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Surgery vs. Non-surgical treatment for back disorders

by Monisha on  November 22, 2006 at 2:05 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Surgery vs. Non-surgical treatment for back disorders
The efficacy of back surgery in comparison with other nonsurgical options to treat severe back pain was studied in a recent research.Back pain related to disorders of spinal disc can be effectively treated by other physical therapy as well says the study .
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Patients with a herniated disc, where the soft tissue between the vertebrae of the spinal column juts out and presses on nerves that run along the spine, suffer from excruciating back pain.Pain may shoot down to the legs as well.Surgical correction was the treatment of choice to relieve a patient .

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However the research , that were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association recently point out that although surgery offers remarkable relief from pain, the relief offered by physical therapy cannot be played down. The report points out that herniated disc, is quite a common problem that definitely can ebb away in due time and proper exercise definitely helps to effectively control the condition. The difference in relief is minimal. Lead author, of the studies conducted, James Weinstein, said that if the pain is minimal and if a patient's life style is contusive he should be given the option to choose between surgery and other physical therapy .When the pain is unbearable ,releasing the nerves under pressure from the bulging connective tissue surgically, would be beneficial, he opined.

The study involved over 1,200 patients at various hospitals across U.S .Either surgery to correct the bulging mass between two spinal discs, or a course of physical therapy was advised to reduce pain and discomfort .Both methods showed almost similar degrees of relief after a period of two years. But doctors comment that at different stages of treatment surgery offered a comparatively better out come.

One of the most common surgeries that are conducted across the U.S is Lumbar diskectomy to treat patients with back pain.

In an editorial along with the study, Dr. Eugene Carragee of Stanford University Medical Center wrote that these findings show that there is no overbearing reason to advocate surgery as the only panacea unless a patient requests for surgery as a preferential choice. Common concerns of both patients and surgeons that nerves when under pressure may cause paralysis of closely related muscles is baseless said the editorial.



Source: Medindia
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