Is Back Surgery What I Need?

Physiotherapist working with patient in clinic closeup At Coastal Spine, we understand that an aching back is a sure-fire way to ruin your day. Even the most menial tasks become exponentially more difficult when your back doesn’t cooperate.

Back pain is more common than you think. Studies suggest that chronic back pain affects nearly 16 million adults.

How do you know if it’s time to consider back surgery? Here are a few tips to help you make an informed decision, as well as how to heal.

When Surgery Isn’t Necessary

Back pain becomes more common as we age, and the integrity of our spine deteriorates over time. For daily aches and pains, experts recommend :

  • Heat
  •  Ice
  •  Anti-inflammatory medication 
  • And in some cases, spinal injections.

In most cases, these methods are enough to tackle back pain. Getting proper exercise has also been effective in preventing and treating back pain.

However, surgery is used as a last resort when these methods aren’t enough for the job.

When You Need Back Surgery

Several factors contribute to the need for back surgery, including degenerative disk disease, a spinal injury, pain that doesn’t subside, or a slipped disk that hasn’t healed.

The pain these conditions cause can be excruciating, and when traditional methods don’t help, your doctor may suggest a more aggressive action to help.

Misconceptions About Back Surgery

Many people believe that back surgery is too risky, making them unwilling to consider it a viable option. As a result, they prolong their suffering. People often fear that back surgery will lead to losing the ability to walk or being stuck in their bed for months. As we continue to understand more about the spine, more efficient, less invasive procedures have become available.

Recovery From Back Surgery

If your doctor determines that back surgery is what you need, they can design a plan to safely perform the procedure and help you find relief. Recovery times can look different depending on your situation.

Some procedures allow you to go home the same day, while others require a short 1-3 day hospital stay. You must have plenty of help available when you return home, as you will be unable to lift, twist or stretch. You’ll also need to follow your surgeon’s advice on how to get out of bed, how often you should stand, and how to sleep. Your recovery after the procedure typically depends on the type of procedure performed and your health beforehand. A general recovery time of 12 weeks is anticipated for most patients.

If you want to learn more about your options for treating back pain, call us at Coastal Spine to schedule an appointment at any of our five offices. Reach out to us today at (856) 222-4444. 

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