Someone just today asked me about back surgery and what I think of it. Well lets start off by saying that I am not a medical doctor and can't give medical advice. But I can tell you that I know muscles and work with pain relief all the time. So I feel comfortable talking to people about the subject.
Let me say that I have had at least two patients who were able to stave off surgery (both were not back surgeries, but one was) because of the work we did together. I stress that because they followed my advice, in other words they did their homework as I instructed them to do.
Acupuncture and massage are not miracle cures but they can be very effective against pain. I am working with another neck-pain patient currently, who is looking at the prospect of surgery for herniated discs. Stay tuned.
Another point to ponder if you have back pain that a doctor has told you comes from a herniated disc, what will be the outcome of the surgery? Are all surgeries successful? Will you have continued pain after the surgery? What will you do then?
Now, I am not saying that surgery is bad. I am saying, proceed with caution and perhaps exhaust all other possibilities first. Once you cross over to the other side, there is no coming back. The surgery can't be undone.
That said I am sure you are asking, What should I do? My answer is to try acupuncture and massage therapy first. For how long? you may ask and honestly I can't give you definitive answer. I ask my patients to give me approximately four months of care and of following my instructions. Then we can reevaluate and see if any progress has been made. Then we can see if you and I want to continue with care. But by then it will be an informed decision.
I also would ask any reader of this comment and blog to seek out a Licensed Acupuncturist, not a doctor with an, add on certificate, for care in this area, really in any area of acupuncture. Licensed Acupuncturists have studied Chinese medicine on average 3-4 years and have received a Master's Degree in Acupuncture or in my case Oriental Medicine. For referrals outside of my local area please go to one of the links for the acupuncture professional societies on this blog or my web site