When Do You Need Surgery for Back Pain?

Man holding his back and experiencing pain

Most of us are familiar with back pain in some form. It’s normal to have a sore back after picking up heavy objects or sitting in a chair all day. However, when back pain sticks around for days and weeks, it makes life inconvenient. It can be difficult to move around, pick up objects, or even sit with chronic back pain.

Fortunately, if you have chronic back pain, there are treatment options.

Treating lower back pain with surgery

Treatments for lower back pain range from conservative stretches and exercises to surgical intervention. The treatment you need for your back pain depends on its severity and cause.

For many people, surgery is the right treatment option for lower back pain. Your doctor may recommend surgery if:

  • Conservative treatments fail — In most cases, the first treatment option for back pain is conservative treatments like chiropractic care, physical therapy or medication. However, if the pain persists despite these treatments, surgery may be the best option.

    Surgery is usually withheld as the last option because it involves incisions and greater risks. But, plenty of spine surgery options are minimally invasive, featuring small incisions and a quick and low-risk recovery.
  • The pain is extreme — Some conditions, such as a herniated disc, spinal fracture, or bone spurs, can be too painful to attempt to address with conservative treatments. If your back pain is extreme, your doctor may forgo recommending conservative treatments and suggest surgery as an immediate treatment option.
  • The pain is accompanied by other symptoms — Back pain on its own is usually nothing serious. However, back pain accompanied by symptoms like dizziness, loss of bladder or bowel control and numbness in the back or legs may be a sign of a serious condition. Some of these conditions are treatable with conservative methods, but many have a small chance of getting better without surgery.

Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for back surgery

Our orthopedic surgeons at the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute are experienced and skilled in a multitude of spine surgeries. We can perform minimally invasive procedures to help reduce your back pain and improve your range of motion. Contact us today to learn more about lower back pain treatment or to schedule an initial appointment.