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Why Timing May be Key to Successful Back Surgery

Last updated 3 years ago

Back pain can be a debilitating condition that limits your ability to function normally. Some conditions require the aid of physical therapy or a chiropractor. In many cases, if the pain does not improve, spinal decompression can help—but when all else fails, back surgery may become necessary.

According to a recent study published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, the long-term success of back surgery for a herniated disc increases if treatment is received within the first six months of the onset of symptoms. Those who underwent surgery within that period experienced less pain four years later than the patients who chose to wait to have treatment.

It is important to note that this study also found that the success of back surgery depended more on when the patient sought treatment for the condition, rather than on the treatment method itself. This suggests that obtaining treatment, whether surgical or not, within the first six months of the development of symptoms is the key to a successful recovery.

While it can be easy to want to rush into surgery, it is important not to act hastily. Surgery is invasive, has a long recovery period, can be dangerous, and may not be necessary. Carefully consider all of your treatment options before agreeing to surgery—physical therapy and spinal decompression are both non-invasive options that are extremely effective at treating back pain associated with herniated discs. Express your concerns to your doctor and ask questions. He or she will help you to make the best decision for your unique situation.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a herniated disc, contact SportsMed Physical Therapy in Ridgewood. We offer physical therapy and spinal decompression to bring you long-term relief. Call (201) 447-0346 to learn more.


The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing medical advice. You should contact your doctor to obtain advice with respect to any particular medical issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site do not create a doctor-client relationship. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the medical office or any individual doctor or physician.


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