Best 5 Ways to Avoid Back Surgery

Back pain is a very common problem, but surgery is typically regarded as a last resort. There are times when surgery is necessary, but alternative treatments can help alleviate pain and improve spine health as well. We see thousands of back pain patients every month. However, we don’t refer many for surgery. We always try to rehabilitate patients at Surrey Physio without the need for surgery. However, if you do need to see an orthopaedic consultant, we recommend Michael Kotrba at Shirley Oaks Hospital, in London 0208 655 5500.

Here are the top five strategies for avoiding back surgery:

1. IDD Therapy

IDD Therapy is a ground-breaking treatment for conditions including herniated discs, sciatica, and degenerative disc disease. In contrast to conventional traction, IDD therapy targets specific spinal segments with a computer-controlled device that decompresses the affected areas gently. This decompression creates a negative pressure within the disc, promoting the retraction of herniated or bulging disc material and increasing the flow of nutrients to the disc, thereby facilitating the healing process. We know from the overwhelmingly positive Google reviews that numerous patients have discovered significant relief from chronic pain through regular IDD sessions, making it a valuable alternative to surgery for those seeking pain relief. For more information about IDD therapy treatment, patients can visit or call 0208 655 1655.


Physiotherapy is a holistic approach that focuses on the body's ability to move and function properly. A trained physiotherapist will evaluate your posture, mobility, and strength in order to create a personalised treatment plan that may include manual therapies, exercises, and other interventions. Techniques like soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation, and modalities like ultrasound or electrotherapy can help alleviate pain and enhance function. Regular physiotherapy can restore mobility, strength, and equilibrium, providing a long-term solution for managing back pain. Book online to see one of our physios at Surrey Physio.

3. Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a manual treatment based on the premise that abnormalities in the musculoskeletal system are the cause of numerous diseases and disorders. Osteopaths employ a variety of manual techniques to improve circulation, decrease muscle tension, and increase joint mobility. By understanding the interdependence of the body's systems, osteopathy aims to promote overall health and well-being, relieving pain without the need for surgery or heavy reliance on medication. A lot of patients ask us, what is the difference between osteopaths and physios. The main difference is osteopaths tend to be more hands-on and physios are more about rehabilitation. Book online to see one of our osteopaths at Surrey Physio.

4. Exercises

A well-designed exercise routine can do wonders for preventing back pain and avoiding surgery, when used in conjunction with osteopathy, IDD or physiotherapy. Workouts can be categorised as:

  • Strengthening: Core exercises improve the strength of the abdominal and back muscles, thereby bolstering the spine's support.
  • Stretching routines: to increase spinal flexibility, decrease muscle tension, and improve posture.
  • Aerobic activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling can assist in maintaining a healthy weight, thereby reducing the strain on the spine.

It is crucial to ensure that exercises are performed correctly in order to avoid accidental injury. Individualised advice can be provided by our team at Surrey Physio as part of your treatment. In addition, it’s also important not to aggravate your disc problem – so this advice might be useful for you:

5. Injections / Epidurals

An epidural can be a valuable treatment option for those who suffer from inflammatory conditions or nerve-related pain, especially sciatica. Epidurals consist of steroid and anaesthetic placed next to the spinal cord. Depending on the underlying cause, epidurals can provide temporary or even long-term pain relief in some cases. However, it is essential to remember that injections treat only the symptoms and not the underlying cause, so they are usually prescribed in conjunction with other treatments such as physiotherapy or exercises. For epidurals, see Michael Kotrba at Shirley Oaks Hospital 0208 655 5500.


Living with back pain can be difficult, but there are a variety of non-surgical ways to obtain relief. From specialised therapies such as IDD to daily exercise regimens, the available options are vast. Constantly, it is essential to consult with experts such as our team at Surrey Physio to get the best advice about what to do for your back pain.