Wondering why Steve Kerr, head coach of the Warriors is on the Injured Reserve? Steve Kerr missed the last 2 games of the 1st round due to health concerns involving his back. Following the 2014-2015 season Kerr underwent back surgery, which led to a series of documented complications. He missed most of the 2015-2016 season due to complications stemming from cerebrospinal fluid that arose following the surgery. He is now reporting that symptoms with his low back have made it difficult to remain on the sidelines, resulting in more missed time this season.
Discussions of spinal surgeries occur numerous times a day. The message we want everyone to understand is- when dealing with back pain, there is no “silver-bullet” cure or treatment. We typically find that with any painful condition of the back, there is an underlying bio-mechanical issue that needs to be addressed. Patients will typically experience numerous flare-ups or periods of pain, until the mechanical issues are addressed. Understanding that the condition will not resolve overnight and sticking to a program is important, and that the program will at times be lengthy. Re-operation rates for back surgeries are staggering. – Some of these surgeries include- discectomy, microdiscectomy, laminectomy, and fusions. This makes it difficult to ensure complete pain relief or improved function following these types of interventions. The successful surgeries are typically followed up with an appropriate rehabilitation program with corrective stretches and exercises. Understanding that there are conservative options like chiropractic and rehabilitation is important.
Kerr has advice for those even thinking about having back surgery. “I can tell you if you’re listening out there, if you have a back problem, stay away from surgery. I can say that from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
Tips, when contemplating back surgery…
1) Conservative measures should be attempted as first line measures. (Chiropractic, Rehabilitation, Acupuncture, and other alternative therapies)
2) Lifestyle changes should be assessed and addressed if need be- Diet (non-inflammatory), weight management, activity level, stress management.
3) Utilizing a medical intervention, such as medication or injections, to reduce pain may be used in conjunction with chiropractic or rehabilitation if pain levels are severe. It is important to understand that these interventions are addressing symptoms that prohibit the bio-mechanical correction.