- Back pain

Pain Management Or Surgery For Chronic Back Pain: Which One Is Best


Pain, especially chronic, intractable pain, was something that people use to simply learn to live with. But in recent years, much research has taken place about pain and the physiological basis and psychological effects that can come with that pain. This has led experts to find pain management therapy and treatments that will provide a person complete or at least partial pain relief.

When pain is left untreated, it interferes with a person’s healing process and affects their immune system, which in turn, can lead to more undesirable results. With chronic back pain, that discomfort can impede a person’s rehabilitation process and interfere with their daily activities, exercise and create the risk of psychological distress.

Pain Management is the main approach in treating chronic pain in the back and can provide a solution for those who have suffers from it.  In many cases, surgery may be the best answer and has proven to be successful in many cases.

But recent studies have also found that there are effective and viable alternatives to back surgery, such as interdisciplinary chronic pain management programs. This approach to pain management is often the best alternative for some patients, such as those that surgery can pose other risks.

The basis of an interdisciplinary chronic pain management program is to assist patients with chronic pain and traditional medical approaches, such as medications, have not helped for any long term. An interdisciplinary chronic pain management will teach a patient how to manage their pain and how to handle the impact it has through using any of these combinations:

•    Education about alternatives and risks

•    Physical conditioning

•    Psychological treatment like relaxation training

•    Vocational counseling that will enable them to return to work

It has been discovered through several studies that a chronic pain management approach is just as effective, if not more so, as spine surgery.

Comparing Pain Management To Surgery

Randomly selected participants in 2003 that suffered from chronic pain were studied. Each had evidence of severe disc degeneration and the study compared chronic pain management to surgery and what the outcomes were after one year of intervention.

These patients underwent one of the following:

•    A lumbar fusion that included posterior transpedicular screws and physical therapy afterward. ;

•    A modified chronic pain management program that involved cognitive-behavioral intervention with 3 daily physical exercise sessions for a period of three weeks.

The results were surprising for many experts that believed surgery was the only option for this type of situation. Chronic pain management participants had the same or better results than the patients that underwent back surgery.

There was additional support for those who received interdisciplinary chronic pain management.  Using the Oswestry Disability index, the patients treated with back surgery showed only a slight improvement in their ability to function. But between the two different groups, the differences were not that significant.

What the results told those involved was that chronic pain management could be the most preferable option for some patients. It was proof that chronic pain management is an alternative that is viable versus back surgery, eliminating the risks that come with any surgery.




Source by Audrey Thompson

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