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Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please email us at . You may also call us at (833) 988-0589 from Monday to Sunday, 9 am to 9 pm EST.

About Dorsal

What types of treatments does Dorsal offer?

Dorsal offers 15 different FDA-approved prescription medications (ranging from topical NSAIDs to muscle relaxants to steroid dose packs), personalized 10-week physical therapy regimens, and evidence-based behavioral coaching. Every patient case is different. So all our treatment programs include a comprehensive online consultation with a US-licensed physician. Learn more about our care offering.

Who is Dorsal for?

If you suffer from musculoskeletal disorders (such as lower back pain, knee pain, and arthritis) – and you're interested in receiving comprehensive, expert treatment from the comfort of home – then Dorsal is for you. Learn about the top reasons patients choose Dorsal.

Do I need a prescription to use Dorsal?

No. Your Dorsal physician will write a prescription if they assess it’s the right treatment course for your pain.

Can I use any pharmacy?

Yes, of course. Using the Dorsal pharmacy can offer certain benefits, such as better prices and free shipping, that other pharmacies won’t be able to match. If you use another pharmacy, you just need to make sure it’s part of the Surescripts network (95%+ of pharmacies are).

Who are the physicians on the Dorsal platform?

Dorsal physicians are all licensed, board-certified doctors. They’re the same doctors you would ordinarily go see for back pain in an office, except that you can talk to them 24/7 from your phone or laptop. The Dorsal Medical Advisory Board, which designs and vets all clinical protocols, includes top professors, researchers, and clinicians from the most prestigious musculoskeletal hospitals in the world (Columbia, NYU Langone, Hospital for Special Surgery, and more). They’re experts on back pain with backgrounds spanning physiatry, pain medicine, orthopedic surgery, and more.

Is my health information secure?

Yes. Dorsal takes privacy and security very seriously, and the Dorsal platform complies with all laws and regulations around data integrity and health information security.

Telehealth

Do I need to see a doctor in-person to use Dorsal?

You need to have had an in-person doctors’ appointment in the last three years in order to use Dorsal. All of Dorsal’s care itself takes place online, so as long as you’ve seen any doctor in person (Dorsal-affiliated or not) in the last three years you can use Dorsal.

Is telemedicine safe?

Yes. Telemedicine is safe so long as patients share accurate, complete responses to questions. Dorsal-affiliated physicians rely on these responses when forming diagnoses and prescribing treatments, and need correct information in order to assess whether your pain is treatable online. You should carefully review your treatment program before commencing the program, so that you can understand the benefits and risks involved.

Is it legal to get a prescription online?

Yes. Dorsal-affiliated physicians are all properly licensed and prescribe medications online in full compliance with all federal and state laws.

Does everyone talk to a doctor?

Yes, of course. After completing your dynamic onboarding, Dorsal conducts an initial review of your case to ensure that online care is a feasible approach. If it is, your Dorsal physician will reach out to you for a follow-up before designing your treatment plan. You can always ask questions of your physician (via secure chat, phone call, or video call), before, during, or after your treatment.

Does Dorsal replace my primary care provider?

No. Dorsal serves to complement your current healthcare providers. You should keep your other providers updated with your care through Dorsal, and you should keep Dorsal updated with your care through other providers.

What should I do in an emergency?

If you have any kind of medical emergency, you should immediately dial 911. In-person attention is critical for successfully managing emergencies.

Cost and Pricing

How much does Dorsal cost?

We offer monthly plans ranging from $39/month to $89/month (with 50% off the first month for new patients), which include your doctor visits, medications and prescription refills (with free shipping), and physical therapy programs. You can cancel or switch plans at any time by dropping us a note at care@dorsalhealth.com. No insurance needed. No surprises or hidden fees. See pricing details.

Is Dorsal covered by insurance?

Services on the Dorsal platform are not covered by insurance. But our flat monthly fee is less than most insurance copays. And it covers unlimited doctor consultations, prescriptions medications (with free shipping), and physical therapy. See pricing details.

How do I cancel or stop my treatment program?

You can switch or cancel your plan at any time. Just drop us a note at care@dorsalhealth.com, and one of our team members will cancel or modify your plan. We also accept cancellations by text (833-988-0589). Cancellations and plan modifications are effective as of the date of the email or message. You will receive an email confirming the change as soon as we process the request.

How much does my medication cost?

Your medication, including any refills or prescription changes, is already included in your regular monthly plan at no additional charge! You can choose from our medication-only plan ($59/month) or our comprehensive plan (medication and physical therapy, for $89/month) at checkout. All new patients receive 50% off their first month.

When am I charged for my medication?

You’re only charged for your for medication after your doctor reviews your case and prescribes your treatment. Before this happens, you'll select a monthly plan and approve the treatment plan your doctor proposes. All new patients receive 50% off the first month.

When will I receive my medication?

If you purchase your medication through us, in most cases you’ll receive it by mail within five days.

Can I return my order?

Unfortunately we are unable to accept returns. However, if you feel we have made a mistake in the filling of your order, please let us know at care@dorsalhealth.com.

Is shipping free?

Yes! Shipping is completely free, and most orders will arrive within five days of order placement.

Lower Back Pain

How does Dorsal treat lower back pain?

Dorsal uses safe, effective telemedicine technologies to treat your back pain. We collect critical information from your dynamic onboarding to make an initial assessment on whether it’s feasible to consider treating you online. If it is, a Dorsal-affiliated physician will reach out to you with a follow-up and make a final determination on whether to treat you through telemedicine. We’ll walk you through the care program and help you understand our treatment recommendations, and follow up with you during your treatment to make sure everything goes smoothly.

What medications do physicians on the Dorsal platform prescribe?

Dorsal-affiliated physicians rely on a mix of anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant, and oral steroid medications when formulating treatment programs. Our clinical protocols draw from current best practices in treating back pain, including guidelines from the Veterans Affairs Department, Defense Department, American College of Physicians, European Spine Journal, American Physical Therapy Association, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Does Dorsal prescribe opioids or other controlled substances?

Never. Dorsal's treatment protocols are based on research-supported conservative care principles, and we only prescribe safe, non-opioid medications.

Is it safe to get my lower back pain treated online?

Yes, in most cases. Dorsal screens for red flags that would prevent us from being able to treat you through telemedicine, such as a history of malignancies. Dorsal-affiliated physicians are all licensed, experienced healthcare providers, and they will monitor your treatment program carefully and let you know if at any point you should cease online treatment and seek in-person care instead.