I have bad back pain. Do I need surgery?

Most back problems don't require surgery at all. Only a few spine problems require surgery right away. Even if your doctor is considering surgery, he or she is likely to recommend several months of conservative treatment first.

The term "conservative treatment" really just means "non-surgical treatment." Conservative treatment involves using medications, rest, exercise, and pain control techniques. The goal will be to manage your pain and regain your ability to move. This can take time. You may need to try several different approaches until you find the combination of techniques that works for you. Your doctor may also recommend that you work with other professionals, such as a physical or occupational therapist, a nutritionist, or an ergonomic specialist. They can work as a team to help get you back to speed.