Are you considering back surgery? Depending on your personal circumstance, a back surgery may or may not be the best option for you. Back surgery is a major decision and ultimately it’s something you will need to discuss with your family and physician. As you think about your options, here are 3 things to consider when thinking about a possible back surgery.

Have you been through a full pain management plan?

Surgery is typically a last option. Depending on your injury, there are many options for treating back pain, including medication, rest, physical or massage therapy and pain injections. There are also alternative treatments like acupuncture that are used to reduce pain or slow back problems from progressing. If you are early in the development of your back problem, your physician may recommend you progress through a series of treatments before considering back surgery. However, if you’ve already been through a full pain management plan, surgery may be the best option.

Is your pain considerably reducing the quality of your life?

Many times surgery is considered because the pain is such that it has radically reduced the quality of the person’s life. Does your pain stop you from doing the things you love, with the people you love? Are you unable to do daily chores or work? Has the constant pain changed your attitude and negatively affected your relationships with people? These are all questions you must ask yourself and discuss with your family and physician. If you find the pain and the reduction of your quality of life to be more than the physical pain, you may want to discuss surgery as an option with your physician.

What happens after back surgery?

For many, back surgery is able to help increase range of motion, decrease pain and increase quality of life. But that’s not always the case, when considering surgery, you need to make sure that the likely benefits of your surgery outweigh the pain and decrease in quality of life you are experiencing now. A good physician will discuss what to expect after surgery and most would not even recommend surgery unless believed to be the best course of action. In spite of that, the final decision is yours, so make sure you have a good understanding of the surgery process and what to expect after surgery.

Speak with a physician

Most people try to avoid back surgery at all cost and most physicians will only recommend surgery as a last option. There are many possible treatments outside of surgery that may make your pain manageable and you may want to consider most or all of them before having back surgery. However, if your pain is such that your quality of life is severely reduced, you will want to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic physician to discuss your options. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make and you need to be informed and comfortable with your choice.