Do I Need Surgery for My Back Pain?

If you’ve experienced back aches and pains, you’re not alone. In fact, over 80 percent of adults report occasional back pain, especially in their lower back. This pain could arise from conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis or scoliosis; or from a muscle strain caused by heavy lifting or injury. Whatever the cause, back pain is never pleasant and you’ve probably already spent several dollars on medication and heating pads. If you’ve visited a health professional about your back pain, they may have recommended surgery if your pain has been classified as chronic—lasting for three months or longer. But is surgery the only relief from an aching back? Not necessarily. Studies show that of the 56 million Americans struggling from back pain, only 5 percent actually need surgery.

Here are a few additional options you should try before considering back surgery.

Spinal Adjustment 

Chiropractors can adjust the spine using just their hands to massage or stimulate the painful or sore areas. They also work to solve to root of the problem and will craft individualized lifestyle plans for your specific ailments. Your back might not magically feel better after the first chiropractor visit, but these doctors focus on long-term benefits and treatments. For example, your first chiropractic visit might reveal that your lower back pain stems from pronating when walking. The chiropractor would perform some basic spinal adjustments and recommend some orthopedic solutions to fix the problems with your feet.

Diet and Exercise

Recent studies have found that chronic back pain is closely linked to high levels of inflammation. While you might be used to popping a few anti-inflammatory pills like ibuprofen or Advil, there are other ways to get rid of most inflammation for good. This begins with an anti-inflammatory diet of whole and healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and fish could lower inflammation levels in the body, thus lessening your back pain.

Similarly, implementing more exercise into your lifestyle can strengthen your back muscles and ease any tightening due to daily strains. Research shows that yoga is one of the best workouts for those experiencing back pain, since the exercises focus on stretching and flexibility. If you’re worried about finding the right exercises for your condition, pay a visit to a local physical therapist.


Faulty posture is one of the leading causes of back pain, even from a very young age. In today’s society, most office workers spend most of their workday sitting in front of a computer screen. If not careful, this could lead to bad posture habits that could translate into chronic back and shoulder pain. If concerned about your posture, try wearing a posture-correcting device. There are many types to choose from, including devices that vibrate whenever your posture is slouched and straps that gently pull back your shoulders throughout the day.

In many cases, back pain comes as a result of muscle overwork or misuse — something that can usually be fixed with some simple lifestyle changes. Finding out the root cause of your back pain can help you decide whether or not to pursue surgical solutions. Call a back pain doctor today.