioner (general practitioner) can refer you to such a specialist as a traumatologist. This practice is common in small cities where there are not enough specialized specialists. A person may go to him with suspicion of different types of disorders, and especially often if the origin of pain and other symptoms is directly related to trauma.

Often, a sharp jerk when lifting weights, sports injury, turning in an uncomfortable position and other fast movements, leading to an increase in an already developing disease, have a negative impact. Therefore, if we talk about which doctor to contact in case of injuries, in most cases it will be just a traumatologist.


For diseases of the spine, the physician decides which doctor to go to first. Often, he sends a person immediately to a neurologist. Studying the results of examinations (MRI, computed tomography, etc.), the specialist determines how tightly the roots of nerve fibers are clamped, whether they can be cured without surgery or can not do without it.


If you need to know which doctor treats spinal hernias, then the osteopath will definitely not be the first in the list of specialists. A patient is rarely sent to him. He can prescribe a course of physiotherapeutic procedures, and if they do not give the desired effect, then the patient can only go to surgery


If the therapist or other specialist immediately directs the patient to the surgeon, this means that the case is quite serious, neglected, and the vertebral hernia is supposed to be treated only with surgery. There are times when even surgeons prescribe a course of conservative (without intervention) treatment, which really leads to recovery, but most often it is about surgery.

The reason for the need for intervention is that if urgent measures are not taken, then:

  1. As a result of the development of the disease, pinching of the spinal fibers of nerve cells can occur, as a result of which paralysis of the lower extremities will occur, and the patient will lose his ability to work.
  2. For diseases of the spine, do not contact a doctor; you need to be diagnosed as soon as possible. If a person clearly started his health, conservative treatment will not help – you will have to remove the damaged area during surgery.
  3. If the pinched nerves begin to become inflamed, the pain will become unbearable, and even strong painkillers may not lead to the desired effect. Thus, in such cases, the operation is almost inevitable.


If you ask a question, which doctor should be consulted for a hernia, then in the case of a physiotherapist we are not talking about a diagnosis, but about a specific course of conservative treatment. The course is prescribed by an orthopedist or neuropathologist, and the physiotherapist conducts the appropriate procedures:

  • magnetotherapy;
  • laser therapy;
  • UHF;
  • electromyostimulation;
  • phono- and electrophoresis.


This specialist treats with special effects of the hands on the back – just like a massage therapist does. However, in response to the question about which doctor treats the intervertebral hernia, the chiropractor definitely does not come first. In addition, this type of treatment is contraindicated in the case of acute manifestations of a disease that progresses for a long time.

Manual therapy can be used if the therapist gives the direction.

In addition, it is important to consider such requirements:

  1. The therapist must have an appropriate certificate confirming his qualifications.
  2. After the procedure, the pain should subside, the general sensation should give comfortable feelings.
  3. Manual therapy cannot be the only way to treat, and even more so, an alternative to surgery, if the surgeon or neurologist decided on the intervention.

Physician LFK

If you ask a question to which doctor to go during recovery after surgery or to treat a disease without surgical intervention, the answer will be the same: this is a doctor who helps to engage in physiotherapy exercises. The specialist prescribes the necessary set of exercises, recommends certain types of exercises at home or in the gym, as well as in the pool (therapeutic swimming).

Thus, to which doctor to go with a hernia education – this is the therapist’s decision. The first task of a person is to get an appointment with him. This should be done as quickly as possible, because pain symptoms alone will not go away, and time only works against the patient.

Which doctor treats lumbar intervertebral hernias?

Which doctor should I consult with a hernia of the spine? This question often puzzles people suffering from pain in the back, neck, lower back. First of all, you should clearly understand that you cannot go to the healers with such pains, but you need to visit a medical institution. Only there will specialists be able to make an accurate diagnosis, establish the causes of the pathology and prescribe adequate treatment. In identifying and treating the disease, different specialists can be involved, but it is important that they rely on scientific, traditional methods. A neglected disease can become a hotbed of serious complications – then it will not be possible to do without a surgeon.

The nature of the problem

A hernia of the spine is the destruction of cartilage with extrusion of the intervertebral discs beyond the boundaries of the vertebrae. It can develop in different departments, but most often the manifestation of a lumbar hernia is recorded.

What symptoms does a sick person face? First of all, he is concerned about pains of varying intensity in the back, along the spinal column. With the development of the disease, limitation of mobility, numbness of the limbs, general weakness, decreased performance are manifested. Significant progression of the pathology leads to the irradiation of pain in other parts of the body, the appearance of signs of dysfunction of the digestive system, lungs, heart.

A natural question arises: which doctor treats the problem? The fact is that these symptoms can characterize many diseases, and a sick person feels uncertainty in the answer to this question. Given the difficulty of self-assessment of their condition, you should initially consult a therapist.

It is the therapist who can make the initial diagnosis, differentiating the intervertebral hernia from other diseases. For this, an x-ray is taken, blood and urine tests are taken. At the initial diagnosis, it is necessary to exclude such pathologies that have similar manifestations:

  • diseases of the intestines, lungs, heart, in which a pain symptom radiates to the back;
  • infectious bone diseases, in particular bone tuberculosis;
  • endocrine pathologies with effects on the nervous system that cause vertebral problems (diabetes mellitus) and belong to the category of diabetic neuropathies;
  • nervous diseases (intercostal neuralgia).

How is the survey

When sick people turn to the therapist, the doctor makes the initial diagnosis – intervertebral hernia. Then he directs the patient to in-depth examinations to the orthopedist. There is another option: the cause of the problem with the spine is trauma, which provokes post-traumatic arthrosis with the development of a hernia. In this case, it makes sense to immediately contact a traumatologist, because the patient suspects the traumatic nature of the etiological mechanism of the disease. And already a traumatologist – himself or with the participation of an orthopedist – establishes an updated diagnosis.

The greatest initial information is given by a radiograph, that is, it is impossible to do without such a specialist as a radiologist. It is he who takes pictures of the affected area in 3 directions and gives his own decoding of the results. The picture shows a narrowing of the joint space and growth of osteophytes, joint deformation, destruction and protrusion of the disc. Blood and urine tests can determine the presence of an inflammatory process.

In-depth examinations conducted to determine the degree of tissue destruction, the presence of complicating factors are carried out using:

Given the fact that with pathologies of the spine, damage to nerve fibers and its effect on the transmission of impulses to the brain are of great importance, a neuropathologist is involved in making the final diagnosis. With his obligatory participation, a scheme for treating the disease is being developed.

Who treats a hernia of the spine

Which doctor treats a hernia of the spine? This issue requires special consideration. The above specialists develop the main treatment regimen and provide drug effects.

The question of which doctor treats the intervertebral hernia can be answered in another way. In modern medicine, given the importance of the problem under consideration, special attention is paid to vertebral pathologies. Many tasks are at the junction of different medical areas, and therefore, a specialized medical section is now highlighted – vertebrology.

It is the vertebrologists who provide the treatment of the spine in full, combining knowledge in this area. True, it should be noted that such specialists are available only in large and special medical institutions.

In addition to basic therapy, treatment of vertebral hernia includes other methods. The selection of methods and the correctness of their implementation are provided by specialists of this profile:

  1. Physiotherapist. This specialist can carry out such procedures: magnetotherapy, laser irradiation, UHF-therapy, electrophoresis with the introduction of a drug, phonophoresis, stimulation by electric pulses. A doctor in this specialty should evaluate possible contraindications and prescribe the most optimal treatment regimen.
  2. Chiropractor. Recommendations for manual therapy are given by the attending physician, but the procedures themselves should be carried out by a specialist in this particular field. Do not use the services of non-traditional doctors, only a doctor provides an effective and safe treatment for hernia.
  3. Specialist in physiotherapy. Exercise therapy with vertebral hernia becomes an important element of complex therapy, but only with the right choice of exercises, loads, regimen and duration of training. A doctor of this specialization prescribes an individual lesson plan taking into account the characteristics of the course of the disease and the individual characteristics of the body, age and gender. It is better if he will control and conduct classes, at least initially.
  4. Masseur. Medical massage with a vertebral hernia is a fairly responsible measure, and improper holding of it can lead to an exacerbation of the disease. This procedure should be carried out by a specialist who is familiar with spinal problems.

With the advanced stages of the pathology under consideration, complications can affect other organs. If there are complications in other systems, the therapist carries out appropriate treatment or involves doctors specializing in disorders in specific systems, for example, a cardiologist may be involved if there are problems with the cardiovascular system.

Spinal hernia at stages 3-4 is treated mainly by the surgical method. The need for surgery is determined by the surgeon. In large clinics, spinal surgery is administered by a neurosurgeon. Specialists of this profile perform surgical intervention, if necessary, make plasty of the disc, carry out decompression of nerve fibers. It is important that they, as well as the resuscitator, monitor and postoperative recovery.

After considering the principles of diagnosis and treatment of pathology, a definite conclusion can be made. Different doctors must participate in the fight against vertebral hernia. You should start with a therapist, and after the initial tests he will refer the patient to a specialist with a narrower profile.

The main thing is that you cannot use the services of dubious doctors to treat this serious disease.

Specialized medical centers have all the necessary specialists and equipment, where a sick person should contact.

Who is involved in intervertebral hernia?

The occurrence of a hernia leads to the fact that the conduction of nerve impulses is disrupted. For example, the appearance of an intervertebral hernia in the lumbar region will lead to problems with the functioning of the pelvic organs. The longer the disease is not treated, the more likely the development of irreversible changes in the nerves.

How to recognize pathology?

The clinical picture of the disease depends on the location of the lesion. But in whatever department a hernia occurs, in adults the symptoms will always be combined with back pain of varying intensity.

The following symptoms are characteristic of lesions of the cervical spine:

  • soreness in the back of the head;
  • restriction of neck mobility;
  • dizziness;
  • pressure problems
  • numbness of the fingers;
  • the spread of pain from the neck to the arm and shoulder.

The intervertebral hernia of the lumbar region is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • soreness in the lumbar region (the intensity increases with exertion);
  • soreness in the buttock, thigh, leg;
  • numbness of the lower limb;
  • weakness in the legs;
  • problems with the functioning of the pelvic organs (violation of the act of urination, defecation, and so on).

The thoracic region is characterized by pain in this area and various curvatures of the spine.

Who treats a hernia of the spine?

There is no clear answer to the question which doctor treats the disease, since several specialists are involved in the therapy. First, you should consult a therapist who will make a preliminary diagnosis and write a referral to a narrow-profile doctor.

Specialists who treat intervertebral hernia:

  • Neuropathologist. The doctor deals with all problems associated with the nervous system, as well as diseases of the spine. The neuropathologist will prescribe the required set of examinations, conduct differential diagnosis and draw up a diagram of the most effective treatment.
  • Vertebrologist. A highly specialized doctor who treats exclusively the spine. His competence includes such pathologies as osteochondrosis, intervertebral hernia, various curvatures, injuries. However, this doctor is not in all medical institutions.
  • Chiropractor. For the treatment of spinal hernia, a general practitioner may recommend a visit to a chiropractor. His specialty is the treatment of back problems using physiotherapeutic methods. The basis of therapy with this doctor is massage. A chiropractor should be a professional doctor, as physical effects on the spine can be dangerous.

Self-medication with intervertebral hernia is strictly contraindicated. A lot of treatment methods are described on the Internet, medications are listed, however, using them without a doctor’s prescription, the patient will only harm his health even more.

Principles of therapy

The only thing that a patient can do on his own before visiting a doctor is to relieve pain. Contact a specialist with a hernia of the spine as soon as possible, until the affected nerve endings are completely destroyed. The faster the patient begins treatment, the less likely the appointment of surgery.

Depending on the severity of the pathology, the therapy may be conservative or surgical. Very often, gentle treatment is a preparatory stage before surgery.

Conservative therapy includes:

  • Medicines. When a doctor treats hernia, he should pay some attention to the symptoms of pathology and make life easier for the patient. In order to relieve discomfort, non-stero />Blockade. Minimally invasive procedure, which is performed if the drugs do not give an effect. It is performed under local anesthesia and consists of delivering painkillers and hormones to the strangulated nerve to relieve inflammation.
  • Physiotherapy. Various massages, reflexology and other similar procedures help to temporarily relieve effects on the nerve root. However, they do not solve the hernia problem. The doctor recommends such treatment only as an adjunct therapy.

To permanently cure a hernia of the spine, an operation is prescribed. It is carried out with the inefficiency of the above conservative methods. Surgical intervention is slightly traumatic and involves the removal of a hernia.

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Morozov Georgiy

Georgy Morozov, rheumatologist. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint diseases.