Chiropractic Care After Back Surgery

Chiropractic Care After Back Surgery

Back Surgery Wasn't the End: How Chiropractic Care Can Help Get Your Life Back

If you’ve been through back surgery, you likely had days where it felt like the only solution to unrelenting pain. And for many people, it truly is the right choice! But if you’re reading this, I’m guessing your surgery didn’t magically erase all your discomfort. Maybe you’re still stiff in the mornings, have a nagging ache, or feel limited in what you can comfortably do. Let me start by saying: this is normal, and it doesn’t mean your surgery failed. Many of my patients experience similar frustrations.

As a Hillsboro chiropractor who is experienced in helping people after back surgery, I know how disheartening it can be when things don’t feel 100%. You went through a major procedure, endured recovery, and now it’s like the finish line keeps moving further away! The good news is, there are options to help you feel even better and regain a sense of control over how your body moves and feels.

One of those options might be chiropractic care. But I also understand if you’re hesitant. Maybe you worry if it’s safe after having hardware placed in your back, or wonder if it can even make a difference. It’s normal to have questions! Let’s explore whether chiropractic care could be a missing piece in your post-surgery recovery journey.

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Chiropractic Care After Back Surgery

Is Chiropractic Treatment Safe After Back Surgery?

This is the question I get most often from folks considering chiropractic care after back surgery, and it’s totally understandable! You’ve invested so much time, energy, and hope into your surgery – the last thing you want is to risk doing anything that could jeopardize your progress.

Here’s the deal:  When performed by a qualified chiropractor who is well-informed about your specific surgical history, chiropractic care can be both safe and beneficial after back surgery.

    • Knowledge is Key: A good chiropractor won’t treat you like a generic back pain patient. We’ll do a thorough consultation to  discuss your exact procedure,  look at recent X-rays or imaging results, and pinpoint the areas  where you’re feeling discomfort. This helps us customize a plan that’s safe and specific to your situation.

    • It’s All About Timing:  Rest assured, we won’t be rushing into any adjustments right after your surgery. Your body needs ample time for initial healing before starting chiropractic treatments. How much time varies depending on your surgery, but your surgeon can provide guidance on this.

    • Communication with Your Surgeon: In some cases, I like to connect directly with a patient’s surgeon to make sure we’re on the same page about which types of chiropractic techniques are safe and appropriate.  Open communication between all your healthcare providers is always a good thing!

What are the Benefits of Chiropractic After Back Surgery?

Okay, so we’ve established that chiropractic care can be safe after back surgery, but what’s the point? What can it actually help with? Here’s a breakdown of some key benefits:

    • Reduced Pain & Stiffness:  Following surgery, muscles surrounding the area can get tight and overworked, causing discomfort. Gentle chiropractic adjustments, along with therapies like massage or targeted stretches, can improve your overall range of motion and help loosen those stiff spots. This often translates to less daily pain.

    • Scar Tissue Management: Scar tissue is a normal part of healing,  but sometimes it forms in ways that pull on healthy tissue and restrict movement. Targeted chiropractic techniques, like soft-tissue mobilization, can help manage scar tissue to minimize its impact on flexibility and comfort.

    • Improved Function: When pain decreases and your body can move more easily, everyday tasks feel less daunting!  Many of my post-surgery patients are surprised at how much better they can bend, twist, and reach after a consistent course of chiropractic care.

    • Complementary Care:  Chiropractic shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for other post-surgery therapies your doctor recommends. Think of it as a valuable addition to your recovery toolkit.  It often works brilliantly alongside physical therapy, massage therapy, and any at-home exercise program your surgeon supports.

Important Note: Everyone responds differently to chiropractic care, and results will vary. It’s best to think of it as another tool to help you heal more fully and regain control over how your body feels.

What Happens During a Post-Surgery Chiropractic Visit?

If you’re used to the idea of chiropractors jumping straight into adjustments, the post-surgery approach might surprise you. Our focus is on safety and tailoring treatment specifically to your body’s needs. Here’s a general idea of what to expect:

    • Your Story Matters: We won’t start with any hands-on treatment. Instead,  we’ll have a detailed conversation about your surgery – what type it was, how long ago you had it, and what your biggest struggles are right now.

    • Understanding Your Hardware: It’s important for me to look at recent x-rays or imaging reports. This gives me a clear picture of any rods, fusions, or other hardware you might have, and how to work around them safely.

    • Evaluation:  I’ll likely do a gentle physical evaluation to see how your spine and surrounding muscles are moving. We’ll check for areas of tightness, tenderness, and any range of motion limitations.

    • Gentle Techniques Are Key:  Especially in the early stages of post-surgery care, we’ll likely use softer techniques. These might include:
        • Mobilizations: Slow, rhythmic movements to improve joint flexibility.

        • Soft-tissue therapies: To address muscle tension and scar tissue.

        • Modified adjustments: Very gentle adjustments focused on areas away from the surgical site to improve overall spinal function.

    • It’s a Process:  Don’t expect miracles overnight!  Recovering from surgery and optimizing your body’s function takes time. We usually start with a series of visits to see how you respond and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.

Please note: This is a general overview. Your specific plan will depend entirely on the type of surgery you had, your current state of healing, and your individual needs.

Chiropractic for Hillsboro Area Residents

As a Hillsboro-based chiropractor, I see a lot of patients who’ve had back surgery and are searching for ways to maximize their recovery.  I understand the unique challenges and lifestyle factors that come with living in our area, and how they can impact someone recovering from surgery.

Whether you work a desk job that requires long periods of sitting, spend your weekends hiking the gorgeous trails around Hillsboro, or find yourself constantly bending and lifting with kids or grandkids (or even pets!), it’s crucial to address any lingering pain and stiffness post-surgery. Otherwise, those daily activities can take their toll.

My goal is to help Hillsboro residents truly thrive after back surgery.   I understand the desire to get back to enjoying Tualatin Hills Nature Park, exploring Orenco Station, or tackling home improvement projects without your back holding you back.  Chiropractic care can often be a valuable tool in helping you reclaim a sense of ease and freedom in your body.

Chiropractic care after back surgery

Recovering from back surgery is a journey, not a sprint.  If you’re still searching for ways to feel your absolute best, I encourage you to explore chiropractic care as part of your healing process.  It might be exactly what you need to ease lingering pain, improve movement, and get back to enjoying the life you love in Hillsboro.

If you’re interested in learning more about how chiropractic care might fit into your post-surgery plan, let’s chat.  My goal is to help you understand your options and empower you to make informed decisions about your health.

FAQ – Chiropractic care after back surgery

How long after surgery should I wait before starting chiropractic care?

    • This depends on your specific surgery and how you’re healing. Your surgeon is the best person to advise you on a safe timeline.  In general, it’s wise to wait several weeks or even months to allow for initial healing.

Can chiropractic care help if I have fusion or other hardware?

    • Yes, absolutely!  A knowledgeable chiropractor will understand how to work around your specific hardware and tailor treatments to ensure safety.

Will my insurance cover chiropractic care after back surgery?

    • Insurance coverage varies greatly between plans. It’s best to check with your insurance provider directly to see what they cover.

What if I’m nervous about chiropractic adjustments?

    • It’s completely normal to feel apprehensive!  Let your chiropractor know your concerns.  We always prioritize your comfort and often use gentler techniques for post-surgery patients, especially in the beginning.

How do I find a qualified chiropractor for post-surgery care?

    • Ask specifically if they have experience treating patients post-surgery.  Don’t be afraid to interview a few different chiropractors to find someone you feel comfortable and confident with.