You may have heard of the phrase, Pain doesn’t hurt. In some cases, it doesn’t. Also, the urgency for having spinal surgery may want to be reconsidered based on the research.
5 More pain does not mean more damage
As mentioned previously the spine is a complexed structure with many different factors effecting it from a physical, mental and environmental perspective. You could have two individuals with the same injury, but can feel different sensitivities of pain (1).
Our nervous system has an influence on the pain we feel and can sometimes get stuck in a loop if the injury is poorly managed. So, even once it has healed we can still experience discomfort.
Our coping strategies vary depending on different types of pain. Once we understand that some pains are not causing damage, our quality of life can be drastically improved. (2,3)
6 Surgery is rarely needed
There are only a small proportion of people with back pain that need surgery. Following clear guidance from your physio or Dr by staying active with exercise, manual therapy when needed, positive reinforcement of movement, understanding your injury and good pain management we see excellent results.
The statistics for successful outcomes following surgery vary from one country to another and between surgeons. But there is evidence showing that the outcomes after having surgery are similar to non-surgical treatments over a span of 1-2 years (4,5).
1. Vernon H, (2010) Historical review and update on subluxation theories. J Chiropr Humanit.
2. Taylor et al (2014) Incidence and risk factors for first-time incident low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis: The Spine Journal October
3. George et al, (2012) Predictors of Occurrence and Severity of First Time Low Back Pain Episodes: Findings from a Military Inception Cohort. PLoS ONE 7(2): e30597
4. Brox et al, (2010) Four-year follow-up of surgical versus non-surgical therapy for chronic low back pain Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
5. Wynne-Jones et al, (2014) Absence from work and return to work in people with back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Occupational and environmental medicine