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Here’s Why Surgery Isn’t Always The Best Solution For Your Injury

We live in a society today where instant gratification and immediate rewards are the norm.  The Millenial generation, or those born between 1980 and 2000, has become synonymous with instant gratification due to the fact that technology has enabled the fulfillment of our immediate desires.  Instant gratification has permeated all facets of life, including those of health, injury, and wellness.

Today, when an individual suffers injury, they want to be instantaneously healed.  They want to feel better yesterday and are impatient for results and progress. Their “go-to” often becomes surgical intervention, as they feel that surgery can repair the problem immediately.  To them, less invasive interventions represent a waste of precious time and lack guarantee of remedy and healing. What is often overlooked is the fact that surgery has a high financial price tag and is the most costly of all mechanisms for healing.  Surgery is not without short-term and long-term risks, such as medical complications, prolonged pain, aesthetic appearance, and overall quality of life.

Physical Therapy, or physiotherapy, is a less invasive solution, but requires effort and long-term commitment.   Physical therapy is based on the premise that mechanical force, manipulation, and exercise can correct injury and restore mobility and purpose.  Physical therapists educate patients with techniques on how to effectively prevent and manage injuries in addition to utilizing treatment interventions to improve mobility, to reduce pain, and to thwart disability.  Physical therapists promote exercises at home, further facilitating success in treatment.

Chiropractic care is another treatment requiring time, commitment, and restraint.  Chiropractors work to diagnose and treat neuromuscular disorders through manual manipulation of the spinal cord.  Chiropractors exploit the close relationship between the nervous system and the spinal cord by attempting to restore strength to the spine, while reducing pressure on neurological tissue.  These two mechanisms work in tandem to provide relief and wellness to the patient.

Massage therapy is representative of an alternative technique for pain management and injury rehabilitation.  Massage therapists utilize calculated movements and pressure to manipulate muscles and soft tissue to reduce pain.  Massage therapy seeks to restore strength to tissues, while improving their range of motion. There are several different types of massages, including Swedish massage, Sports massage, Deep Tissue massage, and Trigger Point Massage.  Deep tissue massage utilizes trigger points to relax constricted muscles and to improve blood flow.

Medication can also be employed in conjunction with other treatment modalities in a more comprehensive treatment plan for injury.  Muscle relaxers have a sedative impact on the musculoskeletal system, thus reducing muscle spasm and pain, while improving muscle mobility.  Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Acetaminophen provide short-term pain relief, allowing a patient to function, tolerate rehabilitation, and heal from activity.

In the instant gratification society that prevails today, it is difficult for individuals to choose a “wait and see” approach that may take several months or years to come to fruition.  It is only when all other treatment modalities have failed, should one consider surgical intervention. If we as a society can delay impatience and gratification, we would see that less invasive options can greatly reduce an individual’s physical, emotional, financial, and long-term impact, even if it means that we do not get to feel better yesterday.  

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