The faulty rationale for most spinal surgery and why you should consider visiting a chiropractor first.

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Ask people who have had spinal surgery and you will hear many opinions of the surgery either working or making their problems worse. Some will tell you that the problem was fine for a few years and then their problems returned. Others will tell you that their pain improved but now another part of their body is now a problem such as their knee, shoulder and even their neck.

It almost seems that one procedure opens the door to a second surgery and then another surgery. One should ask; was the problem being addressed or was it just the symptom?

When I take a history on a patient, I ask about previous surgeries, injuries and other issues the patient may consider normal. For example, if someone is having a back and leg problem, do they have problems in their neck or shoulders. They may say that my right shoulder surgery 10 years ago left me with ... . They may also tell me that their neck had surgery for a disc issue a number of years ago.

The question is why and is our model of specialists who look at where you hurt rather than the mechanism behind why you hurt resulting in more harm over time.

What happens when the patient visits the chiropractor first?

Some will argue that before the surgery they had a lot of pain but afterward, much less. Sometimes chiropractic care has intervened and improved the problem markedly but a minimally invasive surgery to remove a disc fragment helped them resolve the rest of their leg pain. This approach uses chiropractic first to improve function and then surgery that resolved the balance of the problem that is not resolving with conservative means.

The annals of internal medicine in 2017 showed a number of interventions should be tried first. It also mentioned drugs and surgery last, although the practice of pain management ignores this. Chiropractors on the other hand use many of these tools to help patients get out of pain naturally. Movement heals and helps. Many back surgeries such as fixations or laminectomies reduce movement and often result in other spinal and joint problems later on. Also, having a holistic approach meaning that we are thorough in our history, examination and are flexible in our thinking may find your leg or hip or sciatic or lower back issues may actually be a foot problem. You will never realize this with an MRI of the lower back which is so often ordered to find the problem, but it instead opens the door to interventions and surgeries offering no benefit at all.

The chiropractic approach resolves mechanical problems that often cause problems in not only the painful part but of the body itself.

Seeing a surgeon first means that you are likely to have more testing that green lights a procedure after protocoled therapy to the painful area fails to resolve the problem. This typical method often fails, uses healthcare resources inefficiently and after a surgery, then what? Another, and another procedure over time? There is a long line of medical procedures that are no longer performed such as shoulder impingement surgeries or meniscus surgeries that after 40 years were shown not to work.

Seeing a chiropractor first may have eliminated much of this and the long term harm it caused.

A recent article explored the reason most spinal surgeries fail and how the public can self advocate. I often suggest people read my book Cheating Mother Nature which explains the mechanisms behind lower back pain and how they can best seek effective care for the condition.

Check out the article below

About 500,000 Americans undergo surgery each year for low back pain alone. The number of spinal surgeries has been steadily increasing in recent decades. In just one five-year period, from 1997 to 2002, the annual number of spinal surgeries more than tripled, from 317,000 to more than 1 million.[1] Even before these increases, back surgery rates were two to five times higher in the United States than in other industrialized nations.[2]

Many of these surgeries are unsuccessful and result in worse outcomes for the patients. This is likely because of the faulty rationale behind many back surgeries.

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a term used to describe the persistence or recurrence of low-back pain after spinal surgery. Research has shown that the more surgeries a patient has, the less likely an operation is to successfully relieve pain. In one study, the success rate for initial surgeries was over 50%; success of second surgeries was 30%; third surgeries 15%; and fourth surgeries 5%.[3]

Read more here