Avoiding Surgery with Smart Decisions

Did you know that two of the largest insurance companies in America require four weeks of conservative treatment be provided before surgery is an option for neck and back conditions?  What this tells me is that your worst time of pain (the first four weeks) is also the worst time to make a poor decision of having irreversible emergency surgery.  Today’s Ounce of Prevention is geared at setting you up for success after low back pain occurs.

Ice is your best friend!  Applying ice for 20 min, taking it off for an hour and then repeating several times will help decrease inflammation.  With pain and injury there is inflammation.  Heat helps inflammation get there, faster / gasoline on a fire.  This includes heating pads, hot packs or Therma-Care patches.

Move…well!  Dr. Gordon Waddell, MD (author of “The Back Pain Revolution”) says,”…a death sentence for a bad back is bed rest”.  Movement that is relatively pain free, such as walking or doctor prescribed exercise, is always better than lying in bed and waiting for the pain to go away.

However, trying to painfully stretch out a back or neck problem frequently makes you much worse!

Every patient and condition is unique.  A print out full of exercises for “back pain” or a YouTube video is dangerous if not given to the right patient.  For example, bending forward is often good advice for a person with facet arthritis but will make a disc bulge turn into herniation.  Your back needs an accurate diagnosis and specific treatment to repair the right way, so it gets better and stays better.  If you are suffering with pain that lasts more than two days call us, if this is your second time around with the same problem or you are thinking about surgery, DEFINITELY, call us!

I send patients to the best surgeons EVERY time it is necessary, but should be avoided if possible.  If a patient fails to get better after four weeks of my care, I pride myself in knowing that they needed it and in setting them up for success during recovery after surgery.  If your back “goes out”, follow the generic advice in this month’s article and you will be so glad you did in the long run.  For more information, please browse the rest of our site and then call us!