I wonder how difficult patients must have making clear decisions given all the misconceptions about spinal procedures. I try to let them know that non- surgical choices are good as long as there is real improvement. However, I see a lot of patients using drugs that are just masking symtoms that really do not address the compression of the spinsl nerves. If one has weakness lifting their arms or difficulty walking from leg eakness this is very serious. Most of the time, surgery is to remove compression of nerves by either a disc or bony overgrowth that cannnot be avoided. My best outcomes occur if a decision for surgery occur before there is permanent damage to the spinal nerves from chronic compression in either neck or back. Be very careful with overuse of pain medications or prolong therapy!