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.

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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