Is Chiropractic Still an Option After Back Surgery or Spinal Fusion?

For patients suffering from extreme lower back pain caused by degeneration, herniated disks, and other injuries, surgery very well may be the best option. Spinal fusion surgery is often one of the last options a patient chooses after exploring medications, physical therapy, and chiropractic, all to no avail because it can be extremely intense and has a year-long recovery period.

However, many spinal fusion surgery patients still experience pain or discomfort after their surgery, which makes them question what treatment options are still available to them. Is chiropractic still an option, even after major spinal surgery?

While many doctors warn patients of the risks involved with receiving chiropractic treatments after surgery, chiropractic care has the potential to help people suffering with back pain after surgery, as long as they are adequately healed prior to beginning treatment. At Ideal Spine, we frequently consult with patients post-surgery about the efficacy of spinal manipulations moving forward.

How long to wait after surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is when an orthopedic surgeon removes the disks between two or more spinal vertebrae and fuses the bones together with metal screws and plates. The point of the surgery is to correct conditions like herniated disks and degenerative diseases by allowing the spine to become immobilized in that area.

After a spinal fusion surgery, it can take a minimum of three months for the vertebrae to fuse together and create a fully immobilized graft. After the graft is complete, another few months of physical therapy are usually necessary to strengthen the muscles around the graft. Combining the initial recovery time with physical therapy time, most patients may expect to take a full year to recover. Patients should avoid any twisting and bending motions, or else they risk breaking the graft.

How chiropractic care can help surgery patients

Spinal fusion surgery is not guaranteed to solve the problem causing a patient’s back pain. Many spinal fusion patients experience discomfort or pain for a long while after surgery that might be aided by chiropractic manipulations. However, these patients should not endure rotational-type treatments.

In chiropractic care, manipulations are intended to adjust or realign bones in your spine or other body parts. Because chiropractic involves such intricate manipulations of the spine, many patients who have endured back or spinal fusion surgery are hesitant to consider seeking chiropractic treatment.

After a year, discuss the possibility of receiving chiropractic care with your physician and determine whether your surgical graft is strong enough to withstand spinal manipulations. Spinal fusion patients can be at a greater risk of injury if they are not healed correctly before receiving treatment from a chiropractor. Any controlled force on the spine could damage the graft and cause injury.

All of this does not mean that chiropractic care is out of the question. If your graft is adequately healed and your physician feels that you are strong enough to endure mild spinal manipulations, you can reach out to your Ideal Spine chiropractor to discuss Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) treatment options.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.