Chiropractic Care for Back Surgery Patients
Patients often think that back surgery is the final treatment they’ll ever need for back pain. Unfortunately, and to many people’s surprise, surgery doesn’t always relieve pain and discomfort, especially when used alone.
In some cases, surgery is a necessary step toward peak functioning of the spine. However, conservative treatments should be tried before making that choice, as surgery comes with some risks.
While surgery may not effectively treat back pain, patients who undergo surgery may notice improvement in their symptoms if they also utilize other therapies as a follow-up to their operation. One such option is chiropractic care.
Chiropractic adjustments following back surgery allows your body to heal while relieving pain and discomfort. Of course, you need to take time to heal from the procedure prior to receiving chiropractic adjustment, but it is a perfectly safe and completely effective treatment for those who have undergone back surgery. Be sure to discuss your chiropractic care with your back surgeon.
What Can I Expect With Different Back Surgeries?
There are four main types of back surgeries that are common. They include:
- Diskectomy – Removes all or part of your damaged disk
- Foraminotomy – Widens the space in your back where the nerve roots leave the spinal column
- Laminectomy – Takes pressure off your spinal nerves or spinal column by removing bone spurs or the lamina, which consists of two small bones that make up a vertebra
- Spinal Fusion – Fuses two bones in your back together
When you return home, you can expect different recovery times based upon the surgery you had, your age and general health, the work involved for your job, and how bad your condition was prior to surgery..
For instance, recovery time following a diskectomy is usually quick. After a diskectomy or a foraminotomy, you can expect to still feel pain, numbness, or weakness in the affected area, but these symptoms should lessen in a few weeks.
Recovery following a laminectomy or spinal fusion takes longer. You will be limited in your day-to-day activities and healing may take a minimum of three months, with the bones still healing for a full year after the procedure.
A spinal fusion takes the most healing time and requires time off work for your body to heal. If you are young and healthy with a desk job or other role that is not strenuous, it can take four to six weeks of healing before you can return to work. However, older people may require more extensive surgery and can be required to rest from work and many daily activities for four to six months in order to properly heal.
How Long After Back Surgery Can I Go to a Chiropractor?
It’s important to heed your surgeon’s instructions and rest following surgery, regardless of what kind of procedure you had done. You have to allow your body time to heal and recover from the operation before it’s safe to seek out chiropractic care.
While resting and healing, avoid straining your back to avoid injuring your healing spine, which may create complications and extend your recovery time.
Generally speaking, you should be able to receive chiropractic treatment after a year has passed since your surgery. Be sure to check with your surgeon, as you may not need to wait as long if you’ve had a simpler procedure or your condition may have included complications that require a longer waiting period.
Also, check with your licensed chiropractor to ensure that they have extensive experience in dealing with patients who’ve had back surgery so you’re certain that you’ll have a skilled chiropractor providing you with treatment.
What Are The Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor After Surgery?
If you are still experiencing pain following your back surgery, then it’s probably time to visit your chiropractor. Once the year of healing has passed, you can greatly benefit from the services provided by a licensed chiropractor. Spinal adjustments can be quite helpful in relieving pain and discomfort that may linger following surgery, particularly for neck and joint pain.
Chiropractors who are experienced in dealing with back surgery patients will use a gentle approach, utilizing non-rotational manipulations to assist in relieving pain. In addition to manual manipulations, your chiropractor may also use a TENS unit to loosen muscles among other instruments to help with the treatment.
In addition to relieving pain, chiropractic care can improve joint movement, nerve communication, and overall health. Following back surgery, chiropractic care can be the path to continuing care and returning to pre-injury condition. If you’ve had back surgery and are still experiencing pain, then schedule a chiropractic appointment online or call us today.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.