90% of all neck and back pain will go away within 3 months and 90% of all patients do not need surgery according to Dr. Stephen Cairone, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spine surgery at St. Mary Medical center. A majority of patients find relief with rest, injections, pain medicine and physical therapy.
For those who do need surgery, there are new procedures which can provide relief to patients with new issues and for some who have suffered for years. According to Dr. Cairone, surgeons make a small incision in the person’s side and slip a small spacer between the two vertebrae that have slipped out of place. That spacer can often alleviate the pain caused by pressure on the nearby nerves. The procedure is quicker than other surgeries and patients often go home days sooner.
He urges everyone to do as much as possible to stay fit and healthy to keep their back and necks pain free. His suggestions include, not smoking, eating healthy diet, maintaining a normal body weight and exercising.