back surgery

Turning your back on back surgery


Men considering surgery for back pain relief may benefit from more conventional treatment methods.

Back pain remains one of the top reasons people seek medical care for pain or back surgery. For many older men, the source of their pain is spinal osteoarthritis.

Finding relief is an ongoing struggle, but men should think hard before turning to surgery without first trying less invasive treatments. “No one ever goes from initial back pain to needing treatment, unless the pain is due to something like cancer or an infection,” says Dr. Steven Atlas, an internist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “You can’t fix arthritis. Treatment may help control the pain in some cases, so you can function better, but it won’t cure your pain — no matter what doctors may promise.”

There are some do’s and don’ts for you to keep active and healthy during the time of back surgery:

DO eat healthily:

As a doctor, I can not stress this enough, since, to control any pain eating healthy could be the first and foremost solution. Do not smoke, drink or eat fast-food before or after surgery. Take your supplements as per the doctor’s advice.

DO give your body a little stress

Too much workout can make the body sore. But, if you are experiencing back pain or just done with the surgery, make sure to do an easy stretching or walking as per your comfort. Sitting ideal can result in blood cot and circulation issues right after your surgery.

DO give thought to the second opinion

Always make sure to choose a surgeon who has specialization and a healthy amount of experience. In case of any doubt, reassure with multiple surgeons and perform an active analysis to choose the right one for you. It is likely a red flag if a doctor negates about getting a second opinion. It is always healthy and safe to consult multiple experts and choose what fits your viewpoint.

DO involve your family

Your closed ones should be aware of your surgery, since, it can take weeks and even months to get back on your feet after back surgery. Therefore, it is always wise to include your family members and take their support whenever necessary. You are not alone in this.

“After my surgery, I was in kind of a rough patch. When my relatives came to see me, they were in surprise. However, after having a second surgery they understood and we communicated before what can be done.” Rick says. “Even after the surgery completed, my body felt slightly sore and I knew that I would need an extra hand for a few days”.

Don’t view as surgery to  all in one solution

Depending on back surgery single-handedly will not do any good, and it may make you lose hope. Rather make sure to keep a healthy weight, and eating healthily. Applying these steps can help you reduce back pain and reduce the chances of performing back surgery again.

Avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Drugs like aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen can make your blood thinner and it might also increase the chances of your back surgery again. Girardi says. Other drugs for heart supplements and medications similar to omega-3 fatty acids have higher chances to thin your blood. It also makes the drugs inactive which your doctor uses while performing your back surgery. Knowing prescribed medication is crucial and you can always consult your surgeon for that.

Make sure to sit with your surgeon and inform them about the prescribed pill you take.

Limit your movements

After back surgery, it is vital to keep your spinal alignment in proper shape. You will be instructed on how to sit, reposition, walk, and move properly. In addition to that, in bed, you are advised to take up a “log rolling” technique. This exercise will move your body as a single unit, which will avoid the chances of twisting of the spine.