Interactive Tool: Should I Consider Surgery for My Low Back Problem (cont.)
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Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
What do your results mean?
About 90% of the symptoms of low back problems, such as back pain and pain down the back of the leg, go away by themselves within 6 weeks, and 98% are gone within 1 year.1 Most people with back pain do not need to see their doctor unless they have severe pain or their symptoms are not getting better after about 4 weeks. And they do not start having any tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), unless they have had symptoms for at least 6 weeks or they have had other "red flags" such as signs of nerve damage. Surgery is not considered until after that.
As you work through this tool, you will get an idea of whether surgery might help you.
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