Lower back pain is a common problem, affecting millions of people each year. While in many cases it is caused by non-specific degenerative changes that impact the soft tissue and bone of the spine, sometimes deformity and trauma may be to blame. In these small cases, surgery could be recommended, but is it actually effective?
According to a new study, spinal surgery for lower back pain isn’t as effective as you might think. Here, we look at what the study found, and some of the most effective treatments currently available.
Understanding the latest study
The latest study looked at various pieces of past research that were carried out on adult patients with pain in their lower back region. They focused on cases caused by degenerative changes such as arthritis in the spinal joints, wear and tear of the discs, and soft tissue damage.
It specifically excluded studies on patients with more serious structural issues such as fractures, and those who had surgery for nerve-related problems. The study used a database search and looked at articles from 1991 to 2021, without language restrictions. They assessed the quality of the studies using a set of criteria called the GRADE criteria.
In terms of degenerative changes, the researchers looked at five randomized controlled trials that compared spinal surgery to non-surgical methods for treating lower back pain. These trials were published between 2001 and 2011. Two of the studies found that surgery improved lower back pain and disability compared to non-surgical methods, but neither of them used a measure to determine if the improvement was clinically significant for patients. The other three studies found no benefit of spinal surgery for lower back pain.
What treatment options are available for lower back pain?
While surgery may not be effective at reducing or eliminating lower back pain, there are better, less invasive treatment options available. These include…
There are several self-help treatments that can be used for lower back pain, including:
- Staying active: Gentle exercise such as walking, swimming, or cycling can help to strengthen the muscles in the lower back and improve flexibility.
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess weight can put extra strain on the lower back, so maintaining a healthy weight can help to reduce pain.
- Good posture: Sitting and standing with good posture can help to reduce stress on the lower back.
- Heat or Cold therapy: Applying heat or cold to the affected area can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
It’s important to note that self-help treatments should be used in conjunction with professional medical advice, as some types of lower back pain may require medical attention.
MBST for low back pain
MBST (Magnetic Resonance Therapy) treatment is a non-invasive method used to treat lower back pain and other conditions such as arthritis. It uses high-energy magnetic fields to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes and promote the regeneration of damaged tissue.
The theory behind this treatment is that magnetic fields can influence the metabolism of cells and tissues, which in turn can reduce inflammation and pain and promote healing. The treatment sessions typically last between 30-60 minutes and can be repeated several times a week over a period of several weeks.
To find out if MBST could be a good option to treat your lower back pain, book an appointment with MBST London now.