People who have been suffering from chronic lower back pain for more than a year are often considered for costly surgical spine fusion. This is done when no other treatment seems to bring them any relief from the backache. A recent study in the British Medical Journal reveled that in the long run this may not be a cost effective procedure for people who do not have enough finance to sustain a long-term medical treatment.
An alternate procedure for them may be rehabilitation program with intensive training sessions where the patients undergo exercise programs tailor made for them, along with hydrotherapy, and cognitive behavior therapy. The rehabilitation program slowly brings them back to their life by helping them in getting settled to a new way of life that will not cause any more stress to cause severe back pains from spinal problems.
The researchers had studied 349 patients with chronic back pain that was hampering their daily life. They were divided into groups of surgery and rehabilitation according to their choice. The patients were followed up were two years on their health records. Surgery group did better in the initial results; however in the long run there was not much difference between the two groups.
Reference: British Medical Journal, May 2005