Back pain is one of the most common complaints that patients have. At some point in your life it will be sure to affect you, and in many cases back pain is simply a result of the aging process. Despite the fact that it is so common, anyone who is suffering from an aching back wants the pain to go away.
Pain can range anywhere from being mildly uncomfortable to debilitating enough to affect your ability to move and function regularly. Regardless of where you are in the back pain spectrum, you likely want to know what to do to get rid of it. The first step is to see a medical professional and obtain an accurate diagnosis. Once the problem has been identified, you can discuss treatment options with your doctor.
The first approaches you will discuss are considered to be conservative treatment options for back pain. These include any treatments short of surgery. The majority of patients are able to reduce back pain, and even overcome back disorders altogether, without surgery on the back or spine. Conservative treatments for back surgery include:
- Physical Therapy
- Drug Therapy
In the event that these conservative options are not effective, your doctor may recommend back surgery. Back or spine surgery is a broad term that covers multiple procedures. Each procedure is a little different and should be discussed with your doctor. In addition to talking to your doctor, look for books and websites that can give you more information on the individual procedures. It is advisable to be fully informed about your recommended procedure, its recovery rates and the other factors that are associated with the back surgery.
In general, back surgery is a recommended medical option for patients when:
- Back pain (or pain in the arms, legs, neck or shoulders) affects daily activities and is not reduced, even after several months of conservative treatment
- There is a deformity in the spine (such as scoliosis) that cannot be repaired without surgery
- Mobility has been diminished to the point that patients are unable to walk or accomplish other basic physical tasks
- There is a change in the nerves or spine that conservative options cannot repair, such as removing pieces of bone or tissue (as will be the case with spinal stenosis or a severely herniated spinal disk) or adding in elements to make the spine stronger (as will be the case for a spinal fusion)
Back and spine surgeries are not always recommended. In fact the majority of patients are treated solely through conservative therapies. If your doctor feels that surgery is the best option for you, you will want to consider it. It can sound scary, but research your condition and the surgical outcomes and compare those benefits to a life filled with back pain and/or immobility.
Back surgeries are performed by either orthopedic surgeons (who perform surgery on bones) or neurosurgeons (who are involved when surgery is needed to repair nerves in the back or spine). In either case you will be in capable hands if you seek treatment from a trustworthy medical provider.
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point provides accurate diagnosis and treatment options for patients who are troubled with back problems. When back surgery is necessary, this hospital is a recommended option for neighboring patients here in Hudson or any of the surrounding areas from Tarpon Springs to Crystal River.