As anywhere else in the United States, Orange County chronic back pain treatment professionals are never short of patients to attend to. Specialists in various types of treatment fill their days trying to ease the suffering of people afflicted with the loss of functional ability, quality of life and work,oftenbrought about by a painful spine or disc condition.
If you are one of those sufferers working your way through the various Orange County chronic back pain treatment clinics without finding anything but temporary relief, you may well be wondering if there is any “best” treatment for persistent back pain.
The Challenges of Treating Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain can be caused by multiple factors or may sometimes have no easily identifiable cause. This often results in treatment being administered which addresses only the pain itself and not the cause. As an example of such a situation, take a person who once suffered a back injury, now long since healed. For some inexplicable reason, the person still lives with constant back pain. While there is now no known cause for the pain, it is no less real, since the person’s nerves are sending genuine pain signals to the brain.
Even when a cause is diagnosed, some treatments designed to address it fail to do so. Surgical intervention in particular, is notoriously unreliable in effectively resolving a diagnosed spine or disc problem causing chronic pain: hence the term “failed back surgery syndrome” or FBSS.
Orange County Chronic Back Pain Treatment Methods
Some of the conservative treatments which chronic back pain sufferers are likely to have tried before turning to surgery include the following:
- Oral medication including over-the-counter painkillers, NSAIDs and prescription drugs
- Steroid injections
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Heat and cold treatments
There are other forms of treatment available, ranging from naturopathic products which may or may not have any effect at all tohigh powered laser and spinal decompression therapies. The latter are in fact proving to be far more consistently successful than many combinations of hands-on and medical treatments.
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy in Orange County
Whether or not you have undergone any other form of treatment for your chronic back pain, I strongly recommend considering spinal decompression treatment, especially as a first alternative to surgical intervention. Spinal decompression is a revolutionary treatment, scientifically proven to deliver pain relief and in many cases to halt or reverse the progression of common conditions such as bulging or herniated discs and DDD.
Comprising a course of 20 to 25 treatment sessions over an eight to twelve-week period, spinal decompression involves the use of sophisticated apparatus controlled by a powerful computer. The apparatus applies a beneficial pumping action to your spine which generates negative pressures within your discs. This creation of a vacuum delivers nutrients and oxygen to the source of pain, reduces pressure on your nerves from protruding, bulging or herniated discs and can also cause bulging discs to retract and restore themselves to the correct position.
Along with a higher success rate than surgery and medication, patients who undergo non-surgicalspinal decompression therapy in Orange County find that the treatment offers the following advantages:
- No side-effects from treatment
- No use of drugs
- No pain involved in the therapy
- Early reduction of chronic back pain attacks, both in frequency and severity
- None of the risks inherent with surgical spinal procedures
- Spinal decompression successfully treats many causes of back pain, not just the symptoms
Many chronic back pain sufferers have reported that their pain is reduced to a more manageable level within the first few sessions of spinal decompression therapy. Furthermore, in a high percentage of cases, a full course of treatments results in successful resolution of the disorder or condition causing the pain, allowing the recipient a return to normal active living – with no surgery required.
One Orange County wellness care provider, Orange County Wellness Physicians Medical Center, has patented a system utilizing non-surgical spinal decompression to achieve a staggering success rate of 89.9%, with success being defined as the patient’s return to a pain-free, active life, as enjoyed before the onset of chronic back pain.
The Spine and Disc Restoration SystemTM
The Spine and Disc Restoration SystemTMis the unique program created and used successfully in 89.9% of cases by Orange County Wellness Physicians, a renowned and respected provider of non-surgical spinal decompression therapy in Orange County. This system uses spinal decompression, along with class 4 deep tissue laser therapy and other scientifically proven treatments to address and correct the causes of chronic back pain.
The program is tailored specifically to each patient’s condition, physiology and circumstances. In fact it is so specific that only six out of ten prospective patients qualify for treatment under the system. If you elect to try the SDR SystemTM you will need first to receive an extensive evaluation over two comprehensive visits to the medical center. However, if you are otherwise considering surgery, with its inherent risks and uncertainty of success (up to 40% of spinal surgery patients receive little or no long term relief from chronic back pain), there can be little to lose from applying first for treatment under the Spine and Disc Restoration SystemTM.
If your or someone you know with chronic back pain has not yet tried other conservative treatments, taking a consultation for this program with its unparalleled success rate could save you a lot of time, expense and endurance of pain. Rather than doing the rounds of medical, chiropractic and other health care providers hoping to hit upon the one treatment that works in relieving your suffering, why not phone Orange County Wellness Physicians on 866-303-9355 to arrange a consultation?
If you are one of the 30% or more of Orange County residents suffering with chronic neck or back pain, there comes a point at which almost anything seems better than continuing with day after day of impaired mobility and reliance on pain killing drugs to get through any 24 hour period.
However before agreeing to undergo surgery, you should definitely first be sure that there is no other way to get successful chronic pain relief in Orange County. While that means you may need to try treatment options which weren’t in your plans, I can’t stress enough that it’s worth going to the trouble to try and find a non-surgical alternative before resorting to surgical intervention. Other options are available and some of them are far safer, as well as being more effective than surgery.
Orange County Pain Relief – Non Surgical Options
If you’ve been in pain for three months or more, you will probably have tried at least some forms of treatment, either to manage your pain or to try and resolve its cause. A few of the treatments which Orange County pain relief specialists might apply or recommend are:
Medication – Usually the first treatment tried by chronic pain sufferers. Medication can comprise anything from over-the-counter painkillers and NSAIDs to painful epidural steroid injections into the spine. These drugs are at best, only a Band-Aid approach to pain relief, since they don’t address the cause of the pain and must be used continuously to keep your pain levels manageable. At worst, they can do you more harm than good, especially over the longer term.
Physical Therapy and Self-Care – This approach can also do little more than help you to manage your chronic pain although incorporating lifestyle changes into a self-care program can help to slow down or even halt the progression of spinal disc disorders. Physical therapy can help improve your flexibility and range of motion, which can in turn reduce muscle stiffness and limit your pain to some extent.
Chiropractic Care and Therapeutic Massage – A number of Orange County non-surgical chronic pain relief specialists advocate chiropractic care and/or massage techniques to manage pain and, in the case of chiropractic care, to address the cause. For some chronic pain sufferers, regular sessions of chiropractic adjustment, along with changes in lifestyle prove successful. For others, the treatment may do little more than provide temporary respite.
Like many others who seek chronic pain relief in Orange County, you may already have tried one or more of these well-known treatments as part of your efforts to regain the quality of life you enjoyed before your symptoms set in. You may even have undergone a program combining some of these treatments to no avail. If so, there are two more forms of treatment which are used by some Orange County pain relief experts. These are deep tissue laser treatment and non-surgical spinal decompression.
Deep Tissue Laser Treatment
A safe and painless treatment, deep tissue laser therapy uses photonic energy to penetrate deeply into your body and target areas of tissue damage which cause chronic pain. Suitable for treating a wide range of spinal and other conditions, the powerful class 4 deep tissue lasers used for this method of therapy act on the sites of pain to provide optimal conditions for your body to heal itself.
The effectiveness of deep tissue laser therapy is indisputable, as evidenced by over 100 positive studies. However if you decide to look for a specialist using laser treatment for chronic pain relief in Orange County, it’s important to check that the clinic uses only 15 watt class 4 lasers. Some physicians use different laser types which are not effective for treating sites of pain deep inside your body, such as in your spinal area.
The use of a class 4 deep tissue laser can be even more effective for treating the pain caused by disc and spine problems when combined with another revolutionary type of therapy. Spinal decompression treatment is provided by some Orange County non-surgical chronic pain relief specialists and when used alongside laser therapy has proven to deliver remarkably successful outcomes.
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression
Spinal decompression is focused on treating spinal disc conditions such as spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and bulging or herniated discs. These conditions are often behind the symptoms experienced by patients seeking chronic pain relief in Orange County and elsewhere in California. This treatment uses automated apparatus to subject your spine to a gentle pumping action which generates a vacuum effect within the discs.
The vacuum created by the apparatus acts to reverse disc compression, which is what happens when discs degenerate over time or following an accident or injury. As such spinal decompression is a direct form of treatment acting on the root cause of pain. The decompression forces can reduce the pressure on your nerves caused by damaged discs. If any of your discs are bulging or herniated, decompression can promote retraction. Over the course of a number of treatments, your pain will diminish and your faulty discs can actually heal.
OCWP for Chronic Pain Relief in Orange County
OCWP practices spinal decompression and Class 4 deep tissue laser therapy to successfully treat the causes, not just the symptoms of chronic pain. If you are at your wits end with constant pain, discomfort and the inability to function as you once did, even if you have already had surgery, our physicians can help you. If you haven’t yet undergone surgery, we recommend you download our free report detailing ten things you really must be aware of before you elect to have a surgical intervention for a spinal condition.
For optimum health, the discs in your spine need two things more than anything else – Water and movement. Providing the first of these requirements is easy and straightforward to accomplish. All you need to do is drink plenty of water to keep your body, including your spinal discs hydrated. Meeting the latter need requires a little more focus, especially in the midst of the busy, yet sedentary lives that many of us tend to lead.
Why Your Spinal Discs Need Movement
The nucleus or inner-most core of our spinal discs are a bit like balls of jelly and when healthy are hydrophilic, which means they attract water. However in order to attract water effectively and remain sufficiently hydrated, our discs need to keep on the move. This becomes even more important as we age, since whether we are aware of it or not, the structure of our spinal discs degenerates little by little as the years pass by.
Regular exercise and correcting postural problems associated with sitting for long hours is important whether or not your spinal discs are currently healthy. Providing them with the movement they need will help keep you free from problems causing neck or lower back pain, as well as preventing disc degeneration. If you already have a disc disorder, moving your way to a healthier spinal disc is not just beneficial, it can also be a very enjoyable way to spend some recreational time.
Ways to Use Movement for Spinal Health
You can begin to focus on keeping your spinal discs healthy through movement with nothing more complicated than a few stretches. If you start every day with some stretching exercises you will feel invigorated as well as being a step closer to optimal disc health. Next come a few simple lifestyle changes to become more physically active, especially if your job has you sitting all day or you’re just not accustomed to aerobic exercise.
For example, walking and cycling are two low impact forms of aerobic exercise which you may be able to incorporate into your daily life. If you live close to your workplace, consider walking or cycling to and from work each day. Even if you take public transport into work, walking home can be a great way to switch out of work mode and see your community from a different viewpoint. At the same time you will be actively working out those spinal discs.
Of course if you want to take the exercise regime a step further, you could swim a few times per week or join a gym and use their aerobic equipment. Another form of exercise you could invest time in is Pilates, which is a pleasurable way to work out and great for spinal disc health.
Pilates for a Healthy Spine
Pilates is a low impact exercise program which emphasizes alignment of the spine and strengthening of the core muscles which support it. More specifically, Pilates focuses on the following principles:
- Using mental concentration to enhance muscle control and movement efficiency
- The use of breathing to maintain concentration and to remain centered
- Maintaining neutral spine alignment during all exercises
- Development of the abdominal muscles and deep muscles in your back
- Building muscle strength, length and flexibility
There are two main formats of the Pilates exercise system and you can choose the format that you prefer. One format is focused on the use of unique equipment, while the other consists of mat exercises without the use of any apparatus.
Pilates is suitable even if you suffer from a condition which causes lower back pain (although you should always check with your physician before starting any exercise program). In this case it can be beneficial to have some private sessions with a Pilates instructor initially, as it can be critical to perform the exercises correctly. After a while you should be able to safely move on to less expensive group Pilates classes.
The beauty of Pilates is that although many of the movements can be challenging, the best exercises for spinal disc health are the simplest ones to learn. These movements are the ones which focus most on correct spinal alignment, movement of the hips and shoulders and strengthening of your core muscles. Even better, once you have learned these exercises you can easily practice them at home to keep improving the health of your discs in between group sessions.
Remember – It Costs More to Do Nothing
Joining a gym, taking yoga or Pilates classes and even going to the local pool might cost a few dollars. However that’s nothing compared to the financial and personal costs of chronic lower back or neck pain and those associated with treating spinal disc disorders. Think of any money you spend as an investment in the only spine you will ever have – Surely a worthy cause.
Even if you don’t want to shell out for organized exercise programs, taking a daily walk and stretching to start the day cost nothing, whereas doing nothing could ultimately cost you a lot of lost earnings as well as the quality of life you have when your spinal discs are healthy and hydrated.
If there is one form of surgery which should only ever be considered as an absolute last resort, it would be back surgery. However in some cases, surgery becomes inevitable if there is to be any chance of reducing chronic back pain and regaining some quality of life. If you have a spinal disorder and have elected to undergo invasive surgery, there are some important things you should know about looking after your back following your procedure. To help prepare you for life after back surgery, here is some guidance to the essential elements of post-surgery spinal care.
Lifestyle After Back Surgery
After you’ve undergone your surgery, your doctor will advise you about post-surgical spinal care and will probably refer you for physical therapy to assist recovery. In addition to following your physician’s recommendations, there are certain habits which you should form to ensure the fullest and fastest recovery from your surgery. In any event, recovery from back surgery is a slow process, but by making the right lifestyle choices you can help to shorten your recovery time.
- Avoid sitting for long periods: Apart from being uncomfortable after back surgery, it’s hard to maintain a healthy posture when you spend prolonged periods in a seated position. Therefore it’s a good idea to get up and move around every half an hour or so.
- Limit alcohol intake: Keeping a positive state of mind is important when recovering from back surgery. Alcohol is a depressant so should be avoided as much as possible.
- Avoid Smoking: Nicotine slows down the ability of your body to heal after surgery and is known to contribute to back pain. If you are a smoker, quitting after surgery cannot be recommended strongly enough
- Maintain a healthy weight: The more you weigh, the more loading you place on your lower back. Try to achieve and maintain your optimum weight.
- Follow a nutritious diet: Getting the right nutrients into your body is doubly important when recovering from back surgery. Sticking to a well-balanced, nutritious diet will speed the healing process. You should also drink several glasses of water each day to maintain hydration.
The Importance of Being Active
You should commence a program of activity immediately following your surgery and gradually build up your activity levels from that point on. Remaining active is one of the most important factors in successful back surgery recovery. Immediately after your surgery, your activity should be limited to walking. This is a low load activity which should be suitable for you unless your physician says otherwise.
Obviously your walks will initially be limited to taking a few steps around the hospital ward, wearing supportive shoes which you will probably need some assistance to put on. Take these short walks several times a day. Over the next six weeks you should continue to walk a few times every day, gradually increasing the distance and walking pace. However you should try to avoid hills when walking and stick to flat, level surfaces.
After a couple of weeks, you can add swimming pool sessions to further enhance the healing process. Swimming is a great way to start building the strength in your muscles and improve spinal mobility without placing undue loads on your back.
Preventative Spinal Care for the Long Haul
At around three weeks after your back surgery, I strongly advise you to make an appointment with a physical therapist. The exercises you will have been given immediately following surgery will need to be upgraded to help you start safely returning to normal functional activity. Try to work with a physical therapist with an exercise-based practice, a Pilates studio for example.
Depending on the type of back surgery that you undergo, at some point from a few months to a year after your operation, the importance of starting a program of preventative care can’t be overstated. This is where a chiropractor can help you tremendously. Even successful back surgery can leave you with some pain for a long time after the procedure and a chiropractor can help to relieve that pain and prevent further spinal damage.
Chiropractic care will help you by relaxing your muscles and realigning any vertebrae which may have become misaligned during your recovery from surgery. You should continue with regular exercise and visits to your chiropractor for the rest of your life. This will go a long way to keeping you from needing more back surgery in the future.
If Chronic Pain Persists
If you are unfortunate enough to still suffer chronic back or neck pain one to two years after your procedure, especially if chiropractic care isn’t able to alleviate your discomfort, there are a number of conservative treatments which you can avail of as an alternative to undergoing revision surgery. One of these treatments is called non-surgical spinal decompression, which depending on the type of surgery you had, may be safely administered to provide long-term pain relief.
At OCWP, we can assess your eligibility for this treatment and if you are able to safely receive it, can begin a program which will begin to reduce your neck or lower back pain levels within a few sessions. You can find out more about non-surgical spinal decompression and other conservative spinal care treatments from OCWP by taking some time to browse our website.
In a June 20th article, Florida’s Tampa Bay Times reported how leading medical insurance companies are limiting the circumstances under which they will authorize certain types of spine surgery. The report also details the reasons insurance companies are clamping down. What’s revealed is that one major health insurer carried out a study on its members who had undergone spinal fusion surgery to alleviate lower back pain caused by wear and tear on spinal discs.
Surgery Often Not the Answer for Disc Deterioration
According to the study, a staggering 87% of customers who had undergone the surgery were still using medication or therapy to relieve lower back pain – Two years after the surgical procedures were completed. Moreover, 15% of these customers underwent further subsequent surgery. The Tampa Bay Times article also reveals that even Medicare auditors have expressed dissatisfaction about money being “improperly spent” on lumbar spinal fusions.
The reason for highlighting this article is because it illustrates how common it’s become for us to turn to surgery in treating lower back pain long before the need for a procedure is proven. It also serves to remind us how often surgery fails to relieve the pain and misery that can be caused by degenerative disc disease, bulging and herniated discs or age related disc disorders.
With such a poor success rate, this alone should remind us of the need to relegate surgical treatment to the bottom of the list of spinal back treatment options. If this alone isn’t sufficient reason though, here are four more reasons why spine surgery should only be considered when all else has failed to resolve your back problems.
Reason #2: Surgery is Rarely Necessary
Very often, spinal disc problems resulting from degeneration settle down as the body adjusts. Of course this may take a few months which is a long time when you are in pain. However, by undergoing conservative treatment to alleviate pain and help stabilize the spine, it’s possible to live life normally and to reduce the healing time. This is surely a preferable option to receiving surgical treatment which has no guarantee of being successful.
Reason #3: Successful Surgery May Offer Only Temporary Relief
It’s my guess that if you elect to have spine surgery, your expectation of such a drastic and invasive form of treatment for sciatica pain or lower back pain will resolve the problem for good. Often though, that’s sadly not the case. There are a number of possible reasons for this. For example, if you have degenerative disc disease, a surgical procedure may fix the disc which is causing you pain and after recovering from surgery you may feel great. However the very nature of a degenerative disorder means that the same disc or others will continue to degenerate. At some point the degeneration can cause inflammation and/or nerve irritation to commence once more, taking you back to square one. Furthermore, depending on the nature of your surgery, healthy discs may come under a lot more stress as a result of the procedure. This can cause degeneration to occur much faster than if you had avoided surgery.
Reason #4: Spine Surgery is Risky
Having surgical treatment on your spine is certainly not something to be taken lightly. The risks are greater than in many other forms of surgery. The risks inherent in invasive back surgery include:
- Spinal fluid leaks – The sac of fluid protecting the spinal cord can easily be torn
- Spinal nerve damage – Spine surgery is performed in very close proximity to the nerves
- Spinal infections – Particularly if hardware is used, such as in a spinal fusion
- Bone graft or hardware rejection
All of these spine surgery complications can have serious consequences, meaning invasive procedures should definitely be considered only when absolutely necessary, rather than an elective treatment.
Reason #5: Conservative Treatment is More Effective
Now is a good point at which to ask the following question:
Would you rather have spine surgery, only to find it ineffective and then turn to further surgery or other treatments for your continuing lower back pain; or would you rather receive treatment which is known to be more effective than surgery in the first place, electing only to undergo surgery if the conservative treatments fail?
I think I can guess your answer. However, if you have already been undergoing chiropractic care or other conservative treatments and have still found no respite from your spine or disc disorder, there are two more forms of treatment you can try which are safe and proven to deliver results.
Deep Tissue Laser Treatment and Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression
At Orange County Wellness Physicians Medical Center, we are at the forefront of non-surgical treatments for spine and disc disorders. Our class 4 deep laser therapy and non-surgical spinal decompression treatments offer a higher success rate than surgery in treating degenerative disc disorders, spinal stenosis and bulging or herniated discs. Furthermore these treatments are safe and side-effect free.
Before you elect to have spine surgery, why not consult with us and find out how we can help you to avoid invasive treatment? Just call us on (888) 513-3472. To find out more about why spine surgery should be your last resort, you can access a free report by completing the simple form on our website home page.
While not a disease per se, degenerative disc disease (DDD) can begin to affect us as we age. Over time, our spinal discs deteriorate through simple wear and tear. Every one of us is subject to disc degeneration but depending on how much care we take in looking after our spinal health; it may or may not manifest itself in the form of lower back pain or the onset of conditions such as sciatica.
Very often degenerative disc disease will, at some point in your life begin to cause painful symptoms. Just as often, the painful attacks will subside on their own within two or three months as the affected disc stabilizes and stops causing inflammation or nerve irritation. In fact, this is true in more than 90% of diagnosed DDD cases.
The best approach if you have been diagnosed is to take pain management action to reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups. You can manage your pain successfully without resorting to medication by undergoing treatment from a physical therapist, chiropractor or massage therapist – and also by self-treatment with ice or heat packs applied to the painful area. If you have been suffering with lower back pain for more than three months and there appears to be no sign of stabilization, you may have to take further steps to reduce the impact of your degenerative disc symptoms.
Effective Degenerative Disc Self-Care
If repeated attacks of lower back pain or sciatica symptoms are beginning to get you down, there is actually plenty you can do to help alleviate the problem without the need to consider surgery or even begin the regular use of medication. An effective self-care program can do much to help you live with degenerative disc disease and minimize the degree to which it affects your quality of life.
While continuing with conservative treatment to manage your pain, these are some of the important measures you can take to improve your spinal health:
1) Begin a program of progressive, controlled exercise.
2) Identify general health improvement steps you can take – This will probably involve making some lifestyle changes.
3) Improve your diet and increase your levels of hydration.
Exercise and Activity to Limit Disc Degeneration
The degeneration of your spinal discs can actually be slowed down and even healed by a program of appropriate exercise. Exercising improves the blood circulation and increases the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your spinal discs. Meanwhile, engaging in controlled exercise may also help to relieve leg or lower back pain resulting from DDD through the release of your body’s natural pain killers, endorphins.
The two most appropriate forms of exercise for degenerative disc treatment are aerobic conditioning and stretching. You can increase your mobility by performing a few minutes of stretching exercises when you first wake in the morning and last thing before you sleep. Hamstring stretches in particular can be beneficial if you suffer with lower back pain.
Alternating 30 minutes of walking, biking or swimming every other day with the same duration spent on back strengthening exercises will also maintain your mobility and flexibility as well as help keep your weight under control. If you suffer from quite severe pain, swimming is probably the kindest form of aerobic activity to avoid exacerbating your degree of pain.
Lifestyle, Diet and Hydration
If exercise can curb the progression of degenerative disc disease, changing aspects of your lifestyle which contribute to accelerating the condition is also an important part of a self-care program. Key factors which you should try to change include:
- Avoid spending long periods of time sitting down
- If you do need to sit for long periods, concentrate on maintaining an upright posture
- Avoid remaining in any one position for long periods of time
- Try to avoid lifting heavy objects and if you need to do so, practice safe lifting techniques, which do not involve bending from the waist
- Changing the mattress on your bed to one which is firmer and more supportive
- Sip water frequently throughout the day to improve hydration
- Limit the intake of coffee, tea and sodas which contain caffeine
- Minimize your consumption of alcohol
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet
Most important of all, if you smoke, you should definitely do your utmost to quit. Smoking and in fact any form of nicotine intake seriously reduces the delivery of oxygen to your spinal discs.
If You Need Help to Find Relief from Lower Back Pain
Perhaps you are already engaged in a self-care program for degenerative disc disease and receiving conservative treatments, all to no avail. If so, Orange County Wellness Physicians Medical Center can help you. If terrible back ache is affecting you or a loved one and relief seems impossible to attain, learn about our unique and highly effective Spine and Disc Restoration SytemTM. If you provide us with your email address we will send you all the information you need straight to your inbox. Alternatively, please feel free to give us a call at (888) 513-3472.
If you are ever unfortunate enough to be in a situation where back surgery seems inevitable, you have my sympathies. I sympathize even more if you have already undergone a back surgery which wasn’t successful. The problem is that in many cases, unsuccessful spinal surgery can leave you with more pain and less mobility than you had before the procedure took place.
The Chances of Successful Back Surgery
In reality, the odds of back surgery successfully resolving disc disorders and other spinal conditions are not that good. If you look at the success rate figures from the perspective of the surgical profession, you might see numbers between 80 and 95%. However; what “success” really means from that perspective, is that the surgical procedure is carried out successfully. It doesn’t represent the likelihood that you will be free of pain or that your mobility will be improved following the procedure.
In fact, the failure of back surgery to give back a patient’s quality of life is such a common event that it even has its own name – Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. The term “syndrome” is something of a misnomer here, because it really isn’t a syndrome. However the fact remains that back surgery often fails to deliver the results which were hoped for by the patient. Even more alarming is the fact that many patients end up in more pain following invasive spinal backtreatment such as discectomy or spinal fusion.
A Closer Look at the Odds
Depending on the nature of the surgery you undergo, the chances of remaining in the same condition, or even in worse condition than before the procedure are between 10 and 40%. According to the United Kingdom charity organization “Backcare”, spinal fusion procedures carry a 10 to 20% chance of the patient being in the same amount of pain after the procedure. Another 10 to 20% of procedures will leave the patient in worse pain or requiring further surgery.
In a 2011 study reported by the journal “Spine”, 1450 workers with chronic lower back pain either underwent lumbar fusion, or were treated using non-surgical methods. Two years later, 64% of the non-surgically treated patients were back at work, compared with only 26% of those who had surgery. If your definition of a “successful” spinal back treatment means being able to return to a normal life, then 74% of the surgical procedures in this study were unsuccessful.
Risk of Complications in back Surgery
If you are considering back surgery, you should also be aware of the risks inherent in any invasive spinal procedure. Back surgery carries more risk than many other types of procedure. One of the reasons for this is that the tissues which go under the knife are in very close proximity to delicate nerves. Therefore the risk of nerve damage being caused during surgery is higher than in other parts of the body.
Of course any surgery carries a degree of risk, but in spinal surgery, the risks are not only higher, but the consequences of complications can be very serious. In fact, in 5% of surgical procedures on the spine, a life-threatening or serious event takes place. Complications of back surgery can include:
- Infections setting in after the surgery
- Spinal fluid leaks
- Damage to spinal nerves
Another important thing to remember is that further surgical procedures increase the odds of complications, simply because your exposure to the risks is increased.
The First Surgical Procedure May not be the Last
The reason I mention repeat procedures is because they are far from uncommon for patients who undergo surgical spinal back treatment. In the case of discectomy for example, the repaired disc may herniate a second time and even a third. If this happens and further surgery is performed in each case, the risk of failed back surgery syndrome is greatly increased.
In the case of spinal fusion, the chances of repeat surgery being required are high. The effect of the fusion can cause further parts of the spine to degenerate, to the point where another fusion is required. At this point the odds of ever being free from lower back pain and having a decent range of spinal mobility are stacked against you.
How to Avoid Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
The one sure-fire way to avoid FBSS is to avoid surgery, period. All the research suggests that conservative methods of spinal back treatment are as likely, if not more likely to be effective in giving you long term freedom from the pain and debilitating effects of herniated and bulging discs, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease.
If you are already suffering from regular bouts of terrible backache as a result of failed back surgery, why take the risk of going under the knife again? Here at Orange County Wellness Physicians, our unique, patented SDR SystemTM can resolve the cause of your discomfort without risk of further damage. At the same time, this program of combined deep tissue laser treatment and non-surgical spinal decompression can bring you fast relief from your lower back or neck pain.
If you’d like some details about our Spine and Disc Restoration SystemTM, just provide us with your email address to receive more information. Alternatively you can talk to us directly and schedule a consultation by calling (888) 513-3472.