Back Pain Treatment Options

You are not alone, 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

Back pain can be debilitating and interfere with your life. Many back pain symptoms can be treated with medication or physical therapy, but some may require additional expertise.

When exploring your options for treating back pain, it’s recommended to start with your primary care provider. Your primary care provider will work with you and oversee a care plan. Often, they will refer you for an MRI and depending on the results may refer you to a physical therapist, physiatrist, pain management physician, or neurosurgeon.

Causes of Back Pain

Back pain is a common medical problem and when you’re experiencing back pain it can interrupt your life. It’s nice to know that depending on the cause, back pain can often be treated without surgery, but it’s important to work with your doctor on the best care plan.

Triggered by an accident, injury, genetics or general wear and tear on the body, back pain can be caused by:

  • bulging disc
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • cervical myelopathy
  • degenerative disc disease
  • herniated disc
  • infection
  • muscle and ligament strain
  • neuropathic pain
  • pinched nerve
  • sciatica
  • spine arthritis
  • spinal stenosis
  • spondylolysis
  • sacroiliac joint pain
  • skeletal irregularity
  • tumor

Back pain that is accompanied by numbness, tingling, trouble urinating, weakness, or weight loss when not on a diet could be serious. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please see your doctor right away.

Back Pain Treatment Options

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for back pain, but it is treatable. Working with your primary care doctor or specialist treatment options may vary from physical therapy to pain management or, in rare cases, surgery. Only one out of ten patients who are referred to a neurosurgeon are then recommended to have surgery. Treatment options may include one or a mix of:

  • complementary and integrative health treatments (massage and acupuncture)
  • neurostimulation therapy
  • pain medication
  • physical therapy
  • rest and activity modification
  • spinal manipulation and chiropractic
  • steroid injections
  • surgery

You don’t have to live with back pain, talk with your doctor about how to start seeking treatment to find relief. If you don’t have a doctor, find one with our doctor finder tool.