The Vault

At some point of their lives, everyone will experience at least one acute low back pain episode. The majority of these episodes can get better without the need for surgery, but some suffering from back pain still wonder if they need to consult an orthopedic spine surgeon to undergo back surgery.

If you’re experiencing low back pain, you should visit your primary care physician for a physical exam before going to a spine surgeon. Your doctor can prescribe medication, such as non-steroidal inflammatory drugs, or suggest physical therapy. Alternatively, you can visit a chiropractor that specialized in adjusting the spine in order to alleviate their patients’ low back pain. Exercise and back care education, such as proper posture, ergonomics and stretching, are usually the first line of back pain defense.

Many patients get better through medication, therapy, and other non-surgical treatments without having the need to see a spine surgeon. However, if such treatments fail to provide you relief, surgery may be considered. Low back surgery can correct anatomical conditions if your back pain is caused by spinal instability or nerve pinching. Surgery is only considered when these problems are seen on an imaging study and the symptoms match the radiographic picture. Back surgery will not be considered if results from the MRI scan, CT scan, or discography fail to identify the pain’s anatomic cause.

The decision on whether you undergo back surgery or not depends on you. The spine surgeon can give you enough information about the pros and cons of the procedure to help you make your decision. You may want to consider seeing a spine surgeon first when your back pain:

  • Did not improve with non-surgical treatments;
  • Is so severe that it can no longer be eased by medication;
  • Hinders you from functioning and doing your everyday activities.

If you’re unsure whether you require spine surgery, contact Spine Center of Texas. We can guide you through this painful stage of your life and help you get back to the life you deserve.

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