The poll, held among some 400 respondents aged 50 and up who have suffered or suffer from backaches, showed that less than 7% would consider surgery to deal with the problem.
The figures reveal that the most common problem is lower back pains (67%), followed by upper back pains (16%). Only about 10% suffer from pains in the mid back and about 10% suffer from pains in the tailbone.
How do they deal with the pain? Mainly through alternative medicine and massages (37%), medication (36%) and physiotherapy (35%). Twenty-eight percent said they are helped by physical activity or rehabilitation exercises.
About two-thirds of the respondents heard about surgery as a possibility for dealing with back pains, but the large majority (78%) are not willing to consider such an operation. Less than 7% said they would consider undergoing surgery, and this rate was even lower among people with an academic education – 4.5%.
"The back pain phenomena is very common and will grow over time as the population ages," says Dr. Ely Ashkenazy, who specializes in neurosurgery and spine surgery at the Assuta Hospital.
"When conservative treatment is unhelpful, various invasive treatments can be used. There is a lot of ignorance, both among the population and among some of the community doctors, regarding these treatments. The myth that spinal cord surgery is dangerous, and that there is a great risk that the patient will end up in a wheelchair, must be shattered."
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