If conservative treatments aren’t helping, you may need to see a physical therapist or a pain specialist. According to Dr. Willoughby, there are four primary methods for treating back pain: therapy, medicine, injections and surgical interventions.
Physical therapists can help you build strength and flexibility in your back, which can help address existing back pain and reduce the risk of future injuries.
Meanwhile, pain specialists can offer many medical treatment options that address back pain in noninvasive or minimally invasive ways.
“People are sometimes afraid to see a pain specialist because they worry they’ll be put on narcotics, but in reality we try to avoid that whenever possible,” says Dr. Willoughby. “We also view surgery as a last resort.”