Dr. Marcella, a top neurosurgeon and founder of Austin Integrative Spine, consults patients with back pain to get to the root cause, optimize health, and explore explore alternative healing modalities…in addition to considering surgery.  Here’s what Dr. Marcella would like you to consider before agreeing to spine surgery:

1. Spine surgery can be optimized for faster recovery, less pain, and lower stress by optimizing your whole health.

The stress and anxiety of surgery contribute to slowing the recovery and healing process. At Austin Integrative Spine, Dr. Madera uses a pre- and post-operative protocol that addresses your specific health issues and primes your nervous system for success in the outcome and for ease in managing the stress of your procedure.

2. Surgery is the last resort after conservative treatment fails. Conservative treatment can include both conventional and complementary modalities.

Rarely is spine surgery an emergency. If you have severe weakness, paralysis, or bowel and/or bladder dysfunction, urgent evaluation and treatment is warranted. If not, many spine problems including stenosis, nerve compression, radiculopathy, back pain, neck pain, arm pain, and leg pain can resolve with health optimization, exercise, pain management, and complementary modalities such as mind-body practices for stress, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment. At Austin Integrative Spine, once ruling out that surgery is needed urgently, Dr. Madera employs a treatment paradigm that includes modalities from both conventional and complementary medicine.

3. Most spine surgeons are taught very little about non-surgical treatment in training.

Surgical training, as it should, focuses heavily on preparing a surgeon to be safe and effective in the operating room. Due to the operative rigors of residency in both neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery residencies and spine fellowships, physicians in training often have limited outpatient clinical experience under their surgeon mentors and even less observing other providers. Many surgeons have limited knowledge of the treatment protocols employed by physical therapists, pain management physicians, physical medicine and rehab physicians, and chiropractors, those that provide the majority of spine care before a patient gets to the surgeon. This knowledge is often gained in clinical practice after training, and rarely includes investigation of complementary modalities such as mind-body therapies and the multitude of wellness practices that are burgeoning in integrative health care.

Austin Integrative Spine’s Dr. Marcella Madera has a long-held, deep personal interest in learning about the entire spine care continuum. View Dr. Marcella’s Bio here or visit our Services page to discover more.