Back pain is usually caused by simple back strain and is treatable in a number of different ways, including painkillers and physiotherapy sessions. If the pain is chronic and lasts over 12 weeks, it is worth a second trip to the doctor for a follow up. The leading causes of back pain include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, heavy lifting, and poor posture. If an MRI or x-ray reveals major nerve stress or damage and all other forms of treatment have failed, back surgery may be a consideration. A qualified surgeon can review the pros and cons with you and help you make the right decision.