When Is Back Surgery a Good Idea?

If conventional therapies dont relieve your pain, it may be time to consider surgery. Just make sure youve given your current treatment time to work.

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Back pain affects eight out of 10 people at some point in their lives. Most back problems can be treated with noninvasive therapies, such as anti-inflammatory medications, rest, and physical therapy. But some conditions may require surgery, and its important to know when surgery is the right option for you. "If you have a condition that is amenable to surgery, such as spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine that puts pressure on your nerves and spinal cord) or a herniated disk, and if youve tried a conservative method of treatment but your condition has worsened or has not gotten better, its reasonable to consider surgery," says Augusto Hsia Jr., MD, a physician with Cleveland Clinics Center for Spine Health.
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