Spine Surgery or Physical Therapy? How to Know Which Is Right for You

Man holding his back​

When you have back pain that won’t go away, you may need to visit a health care professional for treatment. Professional treatments can treat pain at its cause, which helps reduce pain and improve your quality of life.

There are different treatments for back pain. Two possible ways you can treat your back pain is with physical therapy or spine surgery.

How physical therapists treat back pain

The main goal of physical therapy treatments for back pain is to improve the strength and flexibility of your muscles and soft tissue. When the muscles and soft tissue are weak and stiff, they cannot properly support your spine and upper body. This puts more pressure on the spine, which results in pain.

A typical physical therapy treatment might include:

  • Stretches and exercises
  • Hands-on therapy
  • Massage
  • Hot and cold therapy

One of the main benefits of physical therapy is it can potentially treat your back pain without the need for surgery. This is good because surgery can take a toll on your body. However, physical therapy is not always effective, and, in these cases, surgery may be the best option.

How orthopedic surgeons treat back pain

Orthopedic surgeons are skilled in many types of surgeries to reduce pain in the back and improve your range of motion. Recovering from surgery can be painful and take a little while. However, if physical therapy isn’t helping, back surgery patients generally find that the pros of surgery outweigh the cons.

The benefits of spine surgery include:

  • Less pain
  • Improved range of motion
  • Better mobility
  • Less dependency on medication
  • Increased quality of life

There are many different operations an orthopedic surgeon can perform. What’s best for you depends on the cause of your back pain and on personal factors like medical history, age, and weight. Some of the most frequently performed types of spine surgery include:

  • Spinal fusion
  • Discectomy
  • Disc replacement
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
  • Laminectomy
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Vertebroplasty

Visit iRISE Spine and Joint for spine surgery

At iRISE Spine and Joint, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in a number of spine surgeries. Our team uses minimally invasive techniques whenever possible to minimize the risks involved in your surgery and improve the quality of your recovery. Contact us today to talk to one of our patient care coordinators about spine surgery or to schedule an initial appointment.