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Back Surgery: Should I Consider It?

When you have chronic back pain, it can be difficult to function, walk, or even think. At some point, you might consider surgery just to start feeling better again. There are many different opinions about when or if surgery is the best treatment for back pain. Before making any decisions, it’s wise to get the facts about the benefits of chiropractic care and the risks of surgery.

Your spinal column houses and protects your central nervous system and it plays an important role because it’s responsible for facilitating signals between your brain and your body. To a large degree, your body is designed to heal and repair itself. Chiropractic care focuses on putting your body into a position that it can heal itself.

Spinal adjustment helps to restore normal motion to your spine.  Corrective techniques such as Chiropractic BioPhysics  can correct and/or improve spinal alignment.  In that way, chiropractic treatments put your body into a position where it can heal itself. Chiropractic care is completely natural. It gets at the root of your pain rather than mask it with medicine.

Non-surgical spine correction techniques such as Chiropractic BioPhysics could spare you the risks associated with surgery.

There are three common types of spinal surgeries—discectomies, laminectomy, and spinal fusion and they all come with various risks.

Risks of surgeries include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Infection
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence
  • Dural tear
  • Damage to nerve roots
  • Fluid buildup in the lungs—potential for pneumonia
  • Leg clots which may lead to deep vein thrombosis
  • Continued pain
  • Death

A discectomy is a procedure to remove the damaged part of a disc in your back. It can be a temporary fix because it doesn’t get at the root of what caused the disc problem to begin with.  A discectomy is the least invasive of the surgeries mentioned in this blog.

A laminectomy is where a surgeon removes the lamina—part of the bone that forms the vertebral arch in your spine. This is frequently done on individuals with a spinal stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal.  A common risk is post-laminectomy kyphosis which is reversal of the normal c-shaped curve in the cervical spine. Surgery can also cause damage and deterioration to your posterior connective tissues—the ligaments and muscles.

Spinal fusion is a surgery where the surgeon permanently fuses two or more vertebrae in your spine. When you fuse two segments of your spine, it puts increased stress on the segments of your spine that are above and below it which causes adjacent segment disease or disc degeneration in the segments adjacent to the fusion.

Considering the many risks that are inherent with back surgery, back surgery should only be considered when all conservative treatment methods have failed.

It’s always best to give your body the best chance to heal itself, which is why chiropractic care is highly successful for many people. If you’ve tried conservative therapies first and still don’t find relief from chronic back pain, only then should you consider having surgery.

Don’t wait until it’s too late!  If you are dealing with spine-related pain call our office at 970-207-4463 or click here to request a free consultation.


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