Before having spinal fusion surgery, people with degenerative disk disease should first try physical therapy.
A study by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital ("Operative and Nonoperative Treatment Approaches for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease Have Similar Long-Term Clinical Outcomes" - September 15, 2013) found that patients with back pain and disk disease did not show a major difference in pain, health status, satisfaction, or disability whether they had surgery or received nonoperative treatment."
This is good news for patients who want to avoid going under the knife. Conservative treatment options, such as physical therapy, are recommended first for most back pain. Now a study shows they can be as effective as surgery, without the risks.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.
- Health Center for Low Back Pain
- Early Physical Therapy Can Be Cost-Effective Treatment for Low Back Pain
- Back Pain Is Often Over-Treated
- Beginning Low Back Pain Treatment With Advanced Imaging Leads to Higher Total Costs
- Physical Therapy Equal to Surgery for Spinal Stenosis
- Podcast: Back Pain: Avoiding Unnecessary Treatment
- Podcast: Success Story: Avoiding Back Surgery to Return to Marathons
- Podcast: Natalie Gulbis on Back Pain and the Physical Demands of Golf
- Podcast: Treatment for Spinal Stenosis: Comparing Physical Therapy and Surgery
- Physical Therapy Guide to Low Back Pain
- Physical Therapy Guide to Degenerative Disk Disease
- Physical Therapy Guide to Spinal Stenosis
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