Alternatives to lumbar back surgery

If you are dealing with chronic symptoms related to a lumbar (lower) spine condition and are wondering if back surgery may be an option, it is important to understand the wide range of treatments available that are an alternative to surgery. In fact, a large number of patients are able to find lasting relief by following their doctor’s recommendation for lifestyle changes and conservative treatments without having to resort to surgery.

Conservative treatments for lower back pain

There are a variety of conservative treatments for the degenerative conditions, such as spinal arthritis or a herniated disc, which can affect the lumbar spinal region. The goal of initial nonsurgical therapy is to help manage pain, improve mobility and promote the long-term health of the spine. Common conservative treatment options include:

  • Pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching
  • Low-impact exercise
  • Hot/cold compresses
  • Lifestyle changes like posture improvement, weight management plans and quitting smoking

More targeted pain management techniques such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and cortisone injections may also help to relieve symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in the lower back and/or the lower extremities.

When trying the above treatment options, maintain good communication with your doctor. Let your doctor know which treatments have worked and which ones haven’t. Also, keep track of the time of day and how many times throughout the day you administer treatments, and if any treatments seem to worsen pain. Spine surgery is typically considered after attempting a course of nonsurgical therapies for at least three to six months without finding the relief necessary for a good quality of life.

Minimally invasive lumbar back procedures

If the prospect of a highly invasive traditional open spine surgery has you concerned, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative.^

Our procedures have the following benefits:

  • Are performed on an outpatient basis
  • A less than 1-inch incision
  • No lengthy recovery^
  • A lower risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery^

We have helped more than 75,000 patients since 2005 and we want to make sure you have all the information you need to explore the treatment options available to you. Ask for your free MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.