Reasons to Think Twice About Back Surgery

Reasons to Think Twice About Back Surgery

When pain hits, it hurts, and we want instant answers and solutions. Unfortunately, slowing down and really assessing the pain and next steps is the best path to a long-term solution. Our team of physicians at Pain Control Associates works to listen to you intently and develop a pain treatment strategy that will work best for you and bring you the relief and lifestyle that you are seeking. While sometimes surgery is the only answer, our doctors look beyond surgery as the only or best option to prescribe other ways to deal with pain.

But when it is back pain and surgery can work, patients may ask why not? Here we examine reasons that surgery may not be the best answer.

Let your body do its job: In a world of instant gratification and on-demand everything, pain relief is no different. But we have to remember that our bodies are made to heal and letting this process happen can be the best solution to long-term results. Your muscles, joints, ligaments and even discs in your back really have their own built-in healing mechanisms and processes that will work – even given the time.

Long-term gain, but short-term pain: Surgery can be the quick fix – and just that – a quick and temporary fix. Sometimes, the immediate results after a surgery can actually wear off over time compared to a patient’s back that has been left to heal through rest, rehab and therapy. A potential problem in the future after back surgery can be advanced degenerative disc disease in or around the surgical area or the need for more surgeries.

More than just pain: Back pain in particular can be seen as a physical or structural issue in the spine that can be fixed by surgery. But there are many layers and components to pain. Emotional factors, such as stress, depression, insomnia and anxiety, can contribute to pain. “Fixing” the physical problem with surgery may not be the end of your pain. Your spine is complex and a mix of so many components. A treatment plan that encompasses lifestyle changes, medicines or physical therapy can offer more long-term results.

Let Us Help You Examine All of Your Back Pain Options

From your first appointment, we will take the time to listen to you and hear all aspects of your pain, health history and current lifestyle. By getting a well-rounded view of you, we will be able to best address your pain issues. We approach our patients with a holistic perspective. Your treatment plan may include a mix of physical therapy, medicines, lifestyle modifications, nerve blocks or medical injections. We will continue to work with you to obtain the plan that is offering you the most relief.

Our doctors are here for you and ready to talk to you during your first appointment. Contact us through our online contact form.


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Neck Pain

  • Herniated disc
  • Spondylosis (Axial Neck Pain)
  • Failed Surgical Neck Syndrome
  • Biomechanical (Postural) Pain
  • Whiplash

Musculoskeletal Injuries

  • Radiculopathy (Sciatica)
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD)
  • Herpes Zoster Radiculopathy (Shingles)
  • Fibromyalgia

Low Back Pain

  • Spondylosis (Axial Back Pain)
  • Compression Fracture
  • Scoliosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Internal Disc Disruption (Annular Tear)
  • Spondylosis (Axial Back Pain)
  • Facet-Mediated Pain
  • Compression Fractures
  • Scoliosis
  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain
  • Spondylolysis/Spondylolisthesis
  • Failed Surgical Back Syndrome
  • Biomechanical (Postural) Pain


  • Cervicogenic Headache
  • Occipital Headache

Work Injuries

  • Prompt diagnosis and treatment
  • Close coordination with case workers
  • Facilitate early return to work

Spinal Interventions

  • IDET
  • Epidural Steroid Injections
  • Racz Catheter Lysis of Adhesions
  • Radiofrequency Facets
  • Sacroiliac Joint Injections
  • Occipital Nerve Blocks
  • Stellate Ganglion Blocks
  • Lumbar Sympathetic Blocks
  • Discography (Lumbar & Cervical)
  • Facet Joint Injections
  • Trigger Point Injections

Psychological Treatment

  • Behavioral Strategies to Help Manage Pain
  • Coping Skills
  • Strategies to Improve Sleep
  • Biofeedback & Relaxation Training
  • Management of Depression

Surgical Treatment

  • Neuromodulation (Spinal Cord Stimulation)

Medication Management

  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications
  • Neuropathic Medications
  • Opioid Medications


  • Electrodiagnosis of nerve-related injuries and disorders

Physical Therapy

  • Skilled Manual Therapy
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Acupuncture