Many Ontario residents suffer excruciating back pain due to herniated discs. The condition, which occurs most frequently in the lower back, is caused by pressure on the spinal cord. This happens when soft tissue that cushions the bones in the back protrude due to aging or some sort of trauma. Many feel that surgery is the most effective way to treat a herniated disc, but research from the United States indicates that this may not necessarily be true.

Researchers from the Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire observed 1,200 patients with disc-related back injuries over a period of four years. They concluded that the results experienced by patients who had opted for surgical intervention were not significantly better than those who opted to treat their condition with exercise, physical therapy and non-steroidal drugs.

The patients who chose surgical treatment did generally report greater improvement, but researchers say that this could be because they were more seriously injured to begin with. They observed that those with less severe symptoms were more likely to choose alternatives to an operation. The study also cast doubt on commonly held beliefs that failing to address herniated discs with early surgical intervention may lead to a worsening of symptoms and possibly even paralysis.

While the medical community may continue to debate the proper treatment options for a herniated disc, it is undisputed that this condition can cause a great deal of pain and suffering. Many individuals develop this condition as they age, but others suffer a herniated disc due to a fall or some other type of accident. A personal injury lawyer may file a lawsuit on behalf of those with back injuries who were hurt in an accident caused by the negligent actions of others. The lawsuit may seek compensation for their doctor bills as well as their lost income.

Source: CBC News, “Surgery, physical therapy about equal for herniated discs: studies“, November 21, 2006

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