Reasons behind lower back pain are numerous, and Donaldson says in the case of chronic lower back pain, the cause is often unknown.

Treatment options are similarly complex.

“There is no single best treatment for chronic low back pain,” he said. “Even if a definite anatomical problem can be repaired surgically, recovery is complicated, and proper exercise can help. Analgesics, particularly non-opioid analgesics that also reduce inflammation are also helpful.”

“Managing lower back pain well requires careful consideration of an individual’s circumstances and close consultation with trusted healthcare providers,” Donaldson added. “Individual responses to the exact same therapies are vastly different, so generalities that treatments can be effective are not all that helpful. The hard part is figuring out what works for whom, and how well.”

All of the experts who spoke with Healthline say that the best way to avoid lower back pain in the first place, as well as manage it, is to do some form of exercise.

“An ounce of prevention is worth its weight in gold. Once the patient becomes a candidate for an injection or surgery… if I were to generalize… maybe it’s too late to repair yourself with yoga,” Shamie said.

“You can slow down the progression of the degenerative process we’re all going through by doing exercises like yoga, tai chi, jogging, or going to the gym, which all have benefits,” he said.