Did you know…That many patients have told me that some of their friends and family believe that their severe pain doesn’t have much effect on their activities or quality of life. These patients get the idea that they just need to toughen up and it will go away.
Did you know…Some have even told me that some of their family and friends said that they were exaggerating for attention?
Did you know…treatments for these types of pain have improved over the past years?
Did you know…the risks of back or neck surgery are great with danger of infection, nerve injury, failed surgery, and scar tissue, setting the stage for pain and loss of enjoyment of life?
Did you know…some studies show the failure rate of back surgery to be as high as 50%? For single-level spinal fusions, as few as 40% of patients obtain significant pain relief. Microdiscectomy’s overall success rate is only 74%. www.emaxhealth.com/2/45/28350/unnecessary-spinal-surgery-will-waste-billions-2009.html
Did you know…There’s a term that is used a lot in orthopedic and medical circles "Failed Back Surgery Syndrome?" The greatest risk factors for having a second back operation is having one in the first place. And the greatest risk factor for having a third operation is having two previous surgeries.
Did you know…surgery is sometimes the only option, but this is an emergency situation. People in this condition will usually have loss of bowel or bladder function or footdrop. But 99% of the general population with back pain will never experience these symptoms, yet they suffer in a way that is not quite an emergency but feels like an emergency because the pain just never goes away.
About 40% of adults will have back pain in the next month and anywhere from 60 to 90% will have back pain at some point in their lives. These facts come from studies all over the world, The United States, Canada, Sweden and other countries researching and studying this back pain "epidemic".
Considering Back Surgery?
You might be thinking that severe chronic back, leg, nerve, disc or neck pain can be fixed with surgery. It seems logical at first thought. Why can’t the surgeon just remove the painful thing in my lower back or neck like taking out a tumor? Surgeons especially recognize that back or neck pain alone is generally not a good indication for spinal surgery. No surgeon would recommend surgery for someone just because of pain. Epidural procedures, often a first treatment offered to help severe pain, also have serious side effects. If you have been scheduled or contemplating surgery or an epidural procedure, call and schedule a no charge consultation right away. You may be able to avoid that procedure or surgery!
Your determination to try everything possible, giving yourself a real chance before having surgery, will mean everything to your chances for success. Anything less can lead to a downward spiral of pain and potentially lifetime disability. Surgery is no cure at all. There is something between the option of drastic, unproven, and irreversible spinal surgery and just doing nothing at all. But first, let’s discuss 5 back pain myths…
A patient would typically hurt his back or neck, go see the doctor, get a prescription for some pain pills, and then never return. One study found out that 75% of patients will still have back pain a year later. Many patients will also go to see other therapists and chiropractors, never telling their family medical doctor about what they are doing.
I mean it’s just an aching back, leg, or neck. It’s hard to get sympathy from your family, friends, and co-workers when you’re not bleeding or bedridden. But there is research that shows just how seriously this pain affects your quality of life. One study showed that physical functioning in patients with back or neck pain is very low. So if you think your life has been completely turned upside down by your nagging pain - there is a very good reason why you think this: IT PROBABLY HAS!
Taking this type of approach could lead to serious complications with your health. NSAIDs is an abbreviation for non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They’re not steroids (like cortisone) and are thought to be less toxic to the body. They are for the most part, but being less toxic doesn’t mean something is safe, especially if you take NSAIDs for a long time. These drugs can be purchased “over the counter” and by “prescription.” The ones that are only available with a doctor’s prescription are much more powerful in their effect and can cause more complications.
People with severe back, leg, nerve, disc or neck problems may suffer over many years and even decades. NSAIDs can cause bleeding in the stomach and intestines and lead to ulcers. Kidney injury is another complication, which increases with the number of pills consumed. These complications are seen in those who consume NSAIDs for many years. Check the information that comes with the prescription and you’ll see it all there printed in black and white. If it’s an “over the counter” product like ibuprofen, you can read it on the side of the bottle.
You may have seen ads on TV for various drugs with cautionary phrases such as “simple blood tests will be needed to see if you have liver problems.” It’s very deceptive to the public. Yes, the blood test is “simple,” but liver failure is not a obviously a major problem.
Not too long ago we would prescribe two weeks of bed rest for back or neck pain. It certainly seems logical at first glance. Maybe it hurts to move, to sit, stand, and resting an injured area seems like the right thing to do to protect it. But logic can be deceptive when it comes to back or neck pain. Inactivity can actually make back, leg, nerve, disc or neck pain worse. It can decondition your spinal muscles and make them weaker, resulting in more pain and less function for you.
Pain is a signal that there is something wrong with your body. It tells you to “be careful” and to “give attention.” It’s kind of like a fire alarm. It’s not the fire. When a house is burning, the firefighters don’t just show up to cut the fire alarm and expect the inferno will stop? Of course not! But that’s just how many people approach back and neck pain - just cut the fire alarm.
A U.S. government guideline from 1994 attempted to dispel this myth. The guideline talks about back problems and not just back pain. Problems can be how you function, how your spine moves, and the actual structure(s) in your back that are injured. The problem is often in the spinal vertebrae and the discs and nerves between the vertebrae. It’s important to have your problem(s) examined objectively. Those who have depended on pain pills in the past to get through the day will have an increasingly more difficult time getting the medications. With our opiod crisis in the U.S., most medical doctors are becoming very reluctant to prescribe pain medicine to treat symptoms for more than the short term. They too are reaching out for other alternatives for the neck and back pain patients.
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