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Which Doctor Should I See For My Injury?

It is so important to seek medical attention as soon as possible when facing an injury. Of course, everyone wants to go to a good doctor and to feel like they are going to be properly cared for. On the other hand, no matter how good one doctor in particular is, doctors are not one size fits all. The closest thing to that is a primary care physician. A good primary care doctor should be someone you can easily communicate with, and will refer you to a qualified specialized doctor who can treat that injury if need be. Therefore, if you are faced with an injury and aren’t sure where to go for treatment, your primary care physician is a good start. However, it really shouldn’t stop there, especially if the injury is serious. Here are some different types of doctors that are specialized in treating certain injuries.


An Orthopedic doctor treats bone and joint injuries. The prefix ortho literally means “straight” or “correct”. These doctors specialize in both degenerative bone conditions (such as arthritis) as well as sudden bone injuries, with the goal of correcting the structural function of the bones and joints as much as possible.

If you slip and fall and tear a ligament or break a bone, you would see an orthopedic doctor. If over time you feel pain or swelling in places such as your rotator cuff or your knees, an orthopedist will determine if you need medication, physical therapy or surgery. Many slip and fall injuries cause sudden trauma to the arms, ankles, and backs. An orthopedist specializes in examining and treating injuries from those types of situations.


A neurologist specializes in all things involving treatment of the nervous system. Any kind of nerve damage, most notably any injuries in the brain or spinal cord, would be treated by a neurologist. If you suffer from bad headaches, migraines or a concussion, you would see a neurologist. You should see a neurologist for any kind of brain injuries. If you are in a car accident and you hit your head, you should always seek medical attention. A brain injury, especially untreated, can be catastrophic to a person’s life. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries.

Pain Management Doctor

What if your pain isn’t so easily pinpointed to one specific type of injury? This is where a pain management doctor can help. As our society learns more and more about the causes and complexities of pain, the need for specialized understanding of that pain becomes more important.

A pain management doctor will perform tests to understand and isolate the cause of pain, and the best way to treat it. They are uniquely knowledgeable to specific types of pain, and with the wide array of drugs and technologies available today, they would provide the best insight on the next steps. They also know how to help deal with chronic pain. A primary care physician, as well as other specialized doctors like the ones mentioned above may recommend seeing a pain management doctor, and often work alongside them to help treat your injuries.


A Chiropractor is a healthcare professional that focuses on the treatment of neuromuscular injuries, mainly with manual adjustment. They hope to improve functionality and mobility for their patients, who may suffer from stiffness or pain. They also may improve the overall structural stability of the spine. Chiropractors do not operate, and your doctor may suggest seeing a chiropractor if you suffer from lower back pain, neck pain, arthritic pain and even headaches. Many who suffer pain from a car accident have found relief from visiting a chiropractor.

Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist

Although physical therapists and occupational therapists are different, they try to achieve similar goals for their patients. Both try to improve mobility in the body, whether they are injured or recovering from surgery. An occupational therapist’s main focus is to help patients be able to accomplish activities of everyday living while a physical therapist focuses on improving movement in the body. An occupational therapist focuses on the whole person, while a physical therapist will focus on exercises and treatments of specific areas, joints or muscle groups in the body. These professionals aim for overall recovery, and can be recommended by many different doctors.

What if someone else caused my injury?

Medical treatment can be extremely costly. Even worse is when the injury is not your fault. At Palermo Law, we can not only help get your medical bills paid for by the negligent party, but we have experience working alongside medical professionals who have helped many clients recover from an array of injuries. If you or a loved one find yourself in this situation, give us a call for a free consultation.

About the Author

Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.

His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.