When is it a good idea to seek surgery to relieve spine pain?

When is surgery a good idea if you are suffering from neck or back pain? This question isn’t always easy to answer. Everyone’s situation is unique, for instance the spine condition you’re suffering from, the intensity of your symptoms, your personal characteristics and your medical history might affect the decision as to whether surgery is right for you.

A variety of conditions and risks can cause neck or back pain, such as aging, natural wear, traumatic injury or degenerative spine conditions such as spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis and radiculopathy. When discussing surgery with your doctor, it’s likely he or she will recommend other treatment options first, such as the conservative options outlined in this article.

Other options for treatment

Neck and back pain are issues that many people will deal with at some point in their lives, but that doesn’t mean everyone suffering from this pain needs surgery. In fact, many nonsurgical treatments are often effective in easing the pain, weakness, numbness and tingling that is typically associated with spinal conditions. Here are a few of the conservative treatment options available for you to consider before seriously pursuing back surgery:

  • Pain medications
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Low-impact exercises
  • Stretching exercises
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Physical therapy
  • Homeopathic remedies

Your doctor can help you find the right treatment plan that works for your symptoms and medical history. You should always consult your doctor before starting or changing a treatment for neck or back pain to avoid worsening your symptoms.

The next step in back pain relief

If you attempt these nonsurgical methods for several weeks or months but they are not providing sufficient pain relief, you may need to discuss surgical options with your doctor. When you’ve exhausted all other avenues and your symptoms are causing a severe decrease in your quality of life, surgery may be your best option for pain relief.

Minimally invasive alternatives

The decision to undergo spinal surgery is an extremely important and potentially difficult one to make. Traditionally, open back surgeries to treat neck and back pain have required a large incision in the patient’s neck or back, disruption of neck or back muscles to provide access to the patient’s spine and a long recovery following the procedure.

However, the minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute can help you rediscover your life without back pain. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional spine surgery and provides many advantages, such as a lower risk of complication and shorter recovery periods.^ Contact us to learn more about the benefits of our outpatient surgery.

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. By using a small incision that is muscle-sparing, our highly skilled surgeons are able to relieve your debilitating symptoms and get you back to the activities you have been missing out on. Reach out to a member of our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for our procedures.