Does there come a point when surgery is necessary?

by Harry
(London)

I have been suffering from back problems for years. I had sciatica in my twenties, but that may have been muscular rather than disc prolapse.

Recently I had an MRI, and it showed that I have a disc prolapse in the L5-S1 region.

Some people are recommending that I get surgery. My osteopath wants me to get a second opinion about that, but I'm wary.

I have been suffering for years and its getting worse. I work detailing cars and doing smash repairs, so my job requires lots of bending and flexing and even lying down on the ground. Needless to say this is quite difficult. The pain is making it difficult to even operate (in fact I'm now mostly doing office work), so I'm considering surgery.

Is it possible to restore the disc without surgery? How long do these kind of things take to repair? I'm still at work, but not really working (because I can't). If I get surgery I'm worried that I'll be off work for a while, but if this continues I'm also in for trouble.

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Feb 04, 2013
What I think about back surgery for you
by: Sarah Key

Hello Harry, or is it Harry’s friend in the noisy London café where Harry (my son that is) is writing his book?
Don’t be too bamboozled by people telling you that you have a disc prolapse and should have spine surgery. Discs are mean to bulge because they are shock absorbers. It is true to say however, that the disc of a problem level in your spine usually does bulge more because it is locked by muscle spasm which ‘milks’ the disc of fluid, thus making it more empty (just like a car tyre lacking air . . . although in this case the disc loses water, not air). Any spinal segment that is locked will tend to have a ‘more bulging disc’. This is also because all discs rely to a large extent on spinal movement to suck-and-squirt a fluid exchange through. If a spinal segment cannot move, its dic underneath cannot get fluid. Not only will it tend to bulge, it will also break down more rapidly.
So you see Harry (?), I am more concerned what the bulging means and where it came from than the fact that it ‘should be removed’. True disc prolapse (also goes by the name of a ‘slipped disc’) accounts for only between 3-5% of cases of back pain. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a bad back. But my guess, this is not the true diagnosis.
You need to do a bit of reading. You will get a lot from this website and also www.simplebackpain.com where I explain that you really need to decompress your spine – especially you, spending all those months and years bending in over car engines and the like. Basically, you have been loading up your discs and flattening the life out of them - literally – and you need to give your whole skeleton a break by going back the other way. You are an ideal candidate for using the BackBlock to do most of the correction yourself. You need to understand it though. There is a list of videos that you can download (see http://www.sarahkey.com/shop/product-category/self-treatment-videos/) where this is all explained. Sound like a hard sell? Hope not. You need help.

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