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Surgery Should Be A Last Resort

Sometimes, surgery is inevitable. A patient’s condition may have simply deteriorated to the point where they have no other option. But as Chiropractors, we firmly believe in giving the body the chance to heal itself first, you just have to give it a helping hand.

The majority of factors that lead to spinal stenosis or a herniated disc can be addressed by Chiropractic care.You often do have a choice before going under a knife. But this requires that you listen to your body, seek care at an early stage, and realize that living on a steady diet of pain medications should never be considered normal.

Because surgery is no guarantee of relief. Various studies have questioned whether many back surgeries are even necessary. In many cases, the outcome of a surgery isn’t what a patient hoped because the surgeon wasn’t even positive they had identified the source of the pain. A procedure like a laminectomy can even result in a new form of chronic pain and a condition known as failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).

The outcome of surgery is not guaranteed

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Hanscom, author of Back in Control, argues that most people with chronic back pain should look at options other than surgery. He emphasizes the link between mind and body – anxiety and stress often fuels the severity of chronic pain. Dealing with those emotional factors first can have a profound impact.

A study published in 2009 by researchers from Australia’s University of Newcastle and the Newcastle Bone and Joint Institute and Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center concluded that:

“Surgeons and others believe that surgery is effective for back pain. They base this belief either on their own experience or on observational studies. This belief is, by and large, not vindicated by the outcomes in well-reported clinical trials. Those trials indicate that only a small proportion of patients do well from surgery.”

Avoid the temptation of a ‘quick fix’

Patients often ask us if they need surgery.  Often times, they are looking at a quick fix to get out of pain as soon as possible, but fail to appreciate how serious of a procedure it can be and the amount of rehab that might follow.

Chiropractic care does not guarantee a 100 per cent recovery from something like an acute disc herniation. Neither does physiotherapy. But a non-invasive approach is definitely an option worth trying before committing to surgery.

Our philosophy is always to start with non-invasive care that supports the body’s own ability to heal. Medication comes second, due to possible side effects, and surgery last, because it’s irreversible.

And as always, help your body along by managing your stress, getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and approaching all you do with good ergonomics.

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