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Lower Back Specialist
updated: Feb 04, 2013, 3:11 PM

Can anyone help with a doctor recommendation? I hurt my lower back several weeks ago and it is getting worse with each day. Doesn't matter whether they are in my health plan or not, I'd pay anything to get this fixed (without surgery). Thanks.

Places People Are Talking About:

Dr. Flowers

What People Are Saying:

 COMMENT 370740 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 03:16 PM

Get some good recommendations on chiropractors.


 COMMENT 370745 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 03:38 PM

Dr. Meller at the Medcenter, upper State Street. Important: He has partners so be sure to ask which days will he be there.


 COMMENT 370746 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 03:38 PM

I've been seeing a wonderful chiropractor in Ventura for years. Her name is Delia Gorey: 658-7136. Highly recommend her services; she is most gentle, knowledgeable and good at what she does. Definitely worth the drive. 658-7136. Tell her that I recommended her to you and she'll make room for you in her schedule. Barbara Liss.


 COMMENT 370757P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 04:00 PM

I used to get frequent jolts of mind numbing pain from my lower back down to my left knee. This is a carry-over from an old auto accident at least two decades old. What has helped me to keep them at bay are Pilates stretches. I don't do Pilates- just the stretches. The incidents of these surges of white-hot pain has decreased to less than once a year, probably. I started the stretches about ten years after the accident. I can honestly state that in my own situation, the stretches helped more so than any of the treatments or pills I was prescribed for the first ten years after the injury. BTW, people hauling things in the backs of your trucks or on trailers, tie that mess down. Your belongings being dropped in front of the car behind you on the highway can have devastating consequences all around.


 COMMENT 370763 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 04:15 PM

Mellor at Med Center? NO!!
Go find a primary care doctor, let him/her diagnose you and refer you for further tests (eg.: MRI) Also, a prescription for physical theray is a great call too. It could be muscular or disc related. Also, not to scare you but it can be a sign of a much more serious illness. Find a GP and get seen asap.


 COMMENT 370764 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 04:17 PM

Please try to get a referral from your regular GP, if you have one. OR a friend you trust. As you can see, everyone has a differing opinion on good doctors.

763's comment is scary, but if you have had acute back pain for a few weeks it's unlikely to be a sign of anything other than straightforward muscle pain that can be sorted out. A serious illness is unlikely. (Get off the internet before some else really scares you and you don't get any further looking for help. Good luck!)


 COMMENT 370766 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 04:28 PM

Same thing happened to me, I went to a chiropractor, which did not help. They used up all my insurance visits then finally sent me for MRI. I had a bad disc and could have avoided months of pain if I had insisted on getting an MRI in the first place.

You need to know exactly what is wrong, then seek treatment.


 COMMENT 370767P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 04:34 PM

For a Chiropractor - Lance Schroeder - 692-8686. He is on Patterson near the 101 exit. He will be honest and tell you if he cannot fix it and what he thinks you need to do.


 COMMENT 370768 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 04:36 PM

Dr. Richard Kahmann, Santa Barbara Orthopedic Group.


 COMMENT 370772 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 04:48 PM

Never ever go to a chiropractor first if you have such serious back pain. None of them have an MRI machine. Some have xray equipment, but disk and muscle problems cannot be diagnosed on an xray.

As 766 says, find out EXACTLY what is wrong, THEN use PT/Chiro if warranted.

The doctors at the Sansum clinic are more than capable of diagnosing your problem.


 COMMENT 370774 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 04:52 PM

Call Santa Barbara Orthopedic, across from cottage hospital downtown -- my family has received great care from them!


 COMMENT 370779 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 05:09 PM

All I can say is, please go see an actual medical doctor, ie Orthopaedist. NOT a chiropractor.


 COMMENT 370780P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 05:10 PM

I found a book very helpful... "Oh My Aching Back". Depending on what the symptoms are, will be critical as far as what you do on a daily basis.

Yoga helps me a lot. Easy soft stretching. No twisting of any kind. Mindful of how you sleep, sit, stand. Exercise, especially your stomach muscles, which hold your back in place.

Do you have any idea how you hurt your back? Why is it hurting and what things seem to make it worse?


 COMMENT 370781 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 05:11 PM

772 is absolutely correct. I knew someone who had severe back pain who had been going to a chiropractor, the problem turned out to be a very serious one that no amount of chiropractic would have solved.

Find out what is actually "wrong" before you allow anyone to treat you. Your primary care doctor should give you a referral.

If you are a man your doctor may want to do a PSA, which is something men should probably have done when they are having back pain that doesn't go away.

Good luck, I am sure you will find the solution.


 COMMENT 370785P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 06:03 PM

Chiropractic is great. It's almost as good as a placebo.


 COMMENT 370787 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 06:07 PM

Dr. James Weston...a fantastic Chiropractor and also is a radiologist. He is knowledgeable about all aspects of back health and knows when chiropractics will help and when it wont. He is more holistic than medicine based, but will refer you to an MD if that is what is better for you. Please call him for a consultation. he saved my daughters back after a sledding accident. Good luck to you....


 COMMENT 370789 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 06:24 PM

A chiropractor can ruin your back and cause a muscle imbalance that can takes weeks or months to undo....if you're lucky.

Try going to a regular doctor for a referral and then seeing where that takes you. You might need an MRI or you might not. Please, don't do stretches or yoga til you know for sure what is up in there. A good osteopath or physical therapist can also assess your pain and symptoms.


 COMMENT 370790 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 06:25 PM

Only Amy Wickman, MD at Alta Orthopedics will ever be permitted to diagnose our backs!!! She is outstanding (dual orthopedic and neurology for spine)and is not cut happy.


 COMMENT 370798 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 07:01 PM

Dr. Wickman is an Orthopedic Surgeon.

I don't get why people would see a surgeon before they know what is wrong with their back!!

I can't believe the answers here. Try out a GP, if you can't find a good one, try Dr. Hubbell at Sansum. Then get your referrals from that point. Sheesh!


 COMMENT 370804 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 07:26 PM

Another vote for Dr. Wickman!!! She and her staff are great, friendly and knowledgeable. She took the time to explain what she thought was causing my back pain, she ordered an MRI and physical therapy. She saw me a week later to confirm what she thought was causing my pain. So yes, I did see her first and had a comfortable experience with the Alta Orthopaedic team.


 COMMENT 370808 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 07:34 PM

dr brisby,very honest and he knows what hes doing.


 COMMENT 370820 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 08:08 PM

I wasted three years on chiropractors and physical therapists. I was finally referred to Dr. Alan Moelleken (this was about 14 years ago). He eventually operated on my back and since then I have led an active life, free from debilitating pain and the misery it engenders. I realize that he's had some bad press in the recent past but he's an excellent surgeon.


 COMMENT 370828 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 08:51 PM

I saw Dr. Curatalo (neurologist) for my lower back injury. Turns out it was a bulging disc at L4/L5. The MRI was done at Pueblo Radiology and confirmed the bad disc. I was sent to physical therapy at Hayashida PT. Rob Sparrow worked with me for about 2 months to overcome the pain and strengthen my core. Have had minor recurrance but now I know how to manage & prevent the problem.

Many back specialists won't take you if you're a first timer with a disc problem. As painful as they can be, things like bulging/slipped/herniated discs are a dime a dozen ... although the OP didn't provide any specifics so we don't know exactly what his/her issue is.


 COMMENT 370843P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 11:16 PM

I'm not a fan of quackoprators but will say I feel recovered and healed by the Foundation exercises. There is a video of the 12min routine on YouTube.


 COMMENT 370850 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 12:55 AM

Dr Lance Schroeder , the man is great, I started with his dad and then him and he's great !!!


 COMMENT 370881 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 07:39 AM

Stay far away from Dr. Meller and the MedCenter.


 COMMENT 370894 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 08:15 AM

As a medical massage therapist I'm chiming in to say 2 things
1. DR MELLER is not the one. He's mean and egotistical.Stay far away

2. Dr Brisby at the Training Room has helped me greatly. he is a chiropractor.. But deals more with functional medecine.. And is a great diagnostiian


 COMMENT 370896 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 08:19 AM

No chiropractors, you've hurt your lumbar region. Go to Dr. Hamilton, get an MRI and determine the extent of damage first. Go from there.


 PJG agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 08:30 AM

I highly recommend seeing a medical doctor first. I hate to be an alarmist but my husband's lower back pain turned out to be cancer. If he had let it go for 6 more months he would be dead by now. I, also, had an upper back pain that would not go away for months while seeing a chiropractor. It turned out I had a sleep disorder and the reason my back was not healing is because I was not getting enough sleep. Healing happens during sleep. Once, I was treated for the sleep disorder, the pain went away. And by the way, my health and energy went way up, too!


 COMMENT 370925 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 08:51 AM

The key here is the onset. Was there a sudden traumatic movement, strain or impact that brought on the symptoms or a long gradual onset getting progressively worse? Typically pain and burning sensations that radiate down the leg are symptoms of a herniated or damaged spinal disc (one or more). Most good Orthopeodic doctors will attempt a number of possible theraputic and conservative treatments to alleviate the pain and strengthen supporting muscles structures. This INCLUDES losing weight if one has excessive weight around the torso thus straining the spinal column. A soft brace may also help. If surgery is ultimately needed there have been and still are a number of new procedures being used minimizing the surgical intrusion and using artificial discs or spacers.


 RED CREEK agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 09:00 AM

Agree with 80P; before the knife or any other invasive treatment, consider a gentler approach.

Depending on what ails you there are obviously many paths to take.

Suffering from functional scoliosis (curvature of the lower spine so severe my clothes needed to be tailored to fit properly) for years and mild to severe lower back pain, I went to a few extremely competent yoga instructors and after finding out how misaligned my body was from flat feet to rounded shoulders and everything in between slumped and distorted, decided to literally "straighten out" my back with exercises in yoga and the complement of daily walks.

Based on the East Indian Ayurvedic health system, yoga also helps with dietary changes away from the heavy meat and animal product intake to healthier vegetable, legume and fruit mainstays in the diet. After a while most meats actually start to smell and taste bad as the body adjusts to healthier fare.

It took a while but it works. After several years, now have no pain, full athletic ability, straight back and posture, strong abdomen, even have arches restored to my feet while turning fat to muscle and losing weight.

After seeing all the comments for invasive medical intervention, it is no surprise how few people go for the holistic " from the inside out approach". We place our faith in someone else to fix us.

At 63 am in the best shape of my life, with routine bicycling, nordic skiing, hiking and aerobic style yoga with 20 year olds. And no meds of any kind.


 COMMENT 370944 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 09:30 AM

Back pain can be complex to unravel but yes, see a medical doctor (osteopath) before seeing a chiropractor and avoid surgery if you don't absolutely need it. After 15 years of pain, I'm finally pain-free after seeing an acupuncturist PLUS doing yoga and core work 4x week, walking or biking every day (and giving up running), getting a memory foam bed, getting massages 2x/ a month, and seeing a chiropractor 6x a year. Not unlike keeping your weight down, having back pain is something you have to work at not getting after you've had it (at least, that's been my and others I know experience).


 COMMENT 370952 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 09:37 AM

763 FYI Dr Meller has been my primary Doctor for over 30 years and he is great.


 COMMENT 370953 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 09:37 AM

I the OP is talking about acute back pain, something that just started and is getting worse without home treatment.

Yes, a doctor should be seen just in case. But the comments that it could be cancer or something are just out of bounds. That kind of pain comes on more subtly and doesn't progress to extreme pain in six days. This also doesn't sound like a case for surgery or spinal manipulation. It's a lower back issue, which is usually easily remedied once you figure out where the injury or strain is coming from. (Could even be your glutes or thighs being too tight.) Why scare people based on something you guys know nothing about?


 COMMENT 371016 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 11:42 AM

I read that they showed doctors xrays of painful backs and also pain free backs, and they looked the same to the docs. So unless something is clearly wrong on the xrays or mri's then they will be back at 'it feels bad'. But yes, rule out the obvious before progressing to one of these other therapies. If it isn't a degenerating or injured bone or disk problem then chiros can help with the muscle stuff or a misalignment. Get a recommendation from a friend that has had a similar problem and I advise to make sure that they use only gentle touch. I would never let a force chiro touch my spine.


 COMMENT 371126 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 03:59 PM

Dont go to the med center please.......


 COMMENT 371226 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 09:23 PM

Paul Shaffer is an excellent chiropractor for both humans and animals. His goal is to fix the problem. He is honest and great to work with. He's fixed my back, knees and my dog's back.


 COMMENT 371235 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-05 10:07 PM

Consider an evaluation by Miklos Hubay... sbacupuncture.com/about-miklos-hubay-acupuncture

Dr. Archie Allen...Kinesiologist/Chiropractor ...Dr. Paul Zemella - Chiropractor.

After thirty five years of researching and treatment for myself and others...I consider these individuals to be "Masters" in each of their fields.They are healers...exceptional on every level.


 COMMENT 371361P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-06 10:04 AM

I like Dr. Flowers, a chiropractor who practices the Gonstead method. Stay away from Lori Sender-O'Hara, she,ll milk your wallet dry.


 COMMENT 478620 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-19 10:58 AM

I am glad to see others had such a poor experience with Dr. Meller at Medcenter on upper state. He is a very angry man with an extremely poor bedside manner. He looks like he might be a heavy drinker or have very high blood pressure. In my opinion stay away from this doctor!



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