No matter what subject matter you want to discuss, there are always a number of myths that surround them.
Same goes for folks dealing with spinal problems.
In no certain priority order, here are some of the more common myths:
1 I am too young to have these spinal problems The doctors won't operate on me because I am so young.
2 My doctor told me that my spine is like an 80 year old person.
3 There is no hope, my life as I knew has ended.
4 My doctor wont listen to me, I needed stronger medications and they refused.
5 I've tried everything, nothing works.
1 - Spinal problems and pain never discriminates regarding age. Spinal problem can be a result of trauma, genetic and other family environments, and other causes. Many of those have nothing to do with age. I have heard doctors say that they would prefer NOT to operate on a younger person. But that assumes there are no other options. In fact, there are some numbers that would indicate that younger people bounce back stronger and faster than those in later years.
2 - There are some 80 year olds that have spines much better than ours! Think about it, we are seeing a spinal
specialist or other doctor to help diagnose and repair the problems we have. It would be very interesting to compare a person in the young 20's with several herniated discs with a person in their 80's who walk, hike, swim every day...now who's spine looks better!
3 - Once you decide that there is no hope and your former self has ended, then unfortunately, you may be sentenced for many years of unhappiness and discomfort. There isn't a person here or anywhere that does not have the will, the power, the desire to push on. Positive thinking and positive attitude is what can help get us there. Not saying its easy, but its about the only thing in front of us, so make the most of it. Forget about you cant do and start thinking of all the new things you now can do.
4 - My doctor doesnt listen to me. I ask for a MRI, they wont give me one, I am in bad pain, but they wont give me more
pain medications. Doctors have an obligation to their patients. The review and medically examine all the information about the patient that is available. Based on that, some clinical examinations and good people insight, most doctor recommendations are perfectly sound. The problem comes with the patient who just wants more. Yes, they are in pain, so their view is more pain medications will help. That is never the answer.
5 - You might have tried 10 different forms of treatment and nothing is helping. Well, in that situation, I would discuss
with your doctor if surgery is the ONLY option. If not, then go back and try some of those treatments again.
I've been to Physical Therapy on/off for the good part of 35 years. Some PT was good, some PT was not. I had some luck with traction, but another time no, the same for acupuncture and endless other treatments. If one didnt work,
I'd want to know why and then make every effort to try it again and again if necessary. Several folks have asked for my
advice when it comes to having surgery. I am in no position to give out medical advice, but I always say, Do everything you can to avoid that first surgery . But of course that also has to be consistent with your doctors thinking also.
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences