In cases when all types of conservative care have not helped and you have tried everything to reduce your back pain, surgery needs to be considered. Oftentimes, people ask their Rochester chiropractor “Should I continue chiropractic care after surgery and how long should I wait to see you?” Chiropractic care is an excellent recovery tool for post-back surgery patients. How long you have to wait to begin chiropractic treatment can depend on a few factors and is different for everybody. Let's talk about back surgeries, why you should include chiropractic care in your recovery process, and how long you need to wait before your first appointment.
There are many different types of back surgeries that are done depending on the condition and pain present. In serious disc herniation cases, a discectomy is done where they remove the disc and fuse the two bones together. Other times the pain is caused by irregular bone growth pushing into spinal nerves and those bones are cut away or removed. It is easy to downplay how invasive these surgeries are and people are led to believe that their pain will completely resolve after these procedures are done. The truth is that only around 20% of post-back surgery patients come out the other side with no pain.
Patients that included additional therapies after their surgery have been shown to significantly improve the success rate of the procedure and reduction of pain. All of the back’s biomechanics are altered after surgery which can produce similar or even more severe pain than what was reported prior to surgery. Addressing these biomechanical problems through additional therapies not only prevents the pain from reoccurring but can also speed up recovery time.
How long you have to wait after surgery before you can begin additional therapies is dependent on the rate your wound heals. Unfortunately, this is different for everyone. While some patients may be ready for aggressive therapies in as little as 6 weeks, other patients may take as long as 6 months for their surgical site to heal. In the meantime, lighter and less aggressive therapies can begin almost immediately. Soft tissue massage and light mobility exercises can help improve range of motion, reduce pain, and speed up recovery.
A Rochester chiropractor can begin gentle treatment post-surgery typically a week after surgery. Post-surgical treatment can be split up into different stages as the patient begins to regain their mobility and function. For the first couple of weeks, gentle massage and mobilization of the back will help to reduce the muscle guarding and spasms and increase blood circulation. Utilizing Class IV deep tissue laser therapy at this stage can also provide immense benefit. Laser therapy will immediately accelerate the regeneration and healing process of the surgery site via photobiostimulation. This process signals the cells in the surgical area to kick start their processes to begin cell regeneration immediately.
After 6-8 weeks, dependent on the patient’s progress, more aggressive treatments can usually begin. At this point, more aggressive muscle stretching and joint mobilization will further improve range of motion and function to the surgical site. The patient can now begin more aggressive strengthening exercises as well in order to strengthen and stabilize the back. By regaining mobility and strength to the back, scar tissue formation can be minimalized so that pre-injury function can be retained.
If you are experiencing back pain and don’t want to resort to surgery, consider chiropractic care. Schedule an appointment today with your chiropractor in Rochester. At Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, your Rochester chiropractor has helped many patients get out of pain and prevent unwanted and unneeded surgeries. Our office has also helped patients recover after a recent back surgery and has even helped patients who have had “failed back surgery syndrome” where the surgery was unsuccessful in resolving their pain. Give us a call today to explore your options and see how we can get you out of pain!