Physical Therapy as effective as surgery for back pain?
There was a study put out that found nearly equal success between physical therapy and decompression surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis. This is interesting, since spinal stenosis is generally a bony problem. None the less, it sheds light on the fact that surgery may not be your only option, even when you think it is. There is a time and place for surgery, but when that is, remains a tricky question (sometimes). Many times it is very obvious when it's time, and there are medical presentations that truly are surgical emergencies. Outside of those however, it appears conservative care (ie. physical therapy) can hold it's own and have similar success to surgery even for problems that appear to need surgery.