When it comes to missed days of work, trips to the doctor and reports of pain and ailments, back pain is at the top of the list in America. Sometimes the ailment is the body’s response to mental or emotional stress. Sometimes the pain is a result of overstrained muscles or poor posture. Yet other times, the back pain is due to problems with the disks, whether genetic deterioration or herniated disks. Regardless, the pain can be severe enough to drive sufferers to doctors in hopes of finding immediate relief. For some, especially those suffering pain due to problems with spinal disks, back disk surgery becomes a topic of conversation between doctor and patient.
For many, the need for surgery isn’t an immediate answer. There are means to treat back pain, ranging from non invasive to completely invasive, as in the case of surgery. Often, for those with new reports of pain, the first step is to try anti-inflammatories, possibly steroids, even stretches or simple forms of physical therapy, and possibly complimentary therapies such as chiropractic, acupuncture and massage. If these do not provide relief, the next step may be to explore minimally invasive solutions for relief, such as shots, or electrical nerve stimulation or electrothermal therapy. If these non to minimally invasive therapies do not provide relief, and especially if symptoms worsen, the doctor may recommend exploring surgery as an option for relief.
If the disks in the spinal column are herniated, there may be debilitating pain or numbness that can not only impair movement and use of limbs, but even permanently damage nerves. There are often tests performed to assess the level of potential damage and to better understand if surgery is a viable option. Tests may include hands on manipulation, X-rays, and MRIs. Having the tests performed over a period of time also allows for the doctor to see if the deterioration is progressing and if so, how quickly. This too may help to determine if surgery is needed. Often, in the case of a herniated disk that is not responding to anti-inflammatory medication or shots, the pressure on the nerve will continue. In this case, especially if the patient reports loss of movement or quality of life, back disk surgery becomes an option.
The surgery options to help alleviate or relieve back pain is varied. The different surgery types are tied to the type of cause of the back pain. For those experiencing pain due to a narrowing of the spinal column, or spinal stenosis, the lamina, the matter inside the spinal cord and any obstructions that may be found, such as bone spurs. For those suffering from a slipped disk, spinal fusion may be the surgery option. This back disk surgery involves fusing together disks via bone grafts or screws and rods to prevent the disks from slipping and causing pain and nerve damage.
Because back pain is a common complaint, it is always best to talk with a trusted doctor regarding options for relief. Surgery may not be the best solution, but for some it is. It is recommended to follow the doctor’s recommendations and advice for relief, whether back disk surgery is the best solution or otherwise.