When Is Back Surgery a Good Option for Pain Relief?

It can happen to anyone: you wake up one morning with discomfort in your back that will not go away. You try to ice it or apply heat, but the ache persists. If this sounds like something you are experiencing, you are not alone. Recent studies have shown that over 8% of adults in the United States suffer from chronic back pain, but how can it be treated?

Chronic back pain can affect your overall quality of life. If you find yourself experiencing a consistent level of discomfort that prevents you from participating in everyday activities, you might be considering surgery as an option for treatment. How can you know when back surgery is the best option for you? Take a look at some of the following points and talk with your physician to determine if you would make a good candidate for this particular treatment.

Methods of Treatment for Chronic Back Pain

Your physician is likely to recommend other options for managing discomfort before suggesting surgery, including steroid shots or pressure point injections. These non-surgical options tend to have a shorter recovery window, as they are less invasive than traditional procedures and require less time for your body to heal from them. However, many of these treatments will only reduce discomfort rather than eliminating it. This is where surgery comes into play.

If your back pain is disabling, a doctor will evaluate your condition and recommend treatment based on the severity of your discomfort. Surgery is often the best option for those who suffer from numbness or tingling that radiates from the spine or back and through the arms or legs.

Different conditions will require their own unique treatments, depending on their severity or the level of pain that you experience. Some conditions that may prompt your physician to recommend surgery include:

  • Compressed or damaged nerves: These can occur due to herniated discs or as a result of physical injury or strain.
  • Osteoarthritis: This condition can result in bone spurs and often develops more with age.
  • Spinal fracture: Often resulting from trauma such as car accidents or high-impact activities like sports, a spinal fracture almost always requires surgery to fix.

Any persistent pain should be reported to your physician so that they can better understand what you are experiencing and develop a treatment plan that will work best for you.

Types of Back Surgery

Like any other course of treatment, back surgery can take many different forms. Doctors will often analyze these options to help determine which will work best for you rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Some types of back surgery include:

Spinal Fusion

Fusion is often considered a last resort for treatment and consists of a physician fusing joints or vertebrae together through the use of metal devices (like screws and rods) or bone grafts. While effective at reducing debilitating pain, many patients find that recovery time after spinal fusion is longer than other methods of surgery or treatment.

Laminectomy or Spinal Decompression

Your laminae help to protect your spine, but they can be damaged. When doctors remove them during a laminectomy, they are opening up your spinal column to relieve pressure and remove any bone spurs from the affected vertebrae.


This surgery removes the presence of a damaged or herniated disc. It comes in many different varieties, including anterior cervical discectomy and the less-invasive options of endoscopic discectomy or microdiscectomy.

Find Relief for Chronic Back Pain at New Jersey Spine and Orthopedic

Debilitating back pain can prevent you from living your life to the fullest. If you are experiencing chronic and prolonged back pain, contact New Jersey Spine and Orthopedic today. Our world-class team will work to determine the best treatment for your condition and provide individualized care suited to your needs.

We are proud to offer high-quality medical care to help our patients reduce pain and get back to living their lives. If you are ready to take the next step and say goodbye to pain in the new year, visit our experts here at NJ Spine and Orthopedic. To get started on your path to recovery, call (866) 272-9271 or contact us online. We look forward to helping you find the treatment that you need.

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