Treatment Method Pros & Cons

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression

Pros

  • Very High Success Rate: Better than 7 out of 10 cases
  • Painless—many patients fall asleep during treatment.
  • Drug free
  • Very Safe—virtually impossible to end up worse than where you started
  • 1/10th the cost of most surgeries
  • Can help with many conditions that other treatments such as surgery, chiropractic and physical therapy can’t help with.

Cons

  • A very small percentage of patients see no difference after treatment—but they don’t end up any worse off.

 

Surgery

Pros

  • Some patients experience permanent pain relief

Cons

  • Risky – surgery is truly a last resort as there is a chance you could end up worse off afterwards
  • Low success rate – many procedures have less than a 50% success rate
  • Painful and Long recovery time
  • Very Expensive

 

Pain Pills: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen (e.g., Advil and Aleve)

Pros

  • Immediate pain relief

Cons

  • Not a lasting solution – it is similar to taking a pain killer to deal with a tooth ache caused by a cavity. No amount of pills will fix the cause of your pain: the injured or degenerated disc.
  • Without the pain, you are more likely to re-injure yourself.
  • According to WebMD, 16,500 people die and 103,000 people are hospitalized each year because of NSAID-related problems

 

Nerve Blocks/Spinal Injections

Pros

 

  • Immediate pain relief
  • Gives only temporary relief.
  • Not a lasting solution – it is similar to taking a pain killer to deal with a tooth ache caused by a cavity. No amount of pills will fix the cause of your pain: the injured or degenerated disc.
  • Without the pain, you are more likely to re-injure yourself.
  • Very expensive

 

Physical Therapy

Pros

  • Can sometimes provide permanent pain relief
  • Low Risk

Cons

  • Low success rate with chronic and lingering conditions
  • Treatment can take months, if not years

 

Traction

Pros

  • Some patients experience relief
  • Excellent for Muscle and Ligament restructuring and Healing.

Cons

  • Rarely Effective: The body naturally resists having the spine pulled on by tensing up. The act of tensing up the muscles typically keeps the disc from being stretched, which is what is truly needed for the disc to heal.
  • In some cases the battle between the body and the traction pull can make conditions worse

Bed Rest

Pros

  • Sometimes works

Cons

  • Puts your life on hold for months at a time
  • Can make your condition worse due to muscles becoming weaker due to lack of use. Weak back muscles make it more likely for you to re-injury yourself.

 

Doing Nothing or Waiting It Out

Pros

  • Works for the most mild of conditions

Cons

  • Most cases, if left untreated, only get worse because it is not possible to stop using the back or neck and thus relieve pressure on the injury which is necessary for healing to occur
  • A recipe for disaster in most cases – many people who choose this option end up as candidates for back surgery