Every year, thousands of people undergo back surgery. Some of these surgeries are to correct emergency issues, while others are to address chronic, limiting pain.

Regardless of the reason for the surgery, many patients wonder what they are allowed to do after surgery. For instance, some surgeons may advise patients to sleep in certain ways, and some surgeons might recommend that patients abstain from heavy lifting.

One of the biggest questions patients have after back surgery is whether or not they can return to their chiropractor. In this post, we’ll examine this issue and determine if and when you should see a chiropractor after your back surgery.

Spine Surgery Recovery Time

In order to determine what activities are permissible after your procedure, it’s important to understand the back surgery recovery timeline.

There are some very general healing timelines that should be considered. For instance, most soft tissue structures will recover to the point where stress can be placid on them again within a few weeks.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to talk broadly about the recovery time from back surgery, as there are so many different types of spinal operations. For example, all of the following are common back surgeries:

  • Laminectomy. The vertebrae are divided into multiple different segments. One such segment is known as the lamina. Sometimes, surgeons will remove this segment in order to decrease the pressure on the nerves exiting the spine.
  • Discectomy. Between each vertebra is a disc, which provides cushioning. However, these discs can often slip out of place, allowing them to push on the nerves of the spine. This usually leads to tingling and pain in the affected arms and/or legs.
  • Fusion. When there is instability in the spine, some surgeons will perform a spinal fusion, where they fuse two or more segments of the spine together. This significantly reduces the instability but also can lead to stiffness.
  • Foraminotomy. The foramina are the little holes in the vertebral column through which the nerves exit the spine and find their way to their targets. A foraminotomy increases the size of these holes, allowing for decreased pressure on the nerves at this point in their path.

Each of these surgeries has a unique recovery timeline. Also, some surgeons will be more conservative than others. For this reason, it’s very hard to give a general amount of recovery time that you should expect after back surgery. It may be just a few weeks, or it may be a month or longer. 

Chiropractic Care After Back Surgery

So, should you see your chiropractor after back surgery? As with any question pertaining to health, it depends on a variety of factors.

First and foremost, you should listen to your surgeon’s instructions. If your surgeon tells you not to see a chiropractor after surgery, you should listen. There are a number of considerations surgeons make and these should be respected.

However, if your surgeon gives you the go-ahead to do whatever you want after you’ve healed from your surgery, you should strongly consider seeing your chiropractor. 

Chiropractic care can significantly improve healing after surgery, and it can also help to increase range of motion and strength throughout the body. Your chiropractor is an expert on spinal anatomy and will know exactly which adjustments are safe for you based on your surgery. 

If you’re recovering from back surgery and looking for ways to speed up the healing process, consider chiropractic care. Your Lithia chiropractor will assess your current functional status and develop a recovery plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment with our team at At Last Chiropractic today!