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Would back surgery cure your back pain?

Myth busting about Back Pain

Common Back Pain Misconceptions

There are more than a few weird ideas about back pain. I can’t possibly cover all of them but wanted to touch on a few of them. If you have heard of others not mentioned here, feel free to comment here or pass them my way.

Myth: “My friend had Back Surgery and it cured them”

Long term studies have now shown that conservative care and natural history most often results in the same outcomes as surgery. A very small number of back pain cases get better results if they have surgery, however this is typically reserved for those who have nerve problems extending into their legs.

The problem is, for those who don’t recover from their back pain, the amount of pain and disability does not often correlate with the size of the disc herniation or the amount of pathology (e.g. Degenerative change) seen on a CT scan or MRI. This means that there are other pain mechanisms involved besides the pathology identified on the film.

Current best evidence is that surgery is restricted to nerve root pain (“Sciatica”) associated with progressive neurologic deficit (“Weakness”) and cauda equina syndrome.

Myth: “My friend was cured by…(insert treatment name here)”

There are no universal causes or cures for back pain. Just because someone you know has found success with a certain treatment method doesn’t necessarily mean you will benefit from that method as well. Your condition and situation are likely quite different from your friends. Gaining knowledge about how a back works and how it gets injured and painful will help you to better understand and seek out treatment approaches that are right for you.

We cover this and much more in Spine Boot Camp so if you want to learn more, contact us.


Call us at (403) 270-7252 to book your Back Pain consultation appointment today!

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