“advice” has same outcome as spinal surgery

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Surgical Advice

Researchers recently searched 10 computer databases for clinical trials (the focus was on people with referred leg symptoms and MRI confirmation of a lumbar disc herniation) concerning low back pain and sciatica.  The criteria?  One group received a conservative and non-injection treatment, and one did not.  Eighteen trials from between 1971 and 2008 involving 1,671 participants were looked at.  What was the conclusion of the researches?  “Advice is equally effective as spinal surgery at long-term (1 year) follow-up.  Just in case you missed it the first time, please read it again and let the magnitude sink in.  Gulp!  The problem is, this is not an unknown concept.

A similar study was done earlier this year, looking into ways of improving the outcome of back surgery.  Dr Allison McGregor, professor of musculoskeletal biodynamics (biomechanics), and her team of researchers at Imperial College London, looked at over 300 patients over a six year period, hoping to answer the question, “Can post-operative exercise and rehabilitation help people to recover from back surgery? Or is up-to-date information and advice just as good?”  Sounds like a ridiculous question does it not?  Everyone knows how great rehab is.

Their conclusions?  Neither approach (post-operative exercise and rehab or “advice”) makes any difference on the outcome of spinal surgery in terms of functional disability.  In other words, spinal surgery is such a crap shoot; you have just as good of chance of doing well (or poorly) if you simply shank the rehab protocol and decide to watch a movie, read a pamphlet, or listen to a tape recording instead! If you are looking to help your back problem, why not read my post, CURE YOUR OWN BACK PAIN!

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