Considering back pain options? Know fact from fiction

Published On: Oct 24 2011 03:03:53 PM EDT
Updated On: Dec 05 2013 02:42:21 PM EST

(NewsUSA) - Back pain is the most common complaint brought to doctors in the U.S. Over 6 million cases are seen annually. For those who suffer from chronic back pain, medical advances now make it possible for those individuals to enjoy their lives once again. Knowing the difference between fact and fiction when considering back pain treatment options is key to a successful outcome.

Fact: Conservative back treatment should be the first option when treating back pain. In as many as 50 percent of all cases, back pain will greatly diminish or disappear within a month with supportive treatments. When conservative measures don't alleviate pain within a few months, surgery may be considered.

Fiction: A diagnosis on what is specifically causing back pain can always be made. A booklet from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases states, "Only with a medical history and exam -- and sometimes medical tests -- can a doctor diagnose the cause of back pain. Many times, the precise cause of back pain is never known."

Fiction: All laser spine surgery centers will be able to achieve the same results. While the United States offers the highest standard of health care in the world, a vast treatment variation exists based on the doctor's experience with minimally invasive laser spine surgery and the spine center that you choose.

Fiction: All minimally invasive laser spine surgery is the same. Minimally invasive surgery is a name given to a wide range of procedures with a common goal: treatment that is less traumatic to the patient, allowing a faster return to a normal lifestyle. All spine surgery has a significant degree of patient risk, but true minimally invasive surgery performed only by a skilled, experienced surgeon, dramatically affects whether you have a chance of being free of back pain.

Fiction: If you are experiencing pain from failed back surgery, there are no other options to relieve pain. While most statistics claim a success rate of approximately 80 percent for open spine surgery, physician practice reports that the actual rate is closer to 50 percent.

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