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

The short answer from an expert
man with back pain at doctors office

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

A: If you feel your back pain is interfering with your life or activities, it may be time to seek an evaluation. What type of doctor should you see for back pain? It may be time to see a pain management specialist who can help you facilitate a treatment approach.

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

  • Injections to reduce inflammation along a nerve root.
  • Radiofrequency ablation to address pain arising from arthritic spinal joints.
  • Spinal cord stimulation to change your brain’s perception of pain.

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

—Pain management specialist Robert B. Bolash, MD.

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