Beware of Back Pain Red Herrings

Posted in Truths About Back & Neck Pain at 1:08 PM by Dr. Greathouse

A “red herring” is an inaccurate clue or finding which distracts from the issue in question; in this case what’s causing the spinal problem.

Probably the smelliest of the red herrings is the disc herniation found on an MRI; which can lead to a nonproductive surgical procedure. Most experts agree, you must exhaust conservative care first before surgery in most cases. The success rate for nonsurgical procedures is high.

Studies indicate that a relatively high percentage of the population has a disc herniation without symptoms.  (Weisel S. W..  A study of computer assisted tomography: the incidence of positive CAT scans and asymptomatic groups, Spine Journal 1984; 9; 549-51)

90% of disc herniation suffers get better with conservative care (nonsurgical), as indicated by Ian McNabb M.D., an expert in back care and research.

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