Have You Been Told This About Surgery and Pills?

“My only good options are surgery and/or pills to help me”

Is this what you think?

Is this actually true?

Years ago when I worked in a hospital based PT clinic, I would hear this every week.

Many people don’t really believe that there are really any other options than surgery or pills.

But is that really true?

Just ask Steve Kerr, former NBA player and NBA coach for the Golden State Warriors. He was so convinced this was wrong… he even made a public statement… and physical therapists did not ask him to say this.

While discussing the decision he made more than 2 years ago to get surgery he said,

“I can tell you if you’re listening out there, stay away from back surgery. I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab. Don’t let anyone get in there.”

You can read the full story here >>

Evidence points to physical therapy as being the obvious first step in assessing and treating back pain. A physical therapist can send you down a very different, yet very effective treatment path than one which begins with prescription medication or advanced imaging – like MRI. It can also be much easier on the pocketbook.

Eight of 10 people in the U.S. will experience back pain at some point in their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health, with 25 percent of the population having had low-back pain within the last three months. Back pain accounts for 10 percent of primary care physician visits and $86 billion in health care spending annually.

A 2015 study published in BMC Health Services, a health care journal, states many of the costs associated with acute, non-specific back pain can be reduced by up to 60 percent when the patient sees a physical therapist early.

Studies have also shown that physical therapy can be just as effective as surgery in the treatment of some common back ailments. For instance:

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: Lumbar spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the open spaces within your spine, which can add pressure to the spinal cord and cause pain in the lower legs and back. A study published in the April 2015 edition of Annals of Internal Medicine finds the condition can be treated just as successfully with physical therapy as with surgery – and with 15 percent fewer complications.

Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD): Affecting 3 million people per year, this condition is defined by the breaking down of the spine’s shock absorbers, known medically as intervertebral discs. A 2013 study conducted at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital found that patients who pursued surgical options to treat DDD did NOT experience greater outcomes in pain, disability and health status as those who opted for physical therapy.

Movement is medicine – there’s no disputing it!

We see examples of this every day at the clinic, and research continually supports it with regard to several ailments and injuries, including back pain.

A manual physical therapist can often effectively treat low-back pain through reshaping nerve and motor patterns of movement, body positioning and brain-muscle re-education.

I hope this has been helpful for you.

If you still have questions you can email me or contact me on Facebook.



Jeff Rau Physical Therapy
Where Your Recovery Is Our Motivation

P.S. If you want more info about back pain just click the book below to get my FREE back pain report!


Specialist Physical Therapist at Jeff Rau Physical Therapy
Jeff Rau first trained with a Master of Science in exercise physiology then after working in California and Texas gained a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy (MPT) in 2000 from University of Texas SouthWestern at Dallas (UTSW). He then added years of training as a functional manual physical therapist (CFMT) because he saw first hand the immediate benefit of and lasting changes made with skilled manual therapy.

Passion-driven to further help people who had tried and failed with traditional treatments of stretching, exercises or just taking pills, Jeff completed Fellowship training with the Institute of Physical Art (FFMT). He is also recognized as a Fellow by the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT). Jeff pulls from both traditional training and an alternative mindset for an innovative and personally tailored approach to physical therapy and he stands among a very small percentage of physical therapists who look beyond your diagnosis to offer the most complete, effective, and efficient treatment possible.

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