Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why is my lower back still hurting?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy is my lower back still hurting?


I am a 40-year old male and when I was 37 years old, I had lower back surgery to remove two ruptured discs. I still have soreness in the area. I ice my back often and I take ibuprofen. My job requires me to stand and walk throughout the day. I also exercise four times a week on average. Should I make an appointment to see my doctor about this issue?


Lower back pain is a very common problem encountered in the outpatient setting and is a major reason why patients seek care with their doctors. Unfortunately, the treatments that exist for herniated (or ruptured) disks are not optimal. If you received surgery, then it likely means that you failed a treatment of conservative management involving medication and physical therapy. If you are still having pain following your surgery, then you should certainly discuss these issues with your doctor. Your doctor can do a thorough physical exam to help figure out the cause of your persistent pain, and he or she may elect to do further imaging with MRI to better characterize the painful area. You and your doctor can come up with a treatment plan to handle this pain, which may include a new medication regimen, physical therapy, a trial of steroid injections, or a repeated surgery if indicated and if all other treatments fail.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.