Post-Surgical Chiropractic Care
Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: Frequently I get asked by patients if their spouse or friend could still get chiropractic care if they have had spinal surgery in the past. The answer is almost always yes, but I still need to explain how it won’t cause a problem.
Some people have had neck or back surgery with good results years ago and they want to make sure that chiropractic won’t cause the problem to reoccur. Depending on the type or surgery that was performed in the past, it will determine the current problems.
If the patient had a simple removal of the herniated disc (discectomy), opening up of the foramen where the nerve exits the spine (foraminotomy) or opening up of the back of the spine (laminectomy) then most of the problems will be due to scar tissue or lack of motion in the area of the prior surgery. The only discomfort that patients typically feel is some soreness from the scar tissue being broken up as mobility is increased.
If the patient had multiple levels of herniated disc he/she might have had surgery to stabilize their spine either with bone or with a metal cage (fusion). If the patient had scoliosis as a child he/she might have had a rod surgically implanted next to the spine. In both of these cases the area that is fused will not move. The pain is typically the area right above or below the fusion. The problem here is that these areas tend to move too much since the areas next to the fusion are trying to make up for the lack of motion in the fused areas. These patients typically do not feel much discomfort since the inflammation is being reduced. Patients might experience some soreness as we show them stretches and exercises to recruit other muscles in to use.
The hardest cases, but most rewarding, are the patients who have recently had spinal surgery with minimal or no relief of their pain. Until the surgeon has released the patient from care, we can only do therapy for the pain. After the patient has been cleared by the surgeon it is my job to determine what is actually causing the pain. This may or may not be the area where the surgery was performed. Depending on what is causing the pain will determine how it is corrected. Just because surgery was performed in the past does not prevent other treatment to the spine.
Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!