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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

How to Deal with Depression After Your Back Surgery Didn't Work

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

depression after back surgerySurgery for back pain is often a last resort when non-surgical treatments haven’t worked, but that doesn’t guarantee that it’s an effective method. In fact, the prevalence of certain types of back surgeries has come under fire in recent years due to the potential risks and complications involved, especially in older patients. These types of surgeries have also been criticized for not always providing long-term effectiveness at eliminating or reducing back pain. 

If you’ve undergone back surgery that didn’t work, it’s normal to feel disappointed, frustrated and even depressed. Knowing that you’re not alone when it comes to unsuccessful surgery and ongoing back pain might help you feel a little bit better. When physical therapy, medication and other forms of non-surgical back pain treatments haven’t been effective, some people put all their faith in the belief that surgery will correct the problem and leave them pain-free. Although surgery can help in some cases, the results are usually short-term. 

As far as dealing with feelings of depression, it’s best not to let yourself dwell on things that haven’t worked for your back problems. Focusing on finding other potential ways to treat it can help you move past the frustration instead of resigning yourself to living with the pain for the rest of your life. Conduct your own research online, talk to friends and family who have dealt with back issues and discuss other options with your doctor. With all of this brainstorming going on, you might discover other forms of treatment that could work for you. Even just talking about your feelings and concerns with others or writing them down in a journal can help alleviate some of your depression.

Keeping yourself in good shape is also important since this can have a strong impact on your physical and mental health. Plan on being active regularly to stay physically fit. Talk to your doctor about exercises that are safe to do with back pain. You should also make sure that you eat healthy meals and get outside for at least a little bit each day to take in some fresh air. Getting enough sleep on a regular basis can also improve your mood and help you feel better. If you’re having trouble getting comfortable because of your back, ask your doctor for advice on good sleep positions.

Above all else, keep in mind that there are other forms of non-surgical treatment available, including Functional Disc Rehydration, spinal manipulation and acupuncture. If you haven’t tried alternative forms of treatment, an unsuccessful surgery could indicate that it’s time to consider these other methods. 

For additional information on back pain solutions that don’t involve surgery, please contact the Illinois Back Institute. Our clinics have successfully helped people throughout Illinois find relief from back problems.

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Topics: Functional Disc Rehydration, Back Pain, back surgery, depression and back pain