Pain management in Asheville, NC

Pain management options including physical therapy, chiropractic visits and more.
7 providers available

Video prescription refill visit

Connect with a doctor or provider online to get an Rx refill for something simple like birth control, blood pressure medication, antidepressants, insulin and more. $5 medication with FREE delivery may be available during this visit. Ask your doctor...

Top-rated online doctors & specialists available now.

  • URGENT CARE
    Treatment for asthma, ear infection, fever, UTI, sinus, infection, rashes and more
  • PRESCRIPTIONS
    Medication for blood pressure, thyroid, depression, cholesterol, birth control, and more
  • MENTAL HEALTH
    Anxiety, depression, stress, ADHD, counseling, therapy, and more
  • DERMATOLOGY
    Cold sores, dark spots, eczema, moles, insect bites, rashes, and more
  • DENTISTRY
    Dentists near you to treat tooth and gum pain, inflammation, infection, chipped, and broken teeth
  • WOMEN’S HEALTH
    Birth control refill, pap smear, STI screening, and more
  • PEDIATRICS
    Children's ear infection, flu, cold, rash, and more
  • ED CONSULT
    Screening, diagnosis, prescriptions, and management for patients in North Carolina with erectile dysfunction
  • SEXUAL HEALTH
    STI / STD consulting, birth control options, ED consults, vasectomy consultations and telehealth OB-GYN visits
PATIENTS LOVE SESAME
The doctor I booked on Sesame was so great! She asked lots of questions and listened carefully to me.
Andrea
direct-to-patient prices

Why are prices on Sesame so much more affordable?

Doctors on Sesame list their own prices, availability, and services - without insurance mark-ups or surprise bills.

By putting power back in the hands of patients and doctors, Sesame cuts out the middlemen that drive up costs to save you up to 60% on your care.

FAQs

Pain Management

What is pain management?

Pain management is a field of medicine that focuses on alleviating chronic pain and improving the quality of life of patients who suffer from it. Pain management doctors use a diverse array of methods - from physical therapy to acupuncture to pain medication- to minimize and manage all sorts of chronic paints in patients.

The types of medical professionals who manage chronic pains and medical conditions vary significantly. Primary care physicians, pharmacists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, pain management physicians, and other medical professionals can all work to diagnose your condition, manage your symptoms, and craft a treatment plan that's right for you.

How do healthcare professionals manage pain?

Chronic conditions are responsible for 7 out of every 10 deaths in the United States. Chronic pain management and treatment is a growing medical field, and new treatment options are being developed to help you live pain-free. Here are a few ways that doctors manage patients' chronic pain:

Drug Therapy: For some patients, pain management specialists may recommend or prescribe pain medication. Over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen have proven effective in managing many types of pain. NSAIDs have also been shown to help combat inflammation and swelling. If necessary, your doctor may prescribe additional pain medicine. All prescriptions are at the sole discretion of your doctor.

TENS: TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy, uses low-voltage electrical currents to help alleviate pain. This stimulates nerves, sending signals to the brain that disrupt - and temporarily alleviate - your pain. TENS has been shown to be an effective treatment for neuropathy.

Spinal Cord Stimulation: For some chronic pain, doctors may recommend implanting a spinal cord stimulator into your spinal cord. This device directly stimulates your spinal cord with low levels of electricity, which can help reduce certain pains. Spinal cord stimulators, which require two implantation procedures, have been shown to improve patients' quality of life and reduce their reliance on pain killers.

Nerve Blocks: Nerve blocks are another neurological defense against pain. Nerve blocks are a shot that board-certified doctors use to effectively "turn off" certain nerves that are causing you pain.

Physical Therapy: Chronic pain isn't always the result of a serious condition like cancer or diabetes. Sometimes, pain can be caused by a lack of strength or mobility. Physical therapists work with patients to enhance and restore both. Whether you're suffering from herniated discs or a torn ACL, physical therapists can rehab you back into shape. Physical medicine specialists, doctors who focus on enhancing the quality of life of people with chronic disabilities, can also help provide strategies to keep pain at bay.

What are the types of pain management?

Pain is a very human sensation. You'll probably feel a minor pain - whether from last night's weight workout or an uncomfortable office chair - at least once every day. But sometimes pain is more complicated. Here are some common pain conditions that warrant pain relief consultations:

Acute Pain: Acute pains are, as the name suggests, sudden occurrences. This pain is usually short-lived, but can be caused by:
- Surgery
- Sports injury
- Car accidents
- Burns
- Cuts
- Scrapes
- Falls
- Knee pain


Chronic Pain: Chronic pain is pain that doesn't go away. Clinically, the definition of chronic pain is pain that has not gone away after 6 months or longer. Causes of chronic pain include:
- Sciatica
- Lower back pain, neck pain, or lumbar problems
- Arthritis
- Diabetes pain
- Migraine
- Cancer pain


Nerve Pain: Nerve pain occurs when nerve endings become inflamed or damaged. Common sources of nerve pain include:
- Diabetes
- Cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
- Circulation problems
- Spinal cord injury

What is interventional pain management?

Interventional pain management uses invasive procedures and techniques to manage and alleviate pain. Injections, spinal cord stimulation, nerve blocks, and infusions are all forms of interventional pain management - as doctors intervene in the body's processes to stop the pain.

Non-interventional pain management seeks to alleviate pain without the use of invasive procedures or injections. Exercise, physical therapy, and counseling are all examples of non-interventional techniques.

Can pain management doctors prescribe medication?

Yes. Board-certified medical doctors overseeing your pain management can prescribe medication. All prescriptions, if necessary, are at your doctor's discretion. Other medical professionals who treat pain, like chiropractic doctors or physical therapists, may not be able to prescribe medication.

What is the difference between a chiropractor, physical therapist, and sports medicine specialist?

Good question! It can be a little confusing. Even though these health care providers treat many of the same symptoms, there are some distinct differences between these fields in training and practice.

Sports medicine specialists, physical therapists, and chiropractors all help patients with pain management and injury prevention. In many cases, these providers will work together as a health care team to perform non-surgical treatment for musculoskeletal conditions. While these care providers work toward similar goals, there are key differences in how these specialists approach treatment.

Sports medicine specialists

Sports medicine specialists treat athletes and patients with active lifestyles. Their principal focus is treating and preventing injuries related to physical activity. A Doctor of Sports Medicine has specific training and expertise based in exercise mechanics - particularly when it comes to running or competitive sports - and builds treatment plans for patients that alleviate symptoms and chart their return to competition. Sports medicine specialists often work for organizations such as professional sports clubs and schools or may practice in an outpatient clinic. Sports medicine specialists may have training in orthopedic surgery, but most help patients range-of-motion problems and physical rehab rather than conduct operations. Some common sports-related conditions a sports medicine specialist can treat include:
- Sprains
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Muscle strain
- Joint pain


Physical therapists/ physiotherapists

Physical therapists help patients of all ages and physical abilities to help manage pain and increase mobility. Regardless of your level of physical activity, physical therapists can help your range of motion while providing exercises and stretches to strengthen and lengthen muscles and joints in the body. Physical therapists will usually practice in an outpatient clinic, or patients' homes. While sports medicine specialists focus their practice on injuries related to physical activity, the goal of physical therapy is to help improve quality of life through therapeutic methods and physical rehabilitation. Unlike sports medicine specialists, physical therapists are not medical doctors (physicians), even if they are a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Physical therapists can help treat conditions related to:
- Limited movement (such as after an accident)
- Persistent pain
- Strength and conditioning
- Rehab from neurological issues (such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, and arthritis)


Chiropractors

Chiropractors help patients relieve pain related to the musculoskeletal system (joints, bones, muscles, etc...) Chiropractors will perform manual therapy or massage therapy to help align the spinal column and restore range of motion to joints. They work with patients of all ages and physical abilities while treating a wide range of conditions, not just those related to physical activity. Chiropractors are not medical doctors (physicians) but must obtain a license to practice. Chiropractors can help treat conditions related to:
- Neck pain
- Headaches
- Back pain
- Limited movement

What is the difference between a physical therapist and a chiropractor?

Physical therapy helps with pain management and range of motion injuries. A physical therapist will guide you through stretches and exercises to correct imbalances in the musculoskeletal system and can perform manual therapy to help loosen joints and muscles. If you are experiencing difficulty with mobility after a car accident or dealing neurological problem (such as a stroke), physical therapy can help restore movement in the body while teaching you techniques to prevent injury and pain.

Chiropractors specialize in treating problems related to the back, neck, and upper body joints. If you have persistent migraines or chronic pain in your back, you might want to see a chiropractor for an adjustment. Chiropractors will deal specifically with the spine and upper body to relieve pain and restore range of motion.

What is a chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a health care provider specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of the back, neck, and spine.

How do I choose a chiropractor?

Choosing a chiropractor is an important and personal decision. Browse Sesame to find chiropractors in your area. You can view their experience, education and training, board certifications, languages spoken, and more.

Where can I find the right chiropractor?

Right here! On Sesame, you can connect with chiropractors licensed to treat patients near you for lower back and neck pain - all for one affordable, upfront price. Save 60% on your next chiropractic visit by booking with Sesame - {{NumberOfResults}} chiropractors are available to speak today!

Why should I see a chiropractor?

Chiropractors treat headaches and pain in the neck and lower back. They help improve patients' physical function, even after just one visit. A chiropractor may be right for you if you have any of the following:

- Misalignment: Having a misaligned body can hinder your range of motion and cause long-term pain. When your body is aligned - meaning it maintains a relatively straight line from your heads to your toes - you can feel significant health benefits.

- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is a form of arthritis in which the cartilage around the bones wears down over time. While this type of arthritis can affect any joint in the body, it is most common in the spine, hips, hands, and knees.

- Low Back Pain: Chiropractic and manual therapies may help treat muscle strains in your lower back, also known as your lumbar spine. Studies have shown that chiropractic care may be able to help people experiencing lower back pain without the significant use of medication.

- Sciatica: This is a condition in which the nerve that runs along the lower back and down each buttock gets inflamed, causing shooting pain in the lower back. It can also cause other symptoms, such as foot and leg numbness.

- Range of motion issues: If you suffer from range of motion issues such as a frozen shoulder, chiropractic therapy might be an option worth looking into. A study done on frozen shoulder patients in 2012 found that chiropractic therapy helped improve range of motion.

- Scoliosis: Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that most often happens during the growth spurt you have just before you hit puberty. Scoliosis can also be caused by other things such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. Chiropractic therapy may be an option for those who have scoliosis. A 28-person study completed in 2011 noted a 9-10 degree change in scoliosis patients at the end of a 24-month treatment. There is not enough evidence about the safety of chiropractic in pediatrics. If your child has scoliosis and you are interested in this type of treatment, it is recommended you speak with a doctor about the best treatment options.

- Whiplash: This is a neck injury, commonly caused by rear-end car accidents, in which the neck has a sudden back-and-forth movement, much like how a whip is cracked. With the use of joint manipulation, chiropractic care, while paired with other treatments like exercise and physical therapy, may help treat pain caused by whiplash.

What are the benefits of chiropractic care?

Chiropractors can help patients with several conditions such as back, neck, and shoulder pain; sciatica issues; and sports injuries. In addition to pain management and pain relief, a chiropractor can also help improve your quality of life and overall health by offering massage therapy and at-home exercise treatment plans.

Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in Americans. Lower back pain can lead to missed work, decreased range of motion, and ballooning health care costs. Chiropractors play a key role in helping relieve pain and restore the quality of life that you deserve.

What types of conditions does a chiropractor treat?

Chiropractors typically treat pain conditions related to the back, neck, and spine, such as back pain, neck pain, injuries from sports, injuries from car accidents, arthritic pain, and more.

Treatment by a chiropractor may include chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy exercises, active release technique, dry needling, Gaston/FAKTR, K-Taping, and more.

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

Chiropractic adjustment is a special treatment option that can be used to address lower back pain resulting from injury (sports injuries, injuries from car accidents, etc...), misalignment, sciatica, and scoliosis.

Also referred to as spinal adjustments, chiropractic adjustments can help relieve pain and restore a healthy lifestyle to patients who are dealing with nagging discomfort and tightness. Spinal manipulation is often done with the hands, like a massage. The chiropractor will apply sudden and controlled force to joints in the back; this sets joints in alignment and restores range of motion in the back.

It is common for patients to experience soreness and pain after a spinal manipulation session. This is due to the realignment of joints and muscles in your back and the sudden force applied during adjustment. These side effects usually clear up within a few days.

Studies have shown that spinal adjustment is effective in treating lower back and neck pain as well as headaches. If you have any existing injuries or persistent pain, talk to your chiropractor before any adjustment session. Your doctor may look to avoid the area causing you pain or may adjust joints in the body around that area to help with alignment.

What is the difference between a chiropractor and a physical therapist?

Chiropractors and physio/physical therapists both treat pain and range of motion issues. However, physical therapists (or PT) generally focus on the whole body, while chiropractors have special training to help treat musculoskeletal conditions related to the back, neck, and shoulder joints. If you are experiencing persistent headaches or migraines, a chiropractor may be able to help with those too, as they are often a side effect of persistent back pain.

Some techniques that chiropractors use to specially treat the back, neck, and upper body joints include:
- Chiropractic adjustments/ Spinal manipulation
- Joint bracing/ taping
- Spinal decompression therapy
- Range of motion exercises/ stretches


If you experience persistent back pain or quality of life problems related to your joints, book a visit with a chiropractor on Sesame today. Save 60% when you book your next chiropractic visit on Sesame - where real, quality doctors post affordable, upfront prices for their services. Chiropractors near you are available to speak with you today about your condition and treatment plans that work for you.

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy (or PT) is a healthcare service used to relieve pain, prevent injuries, and improve quality of life. Physical therapy need is often determined through medical history and physical examination. Treatment plans include manual therapy (such as massage), functional strength training, and exercise programs that help cardiovascular and pulmonary health.

Physical therapists (or PT), are the healthcare professionals responsible for administering this kind of care. They have specialized orthopedic, musculoskeletal, and neurological training. Physical therapists must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (or DPT) degree from an accredited university.

Physical therapist assistants (or PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction of a physical therapist. PTAs must graduate from a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)-accredited educational program and pass a national exam to receive licensure.

The American Physical Therapy Association (or APTA) is the professional organization that supports physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and physical therapy students. Sesame’s network of top-reviewed physical therapists makes finding a quality, fully licensed clinician at an affordable price easier than ever.

What is the difference between physical therapy and personal training?

Physical therapists are health care professionals who specialize in treating orthopedic, musculoskeletal, and neurological conditions. Personal trainers are not health care professionals; they work with clients to design and implement fitness plans tailored to their goals.

Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to help their patients regain mobility and confidence. These include:
- Injury prevention exercises
- Manual therapy/ massage therapy
- Dry needling therapy (a therapy similar to acupuncture)
- Pediatric physical therapy
- Sports medicine/ treatment for sports-related injuries
- Vestibular/ balance therapy


Physical therapists and personal trainers may work together on an advanced physical therapy treatment plan that helps treat pain or injury while building strength and balance.

If you are experiencing chronic pain, or side effects of an injury, physical therapy is the way to go. Not only can licensed PTs offer manual therapy to help ease joint/ muscle tightness, but they can also help correct balance, posture, orthopedic issues, and more.

What is the goal of physical therapy?

Physical therapy can be whatever you make it. Most people start physical therapy services to help relieve pain or increase range of motion caused by:
- Sports-related injuries (such as torn a torn rotator cuff or sprains)
- Car accidents
- Neurological conditions (such as stroke, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS)
- Shoulder pain
- Knee pain
- Neck pain/ back pain
- Osteoarthritis


Of course, injuries aren't the only reason patients begin physical therapy. Physical therapy is common for aging patients, as it can help with such things as:
- Fall prevention
- Injury prevention
- Range of motion
- Mobility
- Pain management for aging joints


Chronic pain can be, well, a pain. Physical therapy can play a key role in health and wellness, by relieving pain and correcting imbalances in the body. Don't wait to start feeling better. Save up to 60% when you book a physical therapy session on Sesame.

What does a physical therapist do?

A physical therapist (or PT), is a healthcare professional with specialized orthopedic, musculoskeletal, and neurological training. A candidate for a doctoral degree in physical therapy must be a graduate of an accredited higher education institution that offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy (or DPT) degree. Physical therapist assistants (or PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction of a physical therapist. PTAs must graduate from a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)-accredited educational program and pass a national exam to receive licensure. The American Physical Therapy Association (or APTA) is the professional organization that supports physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and physical therapy students. Sesame’s network of top-reviewed physical therapists makes finding a quality, fully licensed provider at an affordable price easier than ever.

How can I find a physical therapist near me?

Sesame's got you covered!

Connect on Sesame with a real, quality physical therapist licensed to treat patients in Asheville, NC. Physical therapists on Sesame can assess your symptoms, diagnose your conditions, and craft a treatment plan that works for you - all for one affordable, upfront cost. No copays or surprise billing.

Not sure if physical therapy is the right treatment plan for you? Sesame offers affordable new-patient physical therapy consultations, so you can meet with a physical therapist to discuss options, and ask any questions you may have.

Don't let aches and pains keep you down. Save up to 60% when you book physical therapy services through Sesame today and get your wellness journey started!

How do I pick a physical therapist?

Physical therapy can play a crucial role in pain management and holistic wellness. Physical therapists can help treat sports injuries, range of motion issues, back pain, and more. A PT is responsible for your treatment plan and will coach you through stretches and exercises to help improve your quality of life. It's important that you feel safe and comfortable with your physical therapist. Here are some tips to help you find one that's right for you.

1) Make sure they're certified. Whether you choose to see a doctor of physical therapy (DPT), or a professional physical therapist (PT), make sure that the therapist you see has been accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Worried about finding a licensed PT? All physical therapists on Sesame are fully licensed. When you book a physical therapy session on Sesame, you are guaranteed to meet with a fully certified provider.

2) Research specialties. Some PTs specialize in sports medicine and sports injuries, while others focus on training for dry needling therapy, occupational therapy (pain management for daily activities), massage therapy, or acupuncture. Most physical therapists can help treat a wide range of conditions, but consider checking if the PT has a specific focus, as you might get a more individualized treatment plan with a specialist.

3) Book a consultation first. Physical therapy can require several sessions. Some people elect for routine physical therapy to help prevent injuries. To connect with a physical therapist who's right for you, get a referral from your primary care provider or book a consultation with a clinic. Save 60% on your next physical therapy consult when you book with Sesame.

Can physical therapy be done at home or over video?

Physical therapy can be provided in a number of settings. Most clinicians on Sesame treat patients through outpatient clinics or private offices, but given the difficulty and health concerns some face going into a doctor’s office now, physical therapists on Sesame now offer video visits to help you diagnose and treat a range of conditions.

Who might need in-home care?

Conditions that may require a patient to receive in-home physical therapy services include:
- Loss of functional mobility from surgery or serious injury
- Stroke
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease


Connect with a physical therapist on Sesame to help find a video or in-person treatment plan that works for you.

How much does a physical therapy visit cost?

Physical therapy costs anywhere from $25 per session to $350 a session. Because Sesame doesn’t work with insurance companies, our clinicians can list prices up to 60% lower than you’d pay anywhere else. Physical therapy fees include assessment, the use of equipment, and modalities of treatment received. Fees may vary depending on whether a patient needs in-home or video services. Consult a physical therapist on Sesame today with any questions you may have about physical therapy services and find an affordable treatment plan that's convenient for you.

Does physical therapy help aging?

While physical therapy can help your body feel better as you age, there's one kind of physical therapy specifically designed to combat the physical fatigues associated with aging: geriatric physical therapy.

Geriatric physical therapy addresses a wide range of concerns and conditions related to aging, including complications from arthritis and osteoporosis. A geriatric physical therapist may help with physical fitness, mobility, and strength.

Some modalities of geriatric physical therapy treatment plans include:
- Aquatic aerobics
- Yoga
- Bodyweight strength training
- Gait correction
- Electrical stimulation
- Deep and/or soft tissue massage

How can physical therapy help with neurological injury or disease?

Neurological physical therapists offer specialized analysis and treatment for patients experiencing difficulty with movement from injury or disease of the nervous system. Examples of these conditions include:
- Stroke
- Spinal cord injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Brain trauma
- Guillain-Barre syndrome


Rehabilitation practices for those undergoing neurological physical therapy care include:
- Mobility and range of motion exercises
- Bladder and/or bowel retraining
- Gait correction
- Strengthening exercises
- Speech therapy
- Postural realignment
- Core stabilization
- Activities of Daily Living (ADL) performance
- Cardiovascular endurance
- Improvement of motor control

Should I see a physical therapist even if I’m not injured?

Physical therapy isn't just for people with injuries. An individual may seek physical therapy services as a method of preventative medicine or general wellness care.

While physical therapy may not be immediately necessary, seeking maintenance therapy can help:
- Improve posture
- Increase body awareness
- Correct muscle imbalance
- Ease muscle tightness or pain
- Improve range of motion
- Increase mobility
- Diaphragmatic breathing
- Preparation for an athletic activity


Sesame offers affordable physical therapy visits with quality physical therapists in Asheville, NC. If you are experiencing chronic pain, or want to improve your general wellness, book a visit today and save up to 60% on top-rated care from accredited physical therapists. You pay an upfront cash-pay price without the surprise bills or overhead that drives up cost.

What is an orthopedist?

An orthopedist is a health care professional (sometimes called an orthopedic specialist) that focuses on the diagnosis, correction, rehabilitation, and prevention of musculoskeletal issues such as knee pain or scoliosis.

What does an orthopedic doctor check for?

An orthopedic doctor can treat a variety of conditions related to the muscular and skeletal systems. These include:
- Muscle sprains, tears, and tendonitis
- Broken bones
- Joint pain and back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Arthritis
- Bone cancer
- Clubfoot and bowlegs


An orthopedic doctor can diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatments for these ailments. Orthopedic doctors may recommend lifestyle changes, stretches, exercises, immobilization, and pain management.

Sub-specialties of orthopedics include:
- Pediatric orthopedics
- Sports medicine
- Hand surgery
- Orthopedic trauma
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy

Can I go straight to an orthopedist?

Yep! Telehealth platforms like Sesame make it easer than ever to see an orthopedist in Asheville, NC - without a referral. Appointments are available today!

Sesame works directly with orthopedists - not insurance companies - to get you the care you need for affordable, upfront prices. Connect on Sesame today with an orthopedist in Asheville, NC who can assess your condition, treat your symptoms, and craft a treatment plan that's right for you.

Can I see an orthopedic doctor online?

Yep!

On Sesame, orthopedists and podiatrists offer telehealth appointments for patients looking for efficient, flexible care. With telehealth, you can speak with a doctor about your symptoms and work to develop a treatment plan that's right for you - without the hassle of having to drive to different doctors' offices. If you've already seen a doctor and need a second opinion or more clarity on your condition, you can schedule a quick and easy telehealth appointment to get your questions answered on your own time.

On Sesame, you can connect with a licensed orthopedic specialist for an affordable cash price - without any hidden fees, copays, or insurance.

What happens at an orthopedic appointment?

Your first visit to the orthopedic doctor may start with a comprehensive medical evaluation, which may include x-rays and other physical tests. You may want to write down anything related to your issue that you'd like to discuss with your doctor. This could be a list of sports injuries or of current pains and symptoms. Come prepared to ask questions and get to the bottom of your symptoms.

What is an orthopedic surgeon?

Like an orthopedic doctor, orthopedic surgeons are well versed in conditions of the musculoskeletal system, such as bone fractures, joint problems, and sports injuries. Another similarity between the two is that they each undergo around 14 years of training including a bachelor's degree, medical school, a residency, and pass a certifying exam.

However, unlike orthopedic doctors, orthopedic surgeons are qualified to conduct orthopedic surgery.

Orthopedic surgeons can often treat musculoskeletal problems with treatment such as:
- Bone grafts
- Soft tissue repair
- Arthroscopic surgery
- Osteotomy
- Internal fixation
- Partial and total joint replacement


Save 60% on your next orthopedic consultation when you book with Sesame.

What causes back pain?

Back pain can be caused by any number of problems. According to the ACA, back pain is the third most common reason for doctor’s office visits although not usually caused by serious conditions such as arthritis, infection, or cancer. Some common causes of back pain are:

Muscle or ligament strain: Heavy lifting, sudden movement, or awkward sleeping positions have been known to cause strain on muscles and ligaments in the back. Pulled muscles, tendons, and ligaments can lead to tightness in the back and painful spasms.

Bulging discs: The back has 24 spinal discs, which are spongy cushions that separate the individual vertebrae in the spinal cord and up through the neck. These discs act as shock absorption and allow for pivot points (movement) in the back. When inflammation occurs around the tough membrane surrounding the vertebral disc without rupturing it, the disc is referred to as bulging. Bulging discs can lead to numbness, pain, and difficulty walking (among other symptoms).

Herniated discs: Herniated discs, or slipped discs, are often confused for bulging discs. A herniated disc, though, has ruptured the tough membrane surrounding the spongy tissue, causing the soft material to push through the rupture and irritate nerves around the area. Herniated discs can cause arm or leg pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Herniated discs can cause inflammation leading to pinched nerves which can affect limbs and mobility.

Arthritis (or osteoarthritis): According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is not a single disease, but a way to refer to joint pain or joint disease. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis; characterized by swelling and tenderness in the joints, usually caused by the deterioration of cartilage between bones in joints. This causes bones to rub up against each other during movement, which leads to swelling, stiffness, and pain. Arthritis usually worsens with age, as cartilage continues to break down. Obesity and medical history can also contribute to risk factors associated with arthritis.

Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to lose mass, thereby becoming weak and brittle. When the body loses too much bone mass without making enough replacement bone, bones can be fractured more easily. In severe cases, osteoporosis can lead to bone fractures from small occurrences like sneezing or bending over. When left untreated, osteoporosis leads to back pain, loss of height, and easy bone breakage.

Stress: Poor posture, excess weight, or inadequate exercise can lead to pressure in the muscles on the back. If the body is constantly hunched over, or muscles are left tight without stretching, the muscles in the back have to work extra hard to maintain mechanical mobility. This can lead to aching and soreness in the back.

Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes fatigue, pain in muscles and bones, tenderness, and cognitive disturbances (like lack of sleep). Fibromyalgia causes regions of pain that produce a constant dull aching. Because the nerves of the body are constantly being stimulated due to pain, the brain develops an abnormal nervous system response to pain, causing the pain receptors in the brain to overreact to pain and non-painful stimuli. Illness, trauma, stress, and genetic inheritance (family history of the disease) can cause fibromyalgia.

Back pain is one of the most persistent and widespread conditions affecting Americans today, Sesame offers a range of care options such as chronic care visits, chiropractic visits, and physical therapy visits.

How can I prevent back pain?

The American Chiropractic Association states that at least one-half of working Americans experience back pain symptoms every year. Back pain isn't just a health issue - it's an economic one. Back pain is the leading cause of disability in America, and is responsible for nearly $100 billion in health care costs, lost pay, and decreased productivity. There are several tips and strategies to help prevent or manage low back pain including:

Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can cause strain on back muscles, which can lead to tightness and strain. A healthy diet and exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and put less stress on the musculoskeletal structures in your back.

Exercise: A low-impact exercise program that doesn’t strain the back can help improve mobility and build strength. Physical activity that uses the back muscles and abdominal muscles helps to condition those areas and build core strength, preventing back injury. The Mayo Clinic recommends frequent walking and swimming as low-impact activities that can help build strength and endurance in the core and back. Exercise, along with a healthy diet, can help with weight loss, and general wellness.

Quit smoking: Smoking leads to loss of blood flow, which keeps much-needed oxygen and nutrients from reaching spinal tissues. Smoking increases your risk of lower back pain and may cause an increase in the amount you smoke during the day. Quitting smoking can help prevent lower back pain, among a wide range of other health benefits.

Maintain proper posture: Slouching and improper posture can put a strain on back muscles. If you are able, sit in chairs that feature lumbar support and change your position frequently. Try to stand and walk around every half-hour or so to prevent from back muscles tightening.

Lift properly: Lift heavy objects with your legs, keep your back straight, and refrain from twisting while lifting. Hold the object you are lifting close to your body, and get help if the object seems too heavy. Lifting with improper technique, or lifting objects that are too heavy, can cause herniated discs and lower back pain.

As with any medical condition, the cause of your back pain may be different. That's why it's best to connect directly with a qualified doctor to assess your symptoms and craft a treatment plan that's right for you, your back, and your health.

What can I do to relieve my lower back pain?

According to the low back pain fact sheet released by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), acute low back pain is the result of trauma or injury and usually goes away within a few days or a few weeks. Most low back pain is caused by injuries such as sprains, or disc herniation. There can be congenital causes of low back pain, such as scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine), as well as degenerative causes such as arthritis, spondylosis (the wearing down of the spine due to age), and spinal stenosis (the narrowing of the spine).

Most forms of acute low back pain are treated with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), coupled with hot/ cold presses, and gentle stretching. These treatments are meant to reduce inflammation, ease pain, and gain mobility in the back and core muscles. Most primary care physicians and chiropractors can offer medical advice to help treat low back pain with at-home remedies and over-the-counter medication.

How can I treat chronic low back pain?

Chronic low back pain is characterized by low back pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer. According to the NIH, roughly 20 percent of people who experience low back pain develop chronic back pain within the year. Most underlying causes of low back pain do not require serious medical attention and treatment plans may vary based on the patient’s risk factors.

Chronic low back pain may require an x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) scan to examine soft tissue and check for any internal injuries or growths. Conditions such as kidney stones can cause acute low back pain, and a physical examination might be required to help diagnose any underlying causes of low back pain. Chronic low back pain can be treated by a doctor using treatment options such as:

Chiropractic adjustments: Doctors can use spinal manipulation to adjust or stimulate the spine and the soft tissues surrounding the spinal cord. This can help relieve pain and increase mobility but is not recommended for people with underlying causes of low back pain, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or spondylosis.

Steroid injections: In some severe cases, a doctor may prescribe an epidural or corticosteroid injection to help relax muscles and relieve pain. Steroid injections can have adverse effects if used frequently, and provide only temporary relief.

Surgery: Back surgery may be required for severe chronic low back pain, or low back pain that is caused by degenerative diseases such as spondylolisthesis or arthritis. The exact surgical procedure varies based on the patient’s need, and back surgeries are not always successful. Surgery is often performed as a last resort to help relieve pain and regain some mechanical functionality in the back.

Whether you are experiencing acute low back pain, or have been dealing with chronic low back pain for several weeks, Sesame offers care from real, quality doctors near you. Don’t let low back pain control your life. Connect directly with a doctor on Sesame today to discuss treatment options that will work for you.

How can I relieve back pain at home?

Dealing with an aching back? Back pain affects millions of Americans every year - leading to over $100 billion in health care costs per year. The good news? Many cases of low back pain can be managed with simple, affordable, at-home remedies such as:

Stretching and exercise: Physical therapy and exercise can help prevent further injury and reduce low back pain. Building the back and abdominal muscles through light strength training and mobility exercises helps stabilize the spine and take the pressure off the bones and joints in the back. Additionally, a stretching routine can loosen muscles in the back and stimulate blood flow to the posterior chain, helping speed up recovery.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medication: NSAID pain relievers can reduce inflammation and relieve pain. These drugs are inexpensive and can be found in most major drugstores.

Hot/cold therapy: Rest, along with a steady diet of cold packs and heating pads, can help lessen swelling and stimulate blood flow. By reducing inflammation and improving circulation, blood can help soft tissues and muscles in the back recover quicker.

Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity is one of the common causes of back pain, as excess weight can put pressure on the spine. Physical activity and a healthy diet can help minimize undue stress on the back, reducing the risk of injury and low back pain.

How long does it take for back pain to go away?

It depends. The causes of back pain are diverse, ranging from injuries (like a herniated disk or sprain) to medical conditions (like osteoarthritis or sciatica). Your prognosis is determined in large part by the condition causing your pain.

In most cases, back pain is treatable at home with some inexpensive remedies. If your symptoms are mild or moderate, a routine of exercise, stretching, hot/cold therapy, and OTC pain relievers can help the pain go away in a matter of weeks. Moderate back pain will usually start to disappear after about 6 weeks of treatment. While home remedies can help alleviate pain, it is recommended you consult a doctor about your condition. Connect on Sesame with real, quality doctors in Asheville, NC to get the pain relief you need today.

If you have had a back injury, or are experiencing back pain due to a medical condition, it may take longer for your symptoms to start to go away. During your treatment, ask your doctor for medical advice about how to reduce recovery time and prevent further injury to your back. Stick to the dosage for any medication prescribed by your doctor, and supplement medical treatments with physical therapy or chiropractic care to improve mobility, if recommended.