Jack's Story: Will I Need Surgery?

Jack's Story: Will I Need Surgery?

Topic Overview

Jack remembers it well—and not in a good way. "I'll never forget the first time I had back pain. I couldn't move. I had to crawl to the car and push and pull myself into the seat. The drive to the doctor's was hard. The pain was unreal."

When Jack got to his doctor's office, he had questions.

"What can you do? Will I need surgery?"

All sorts of help

Jack told his doctor that the pain started in the middle of the night. He hadn't been involved in an accident, and he'd never had back problems before.

His doctor told him that an over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen or naproxen could probably take care of the pain. He also gave him a prescription for a muscle relaxant, just in case.

"He said I should walk if possible and try to be active," Jack says. "I asked about tests, like an X-ray, and he said that at this point, they would not help."

Slow and steady progress

His back improved, but it was slow. "I missed 3 to 4 days of work. When I went back to work, I stood during meetings and took several short walks a day. It still hurt a lot. But it was getting better. It took about 2 months to really feel okay again."

The experience got Jack thinking about his back. He talked to friends about back pain, searched the Internet on the topic, and talked more with his doctor. He found that low back pain can really hurt, but you probably don't need tests, and surgery is rarely needed. But most of all, he learned that you need time.

"Some people get better fast, but others take a lot of time. That was my case. If you have back pain, do what you can for it, but don't be in a hurry. It usually gets better."

This story is based on information gathered from many people living with low back pain.

For more information, see the topic:

Credits

Current as ofSeptember 20, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.