Myth: For chronic back pain, you need to get an MRI scan to locate a slipped disc and have it fixed surgically.
If your pain is chronic, spine surgery actually has a lower chance of success. The best approach is to try everything before surgery. Targeted exercise and posture training can significantly improve your endurance and strength and lessen your pain. In one study, three sessions a week for three months was linked to better scores both at the end of the three months and six months later.
Your doctor may recommend an MRI if you don’t respond to treatment. But all kinds of things show up on MRIs — including bulging discs — in people who don’t have any pain. Cognitive behavioral therapy and exercise have similar results to surgery, with much less risk and expense.
March 27, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN