Low back pain has become one of the most significant medical and socio-economic problems in western societies. Low back problems affect almost everyone sometime during their lifetime. Low back complaints that are potentially related to work are the most common problems presented to occupational health and primary care providers. For persons under age 45, low back problems are the most common cause of disability.
Most medical treatments for getting rid of low back pain only focus on getting rid of symptoms. For instance, a cortisone shot in your back may deaden your nerves for a short time, but the pain’s still going to be there waiting for you when it wears off. Medications do much the same thing, but leave you open to potentially dangerous side effects. Other treatments like physical therapy may be used.
To have a surgeon cut you open to repair damage to whatever they think is wrong with you is a pretty drastic decision. You know you don’t want this option. There are too many questions: What if they’re wrong? What if my problem doesn’t go away? What if it gets worse? This kind of thing happens with surgery all the time. In fact, back surgery is often the most ineffective form of surgery there is. According to the official Clinical Practice Guidelines put out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Surgery has been found to be helpful in only 1 in 100 cases of low back problems…even having a lot of low back pain does not by itself, mean you need surgery. There is a better option!