Surgery Fear Stops People From Getting Back Pain Treatment


People suffering from back pain gradually seem to become reluctant to seek initial treatment for fears of surgery and myths relating to it. A recent article published in Napsnet informs surgery fear stops people from getting back pain treatment. The cause being cited as unnecessary apprehensions about surgery. In spite of assurances from physicians that the majority of people suffering from back pain will recover through conservative treatment such as anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and coping skills and exercise, a fear psychosis is preventing vast numbers of sufferers to seek the basic help. Only 1% are advised to undergo spinal surgery when all conservative methods have failed. Surveys reveal that it is a myth that one surgical procedure may lead to multiple ones, which is deterring back pain sufferers from seeking relief. It has been observed that some even wait 90 days or more, which is more than the stipulated period for seeking help. Preventing back pain needs changes to some daily habits.



This video illustrates the reasons for surgery for low back pain. By Dr. Donald Corenman, MD (





Surgery Fear Stops People From Getting Back Pain Treatment

Get the facts about back pain in this article

People are so afraid of being told they will need surgery that they may not seek even the most basic help for their back pain.


That’s a key finding of a recent member survey of an organization dedicated to improving spine care—the North American Spine Society (NASS).


“It is heartbreaking to see that myths and an unnecessary fear of surgery are holding people back from getting even the most conservative help for their back pain,” said Joseph Cheng, MD, MS, associate professor of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and NASS Public Affairs Committee chair.


Most Don’t Need Surgery


According to Cheng, the vast majority (90 percent) of people with back pain will get better without treatment or by using conservative treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication, exercise, coping skills and physical therapy.


Spine surgery is recommended in only about 1 percent of cases, with very specific diagnoses, after a more conservative course of treatment already has been tried.


Back Pain Myths


Despite these facts, patient concerns about potential surgery came up many times throughout the “9 for Spine” survey results. The survey shows that 66 percent of spine specialists surveyed believe that fear of possible treatments, including surgery, keeps their patients from seeking help for back pain.


Many of their patients believe the myth that once you have spine surgery, you are destined to have multiple spine surgeries. The survey also found that over 12 percent of patients wait more than 90 days from the onset of their back pain to seek help from a spine specialist—far longer than the recommended four to six weeks.


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When relief from back pain can be obtained through regular exercising, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight, and keeping to ergonomic postures when lifting heavy objects or using computers, people should not rely on the comment that surgery fear stops people from getting back pain treatment. There can be no better alternative than regular exercise to keep back pain away. If your gym membership could help to prevent surgery in the end, why not try it.



Low Back Pain: Causes Conservative Treatment and Surgical Intervention. By Dr. Dean Chou and Dr. Praveen Mummaneni of the UCSF Spine Center






lower back pain



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