If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain, don't
rush off to get surgery. There is considerable evidence supporting
value of conservative, nonsurgical treatments for back pain;
further, a study in The New England Journal of Medicine
asserts that surgery is overused for the treatment of back
The study in question, which served to defined guidelines
for low back pain (LBP) treatment, states that intervention
is only recommended for back pain that persists beyond three
weeks. Among the treatments recommended to minimize the recurrence
of chronic LBP were intensive strengthening exercise and aerobic
conditioning. Also, the study states that radiography and
more advanced imaging procedures (i.e., MRI) are overused
and should be considered only in cases of severe nerve pain,
loss of function, or suspicion of underlying systemic disease.
And here's the most important point: Surgery should only be
considered after all conservative methods have failed.
Among these alternatives to medical intervention, the report
finds chiropractic care to be effective and massage therapy
to show promise. The study does not recommend bedrest for
chronic LBP or pain from nerve involvement. The main recommendation,
based upon this study's new guidelines, is a rapid return
to normal activities, which includes a regular regiment of
exercise to keep the back and leg muscles conditioned.
Deyo R, Weinstein J, et al. Low back pain. The New England
Journal of Medicine 2001:344(5), pp363-369.
For more information on back pain, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/backpain.html