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Updated on June 4, 2021

Treatment Options for Back Pain

Back pain is a common condition which causes a lot of suffering. The prevalence increases with age because of the constant daily wear and tear on the spine.  It is important to look after your posture and always remember to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your spine. Most back pain can be managed with non-surgical treatment such as pain medications, muscle relaxants and appropriate physiotherapy exercises guided by your physiotherapist or chiropractor.

Click to view NuVasiveInc video on Herniated Disc

Treatment Options

Back surgery may be required if conservative treatments have NOT worked and your back pain continues to be persist.  Back surgery is necessary if the pain is associated with numbness or weakness that goes down one or both legs because this is a sign of compression of your spinal nerves or spinal cord due to;

  • Disc problem due to bulging or ruptured (herniated) intervertebral discs
  • Overgrowth of bone resulting in bony spurs affecting the hinge joints of the spine
  • Spinal stenosis where there is insufficient space in the spinal canal
Image MayoClinic

1. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure which can provide pain relief as well as treatment for mild disc herniation

2. Discectomy involves removal of the protruded portion of an intervertebral disc to relieve irritation and pressure on the spinal nerve or spinal cord

3. Spinal Laminectomy (also known as spinal decompression) involves the removal of the bone covering the spinal canal (as well as removing any bony spurs) thereby enlarging the canal space.  This provides more space and less pressure on the spinal cord in cases of spinal stenosis

4. Trans Lumbar Intervertebral Fusion (TLIF) permanently connects two or more vertebrae in the spine.  This procedure is useful for cases with spinal fracture or degenerated vertebrae in providing pain relief

5. Artificial disc implants are inserted to replace the damaged intervertebral discs which are beyond repair

Rehab after Back Surgery

It is important to arrange with your physiotherapist or occupational therapist to enroll in a Rehabilitation Program to get you back onto your feet and begin building up your muscle strength and spine mobility to regain your life back on track!

Risks of Back Surgery

After back surgery, it may take between 3 to 12 months to return to your normal daily activities or sports.  However, there may still be residual pain as well as movement restrictions depending on your condition because every person’s condition and requirements is different.  There are also risks associated with any back surgery and they include (but not limited to);

  • Paralysis or numbness
  • Persistent or increased pain
  • Infection
  • Leakage of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF)
  • Blood clots due to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Discuss the treatment options with your Orthopaedic or Spine Surgeon

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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