Consider Your Options Before Considering Surgery
If you or someone you know is suffering from chronic back pain, rest assured that there are treatment options beyond back surgery. Research has provided significant evidence supporting nonsurgical treatment methods for chronic back pain. In fact, research has shown that surgery is overused when treating chronic back pain.
The New England Journal of Medicine supports this claim, stating that intervention of any type is only recommended for back pain that last for more than three weeks. The study provided recommendations for treating lower back pain through both medical and alternative intervention. Among the recommended treatments are suggestions for intensive exercise, including strengthening and aerobic conditioning. Chiropractic care was also recommended as an effective treatment, and massage therapy has also shown potential to treat lower back pain.
The study stated that other commonly misused methods include radiography and advanced imaging procedures (such as an MRI). These procedures should only be used in extreme cases of suspected systemic disease, loss of function, or severe nerve pain. Surgery, the study reported, should only be considered when all conservative and extreme medical treatment methods have failed. The study reported that the best recommendation for a healthy lower back is to remain active with plenty of exercise, to keep the back muscles and legs conditioned.
Deyo R, Weinstein J, et al. Low back pain. The New England Journal of Medicine 2001:344(5), pp363-369.
High-risk Surgery has Serious Implications
Before saying yes to back surgery, make sure you consider the risks. A study in Effective Clinical Practice asserts that medical risks significantly increase if you are past middle age and undergoing high-risk surgery.
The study focused on the death rates for 14 different types of surgeries, specifically high-risk surgeries among 1.2 million patients, age 65 and older. Age was the main predictor of operative mortality. The risk of death among the older patients was “frequently” higher than 10%. Operative death for patients age 80 years or older was more than double the risk than for patients age 65 to 69. Next to age, the type of procedure was next best indicator of risk. The riskiest procedures included heart valve replacement and partial lung or esophagus removal, with over 15% operative mortality rate in patients over 80.
Before considering back surgery, be sure to consider all medical risks, including those associated with age and the procedure. Make sure you have investigated all treatment options with your doctor of chiropractic before electing to undergo surgery.
Finlayson EVA, Birkmeyer JD. Operative mortality with elective surgery in older adults. Effective Clinical Practice, July/August 2001:4(4), pp. 172-177.
"I have been a patient of Dr. Rainey's for almost 2 years and he's the BEST chiropractor I have ever seen."
“I finally found Dr. Rainey after seeing more than 20 chiropractors who just couldn’t adjust me fully. Their treatments lasted only about 5 minutes. After seeing Dr. Rainey, I am finally feeling like I’m getting my body back!”
“After being involved in a car accident, I began to feel back pain. Working in the music industry adds a lot of stress in my life, which also contributed to the symptoms caused by the accident. Since coming to Rainey Chiropractic, my condition has improved greatly. In fact, I feel better than I ever felt before.”