There is an appropriate time for neck or back surgery, but in many cases, being conservative first is a much smarter decision. Dr. Uribe, a neurosurgeon in Tampa, FL, says that “surgery isn’t right for everyone and, unlike other interventions, it isn’t reversible.” He generally won’t see patients unless they have spent at least six months to a year trying conservative treatments.
The disc, just like every other tissue or cell in the body, needs oxygen, water, and nutrition in order for it to remain alive. Non-surgical spinal disc decompression therapy is a conservative treatment, which creates a unique set of circumstances that don’t exist in every-day life (see illustration to the right), in order to increase these vital components to the disc (blood, water, oxygen, and nutrition). Our non-surgical disc decompression treatment program creates a de-pressurization of the disc; it decompresses the disc. This is what the surgical procedures are trying to do as well (two of the most common surgeries are called a decompressive laminectomy and a decompressive discectomy). The obvious difference is that there is no cutting and drilling through your body, all the way down to your spine.
Non-surgical spinal disc decompression therapy is a very specific disc treatment for the neck or low back that was originally pioneered by a medical doctor. The idea with disc decompression is to create something called negative pressure, which will pull the herniated or bulged disc material back where it’s supposed to be. Rather than spilling out (herniating or bulging out), it’s pulled back in. Click here to see a video of how our decompression therapy works. You can read more about how it works at the decompression page of our website.
Unfortunately, your M.D. most likely knows nothing about non-surgical disc decompression therapy, unless he or she is very progressive. The most common conservative treatment that M.D.’s usually prescribe is physical therapy. Physical Therapists are smart, well-trained individuals who endure a rigorous education. Their goal is to reduce a patients pain and to return them to their normal activities as soon as possible. Physical therapists do great work, but for patients with disc problems, it can be putting the cart before the horse. Getting a disc patient to actually strengthen and stabilize their muscles that surround their faulty, degenerative back is a great goal, but only once the patient has been through some rehabilitative therapy specifically for the disc itself. Once the disc itself has been stabilized and healed, strengthening the surrounding muscles and tissues will add a significant amount of stability to the area, preventing re-injury.
Dr. Steven Atlas, a professor at Harvard Medical School who has studied the escalation in back surgery, says too many surgeons don’t take the time to urge conservative alternatives to back surgery. Fact is, he says, medical doctors make more money doing procedures than counseling caution.
The correct order of intervention should be conservative treatments first, medicines second, and surgery last (if nothing else has worked). Click the following link to find out how our conservative, non-surgical spinal disc decompression therapy can benefit you.