pain that persists or returns in the same or adjacent area following lumbar spine (low back) surgery
(aka failed back surgical syndrome)
Surgery done for a lumbar spine/low back pain condition may be as simple as removal of stray material in the spinal canal or spinal fusion of a couple vertebra or more advanced with the insertion of bolts and plates or disc replacement "cages". Whatever is done surgically will be worked around to attempt to relieve your existing pain conservatively, gently and safely.
Video description of a post surgical artificial disc placement
Surgical intervention for back pain or spine pain often leaves the discs adjacent
to the surgical area hypermobile (overly movable) and lead to degeneration or herniation.
Video description of a post-surgical fusion
A thorough, clinical examination that may include imaging is important to your recovery from post-surgical pain.
Lumbar Spine Exam Description
In office, OrthoIllinois Chiropractic uses chiropractic Cox Technic Flexion Distraction and Decompression to widen the canal space, drop the intradiscal pressure and increase the disc height to relieve pain.
You will welcome the Cox Technic manipulation that gently "pulls you apart," as many patients describe the treatment or say they need. Depending on the severity of your pain and symptoms, gentler Protocol I may be applied until 50% relief of pain or more restoring Protocol II may be applied to guide your recovery.
Graphic Animation of Cox Technic - Lumbar Spine
The disc is pressing on the nerve. Note that as the disc herniation reduces, the pinched nerve is relieved.
This is an animation of the goal of Cox Technic
Flexion-Distraction and Decompression: reduced irritation of spinal elements
enough to relieve pain and help you regain your quality of life. The amount of
decrease in size of the herniated disc necessary for pain relief varies from 0%
to 100% for each individual patient.
Cox Technic Protocol I - for severe pain or pain that extends below the knee
Cox Technic Protocol II - for pain that is in the low back and stays above the knee
NOTE ON HEALING: Surely you have rested and rested and rested as you dealt with pain before and recovered from the surgery afterwards. You are probably ready to not rest anymore…which is great! A big part of your recovery from surgery and re-entry to a pain-free living is rehabilitation. Rehabilitation of weakened and painful muscles is hugely beneficial because muscles around the spine degenerate just as the discs in the spine degenerate. The combination of Cox Technic Flexion Distraction and Decompression spinal adjusting with exercise is a source of relief of post-surgical pain.
At Home Care
At home you will want to avoid sitting for long periods of time, wear a support brace if recommended, take nutritional supplements that help rebuild disc cartilage, sleep on a supportive mattress, sit in an ergonomically designed chair, avoid constipation which just forces you to use pressure that your spine doesn't need, and modify your daily activities as needed.
Clinical Case Reports: Failed Back Surgical Syndrome: Lumbar Spine
Contact OrthoIllinois Chiropractic for conservative care of your post-surgical low back pain.