Health Beat: Do you really need spine surgery?

Health Beat: Do you really need spine surgery?

SAN FRANCISCO - Egan believed he was ready for anything.

At only 22, a back problem made him rethink his invincibility.

"I felt a snap in my lower back and I figured spasms in the back, OK," Egan shared.

Egan experimented with physical therapy, a chiropractor and even injections of steroids.

"They've all been incredibly pro-operative," Egan said.

This is except for one doctor who made a very different diagnosis to him.

"He just looked at me and said, 'You're not supposed to have surgery,' Egan recalled."End of story.

"That adrenaline drive that kept him going is causing relatively minor back injury to become a major problem," Dr. David Hanscom, an orthopedic spine surgeon, explained.

"You feel more of the pain and his nervous system was really fired up. Back surgery should never be done for just non-specific back pain. Hanscom wrote a book called, "Do you really need spine surgery?

 Before you do anything, make sure that you understand the true source of your pain and that your stress is under control. "The ultimate answer is a good relationship with your doctor," Hanscom said. For Egan, that meant a year of rehabilitation while calming his nervous system by becoming more sleepy, not thinking about or talking about his pain.

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