When Should I See a Pain Specialist for My Bad Back?

The Short Answer from an expert

Q: I have a bad back. When should I see a pain specialist?

A:  If you feel your back pain is starting to interfere with your life or activities, it may be time to seek an evaluation from a pain management specialist.

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Perhaps you can’t walk around the mall as far as you used to, or you can’t stand to watch your kids’ baseball game, or you can’t do another favorite activity.

Pain management specialists offer additional interventions for back pain, such as:

I like to compare the treatment of pain to making a soup. You throw in some physical therapy, possibly some medication, and/or an interventional procedure. If each treatment strategy helps 25 percent, then you reap their cumulative benefits.

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—Pain management specialist Robert B. Bolash, MD

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