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Choose Back Surgery As A Last Resort

By Robert Gould

"For years I have suffered from low back pain. For years I have tried just about everything for the pain except having back surgery. From physical therapy, traction, chiropractors, steroid injections, drug therapy, biofeedback tactics, stretching and anything I could think of to relieve the pain. Through the years of suffering from pain it would have been very easy on several occasions to go under the knife and have back surgery in an attempt to help my back and the pain associated with it."

"After seeing several doctors, after a few MRI's, after a CT scan, and a discogram, the general consensus by most physicians was that back surgery was needed. In order to get pain relief from my herniated disc, most doctors told me that surgery was the way to go. I still was not convinced. I heard the horror stories, I talked to the people who had back surgery who told me whatever you do don't do it. I saw the people who had back surgery who could barely walk, walking with a cane. I thought to myself they are hurting worse than they were before. I might be in pain, but at least I can walk without using a walker or a cane."

"Some of the people that I had talked to that had surgery, needed follow up surgery to either repair mistakes made in the first surgery, or to do things they simply did not do in the first surgery. To me this didn't sound very good at all. After talking to a lot of people about this, I think I only found one person that had a successful operation. So I made up my mind not to have surgery for the time being. I started doing excercises that stretched and strenghthen muscles to take pressure off the disks and nerves that cause the pain. I did a lot of mind-over-matter tactics telling myself that I'm too young for surgery, and that I didn't even need surgery. I was a single man with a daughter, and just the work I would miss during the recovery time from having surgery would be devastating within itself. So I was determined to put it off as long as possible. I then told my personal doctor that I had decided not to have surgery. He in turn referred me to a pain management physician."

"After seeing the pain management physician, he also advised me that I should have surgery. I told him at my age, and after thinking it all through, and talking to people who have had surgery, I had decided not to have back surgery until I couldn't stand it anylonger. I told him as long as my bladder is still in control, and the pain is bearable, I will be putting it off as long as I can. This physician didn't seem to like this. He put me on a low dose pain medicine program for a few months, but when I told him that I had decided against surgery, all of a sudden he stopped prescribing pain medications."

"I could not believe this, it seems for deciding against back surgery, my punishment was to stop giving me the medication that did give me the little relief that I desperately needed. So I felt like I was trying to be pressured into having back surgery. I told myself this is my back not theirs, they don't have to live with what happens in a failed back surgery. So to all of those people that are told they need back surgery, think twice. Don't get bullied into having a surgery that might make your life miserable. Remember, its your back, and you have to live with what happens. So only choose back surgery as a last resort."