Back pain can be one of the most debilitating conditions with regard to interruption of work, regular activities, and enjoyment of life. Many patients cycle through a disappointing round of treatments involving pain medications, uncomfortable side effects, and other methods that mask the discomfort but do not solve the underlying problems.

At some point, you might begin to consider surgery as an option to solve your back pain. But before you do, it is important to consider potential long-term side effects.

Some of the most common back surgeries include discectomy, laminectomy, and spinal fusion – each specifically geared toward different types of back problems. All surgeries include the risk of complications, such as infection, internal bleeding, nerve damage, and more. Additionally, each of these types of back surgery can trigger new side effects even when addressing the original problem.

For example, a discectomy removes a damaged disc, but does not address the original cause of that damage. The problem could recur in the future if the underlying issue is not solved.

A laminectomy addresses spinal stenosis by removing the lamina – the part of the bone that forms the vertebral arch of the spine. After this surgery, some patients experience a reversal of the normal C-curve of the spine, called laminectomy kyphosis. Others suffer degeneration of posterior connective tissues which triggers new problems and pain.

During a spinal fusion surgery, the surgeon fuses two or more vertebrae. Unfortunately this can place additional stress on the areas of the spine above and below the fusion, leading to disc degeneration in those vertebrae.

While these complications do not occur in every post-surgical patient, they are common. The unfortunate result is that the patient does not achieve long-term pain reduction, and now must deal with new back problems.

This is why exploring all therapeutic options prior to surgery can be so important. After all, a surgery cannot be undone!

Chiropractic treatments put the body in the position to heal itself, as it is designed to do. That’s why it should be a consideration for any patient with back pain, prior to considering surgery as a last resort. For more information on how chiropractic treatments might help you, call us to schedule an appointment. We will discuss your condition in detail and then put together a treatment plan to help your body heal and potentially avoid the need for surgery.