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Back Surgery Alternative

Margaret Minnicks has been a writer for many years. She writes about entertainment, celebrities, books, movies, foods, drinks, and health.


About 16 million adults constantly suffer from chronic back pain. That's about 8 percent of all adults who would choose anything to stop the pain if they could. Therefore, they choose to have back surgery without contemplating other possible methods of stopping the pain.

Good Morning America aired a segment on June 9, 2021 that focused on a reputable surgeon who no longer performs surgeries for chronic back pain. That's because he has designed a less intrusive method without people having to go under the knife.

Who is Dr. David Hanscom?

Dr. David Hanscom, a former orthopedic surgeon, says people should not choose surgery over other methods to eliminate back pain. He emphatically believes surgery should be the last option. He has come up with a cutting-edge technique to eliminate structural back pain.

Dr. Hanscom relied on the normal remedy for back pain for over 32 years for complex spine issues. He performed more than 200 surgeries a year in Seattle, Washington. After decades of practicing medicine that way, he has changed his approach. He has come to the conclusion that back surgery does not address the cause of the pain. He added that in some cases, surgery is not necessary.

Another orthopedic surgeon and spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), Dr. Alan Hilibrand concurs with Dr. Hanscom about the cutting-edge technique for battling chronic back pain.

Dr. Hanscom quit his surgical practice in 2019 to pursue teaching patients and medical providers how to get relief from chronic pain without surgery. He contends that surgery should be the last option instead of the first choice. Today, the former surgeon runs remote group sessions and many of his patients admit they are pain free after attending them and practicing the techniques.

After decades of coping with chronic issues, one follower said he was told by other doctors that if he did not have surgery, he would get to the point when he would not be able to walk. After following Dr. Hanscom's advice, he hardly ever has pain in his back anymore.

Before patients went to Dr. Hanscom for help, they had undergone multiple spinal surgeries. Many of his patients often experience relief from back pain without having to undergo surgery at all.

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Dr. Hanscom believes there is a connection between the mind and the body. His technique includes five activities to calm down a "fired up nervous system."

  1. expressive writing
  2. forgiveness
  3. sleep
  4. exercise
  5. meditation

He said all these disciplines are based on science. He stated he had over a hundred patients with structural problems who normally would have done very well if they had back surgery. The first thing Dr. Hanscom told them was not to focus on and constantly talk about their back pain because that only reinforces it. After they started using his mind and body techniques, their back pain disappeared and they began to thrive without surgery.

Dr. Hanscom's Books

Hanscom believes there are alternative methods for back pain. He believes in the techniques so much that he has written books to help back pain sufferers get relief without surgery. It is all about the body and mind connection. The former orthopedic surgeon has published books and is developing resources for patients and providers to make the best decisions without always relying on surgery. His books are:

  • Do You Really Need Spine Surgery? Take Control with a Surgeon’s Advice is his most recent book published on October 29, 2019 that contains 276 pages. The book combines information about anatomy and the nervous system. It advises patients to think twice before undergoing unnecessary spine surgery.
  • Back in Control: A Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain, 2nd edition, published on November 18, 2016 has 352 pages. It is an updated version of his 2012 book with the same title. Dr. Hanscom contends that billions of dollars are spent on chronic pain.
  • Back in Control: A Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain was first published in 2012 with an overview of Dr. Hanscom's techniques for back pain.

Use Techniques for Other Pain

Since Dr. Hanscom's techniques work well for chronic back pain sufferers, the same techniques are likely to work just as well for migraine headaches and other chronic pain.

If you are experiencing pain in any area of your body, try the five activities listed above to see if you will notice a difference in your level of pain.

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