Before you consider surgery for a bulging disc, it is important to take some time and explore your options. According to the federal organization, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, “in 2007, 27 million adults reported back problems with $30.3 billion spent on treatments to ease the pain.” An estimated 600,000 people in the United States chose surgery to remedy their back problems. However, a study published in the journal Spine reveals that 74 percent were worse off after the surgery than before the procedure. An even more disturbing revelation was the 41 percent increase in opiate use for pain control. The results of the study also revealed that 67 percent of patients who did not have back surgery were able to return to work.