Back surgery alternatives are treatments designed to control the symptoms of back pain, or even correct the underlying source, without the need for surgical intervention. Alternatives to back surgery can be good, since they eliminate all the risks of an operation. Alternative treatments can also be bad, since most of them require ongoing care in order for the treatment to remain effective. This is the unfortunate compromise of symptomatic spinal care of any variety.
The main thing to consider when learning about alternatives to spinal surgery is that you can always go through with an operation at anytime in the future. With all the unknown variables of any type of surgery, isn’t it best to try everything else first? Certainly.
This is why good doctors will always recommend saving operative interventions as a final option and taking the risk only once more conservative measures have proven fruitless.
This resource section profiles many of the alternative treatments that might allow fortunate patients to avoid undergoing back surgery now or forever.
Most back surgery alternatives are classified as symptomatic treatment. This means that the pain and other symptoms associated with a condition are reduced or eliminated. However, these treatments do not do anything to cure the actual problem causing the symptoms. For a condition that only requires time to heal, symptomatic treatment is fine.
For a chronic back pain problem, symptomatic treatment might involve a lifetime of continuing care. No one wants to be a slave to a pain management program. No one wants to incur the cost of a lifetime of care. There is no doubt that the multi-billion dollar back pain industry has driven the development of many long-term care strategies. Too bad, and non-coincidentally, that there have been almost no major developments towards a medical back pain cure.
Remember, although surgery aims to cure, not treat, it does not always succeed. Surgery offers the hope of resolving pain when everything goes perfectly and the diagnosis is accurate. Never take these 2 variables for granted, as things have a tendency of going wrong with back operations and diagnoses are often invalid. Patient citations showing complete and lasting cures derived via surgical intervention are few and far between.
Chiropractic is the most popular choice among patients who want to avoid drugs and surgery. Chiropractic is an excellent health management practice, but does not demonstrate great results for actually curing the most common types of back pain.
Acupuncture is an ideal non-pharmaceutical pain relief modality that might be more expensive than some patients can afford, especially when used long-term and without insurance coverage.
Exercise therapy can be self-managed or directed by a physical therapist or fitness trainer for flexibility in treatment. Exercise is very effective at providing short-term symptomatic reduction from many diagnosed back pain problems, but cures are virtually unheard of using back exercises.
Massage therapy is a relaxing alternative treatment that can sooth pain and improve overall health.
Electrotherapy usually involves treatment using TENS and might allow some patients to minimize pain without drugs or surgeries over long timelines.
Pain management drugs are the most common of all nonsurgical back pain treatments. Unfortunately, drugs are highly toxic and come with a plethora of unwanted health consequences.
Epidural injections might allow patients to avoid surgery for a time, but statistically, very few patients will ever find curative results from any type of injection therapy.
Spinal decompression offers the most hope for providing a lasting cure without ongoing treatments. This modality is highly recommended for patients with some forms of verified structural pain conditions and is especially suitable for a variety of disc pathologies.
For more information on the full range of therapy options that may allow a patient to avoid surgery, see our resource section titled, back pain treatments.
Yes, there is an alternative to the usual surgical alternatives. Knowledge therapy works on correcting certain types of pain conditions through education alone. The patient will learn exactly why they have pain and how it is connected to their psychoemotional health. By understanding and eliminating the subconscious reasons for the pain to exist, the physical symptoms can sometimes be cured without surgery.
This therapy qualifies as good medicine and good science, since it has been proven to work in tens of thousands of chronic pain patients. However, it is absolutely vital to know that this path towards a cure will never work for verified structural pain, but may work wonders for idiopathic pain and conclusive forms of mindbody suffering.