Understand Chronic Pain

There are two fundamental aspects to the perception of pain:

The source: Three Sources of Chronic Pain


The receptor—your brain

Three additional variables affect your perception of pain:

“I Can Only Fix What I Can See”

The exact source of your LBP is usually unclear.  Many assume if you are pursuing a diagnosis with your doctor then there must be an indentifiable problem that is solvable with surgery. Surgery is felt to be the “definitive” solution.

  • It is only definitive if you can see the problem.
  • Even then the potential benefits must outweigh the risks.
  • I often compare spine surgery to dentistry. (Back Pain vs. Mouth Pain)

I feel that a high percent of spine surgery should never be performed.

  • What many surgeons are defining as “structural” is simply normal aging anatomy.
  • Degenerative disc disease is not a disease.
  • All intervertebral discs lose water content with age.
  • They have been shown not to be the source of your chronic LBP.
  • A fusion for a degenerated disc has a success rate of < 30%.

Video: “Get it Right the First Time”

Surgical Results Overly Optimistic

Marsha’s Three Needless Spine Surgeries