There’s No Back Pain Surgery Can’t Make Worse

Surgery is much less science-based than the rest of medicine. It is almost impossible to subject it to studies that are double-blind and placebo-controlled. Surgical guidelines are therefore necessarily much more anecdotal than based on evidence.

Lots of elective surgery is probably unnecessary, and back operations are the most notorious example. Back pain is an inevitable and fairly ubiquitous complication of the human condition, arising from our incomplete postural adaptation to bipedal locomotion and the fact that we now live much longer than our backs are adapted for.

Back surgery is performed when the patient has a combination of pain and imaging pictures that show spinal abnormalities. The natural assumption is that what shows up in the pictures must be causing the pain. But that assumption is wrong. Lots of people have very messed-up pictures but no pain, and lots of other people have very pretty pictures but lots of pain. And as you get older, your spine shows progressively more imaging findings best considered indicative of normal aging, not disease.

And things have gotten even worse since Big Pharma began pushing prescription narcotics as a panacea for all pain. While helpful and safe for some, prescription opioids have become a —> Read More Here


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