Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back Surgery, Is It Worth The Risks

When is comes to resolving ones back pain, there are a lot of choices one can make in trying to accomplish this.  They can range anywhere from bed rest to back surgery.  Now I don't have to tell which is the risker option of the two, but I'm still amazed at the amount of people who opt for the riskier choice before trying something much more conservative.  Let me state from the onset that I am not against all back surgeries.  There are limitations that make it extremely difficult for the body to recover from and this is where surgery can be of help.  I still feel even in those cases its not the only thing someone should do.  (More on that further down)

For most people, disc injuries are years in the making and don't just happen.  The disc is very strong and when it's with in a normal structure (normal spinal alignment), it can withstand some pretty heavy forces.  As a matter of fact, sometimes the vertebrae will fracture before the disc gives out.  Our lifestyles and the choices we make on activities generally determine our health.  This include the health of our discs and spine.

Back to the choices we have to resolve the back pain...there are many.  I think it human nature for a lot of people to look for the easy way out and that is why surgery is so attractive.  It could also be that they were only given a few choices by their MD and they tried with not success and next on the list is surgery.  Whatever the reason it still falls short.  The injured disc, or even just back pain, is an end result of other dysfunctions that occurred previously in the body.  Poor ergonomics, improper lifting, too much sitting, etc... leading to an abnormal spinal structure putting abnormal forces on the disc and so on.  By the way, the only way to determine the extent of an abnormal structure is with weight bearing x-rays with a properly aligned x-ray system.  This is the blue print of your spine.  MRI are good for discs, not spinal alignment.  Is this starting to make sense?  Do you think it might be important to address those issues to correct this problem?  Do you believe cortisone shots will do this?  Now do you think surgery will do this?

"But I'm in too much pain to deal with all  that now.  I just need to get out of pain."  I understand and that is why our office has a complete disc correction program.  We use Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression to start healing the disc this gradually pulls the injured disc material back into its proper place with in the disc.  Corrective spinal adjustments with spinal remolding exercises and therapies to re-establish normal spinal alignment and therefore better mobility, stronger core, and less likely to suffer with a future flare ups.  There will be recommendations that will be given that will need to be followed as well.  These can include back support, home care, ergonomics review and modifications, nutritional assessment, etc...

"This sounds like a lot of work."  Yes it is.  There is no silver bullet.  I am not talking about uncomplicated low back pain.  This is usually chronic and /or disc related.  I've seen more than my fair share of back pain patients over the past 15 years.  Some who have even had multiple surgeries with limited success.  I have even recommended some to get back surgery.  Not everyone is a candidate for our services.  If you or someone you know is suffering with chronic lower back pain or a disc injury, call our office for a complimentary consultation.  Its a conversation, not a commitment.

Have a Great Day!
Dr. Deane