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Chiropractor after Lumbar Fusion???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 51,465
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Everyone, I am seriously considering going to my chiropractor (if he is even willing to treat me) for upper back and neck pain. My neck has been killing me for 2 months, since my lumbar fusion, I blame it on lying in bed with this laptop, LOL! But now my upper back is dying off as well, possibly related to weaning out of my TLSO. My NS said I can get my neck adjusted, not my back for 9 months at least. Well, I never want a chiro to touch my lumbar spine, but oh my if I could get someone to pop my upper back/lower neck it would be wonderful. Have any of you had chiropractic treatment after surgery. It is a totally different area than my surgical area, but I am still hesitant, but miserable :(. I am getting massage every 2 weeks, only helps for the day, and then back to this again. My YMCA therapy pool is broken, so missing out on that soothing treatment as well. And my new PT is making my low back hurt in the SI joints. Missing my Chiro, but probably a bad idea, huh? :?
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Comments

  • i cant exactly say ive seen a chiro post op however i see my osteopath every 1-2wks since 6wks and he is my saviour (Im 20wks now). my thoracic spine has complained abit since ive become more active and as its gotten used to its new position. on wed, he manipulated my t spine as well as my neck, along with alot of work (articulation, soft tissue) on my sij's, hips etc. it helps so much! funny that we were discussing the fact that i can now get discomfort in other areas of my body, a nice change...and one that i really dont mind as it beats the back pain.

    if you feel safe with your chiro then s/he could be of great benefit to you. if you dont want high velocity manipulation (the ones that go crack) then s/he should have other tools in his bag that will get a very similar amount of change. you just need to communicate any concerns / nervousness and they have to take this into account (informed consent dictates they cant do anything you do not consent to).
  • Cali-Sue, I have had cranio-sacral therapy for my upper back and neck. It is a lot more gentle then chiro as it works on releaseing the muscles that are pulling the joints out of place.

    I have a lady here I have been seeing for years and made an appointment today to go see her. I have put my neck out due to sleeping differently and it has just become worse as the week had gone on and now can hardly move it. :(
    She also does Alexander technique so if very big on posture.

    If your Dr is not wanting you to have chiro yet, then there are different methods that are gentler on the body then the good old cracking :))(

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I wish I had an osteopath like that. Odd thing is at the hospital where I work, we have a family practice residency program (made my surgeon promise not to let any of the residents near me :)) and many of the docs are DO's, but I have never seen or heard of any of them doing adjustments and yet I have read about this here many times. Too bad. Come to think of it my PMD the past 10 years was a DO and she never did anything like that. I just had to get a new one cause she left family medicine to do laser therapy, odd! Thanks for your response, I'll have to check out what is available. My chiro uses an activator and manual adjustments, but he never has tried to twist my back and I won't let him either. I used to have one that did that and he couldn't pop my back no matter how much he tried, so gave up on that. This last guy also gave up on my low back but was able to help my upper areas. He even told me to go see surgeon #:S Take care, Sue
  • Hi Angelback, is craniosacral therapy where they only adjust your neck and it is suppose to help the rest of your spine? If so a friend at my work swears by it. Her mother was bedridden by a rupt disc, and had a cst tx, and in one tx she was up and pain free. Sounded too hocus-pocus to me, and I was burned out on chiros at the time and in so much pain, I never tried it. But hey, I had an unstable Spondy and I truly beleive this surgery was the only thing that would help it long term. (Yay, my back doesn't creak and crunch anymore!) If my guy won't see me I might try to find someone else who uses another method. Thanks for the response. It is after 0200 and I've got to try to sleep I guess. My bad habits are still at it :D Good-night to all, Sue I) I)
  • The lady I see does do some work on the lower back but she wont do it now until I get the OK- that is if I need it at all.
    You lie on your back and she usually puts her hand underneath you and gently pressed on a muscle until it releases. You can feel the release and it is like the whole body just relaxes even thoug it can hurt a bit if the spot is tender.
    She does most of her work on the upper bosy and I have even had her working and releasing muscles in my mouth when I had constant sore throats. She has realigned my friends jaw and prevented braces for her child.
    So in a way it is about getting everything into alignemnt but in a gentle way.
    I have another friend who is a physio and also does this. She said now days she does more CST then physio.

    Sleep well
    Sara O:)
  • I have the same issues!! I already had cervical and thoracic issues before lumbar surgery but it is worse lately-I figured from wearing the brace-still wearing it full time for another 6 weeks! Also, I am used to taking advil for the headaches from the cervival issues-now I cannot take it at all. AND-no adjustments!! I am gonna ask my surgeon about the chiro when I go back to see him in nov.
  • I personally wouldn't go there..
    Can you not find a physio who is trained in gentle mobilisation and manipulation instead.

    Be careful!
  • I personally wouldn't go there..
    Can you not find a physio who is trained in gentle mobilisation and manipulation instead.

    Be careful!
  • hi darlin,
    check out some other options.
    my husband finally found a chiro that does not do your old fashion cracking.
    its a pen type thing. its the shape of a epi pen without the needle!!
    it finds the hot spots and they push it into that spot with this (pen thing). no cracking involved.
    my hub has DDD and everytime he starts walking sideways or is not straight he heads there. no pain involved at all.
    after about 2-3 treatments he feels awesome.

    i so wish i could think of the name of it. i will try to find it today. there has to be someone where you are that uses this technique..

    good luck, no chiro is touching this lady =)) =))
  • I would strongly advice not going to a chiropractor. The muscles in your upper back and neck are compensating for the weakness in your back right now. Angelback is wonderful at expaining this, as is Lakeside. Sometimes it makes the muscles so tight that they do pull on the joints. Before surgery I went to a physical therapist who is a 'manual' physical therapist and has been trained on the craniosacral methods as well as a few adjustments such as a DO would use to get the vertebrae back in order. However, you must continue your stretching and when appropriate, strengthening to get the upper back and neck to settle down and hold things in place. Check around your area for Physical Therapists that do 'manual therapy'.
    Blessings,
    Carol
  • Cali Sue:

    I had my TLIF back surgery about a year ago, but I remember having neck pain. My doctor told me that patients often have residual pain and it will get better. He strongly advised against going to a chiropractor. Also, if your PT is causing pain maybe you should not be doing it. The technician I had for PT said if it caused me pain I shouldn't do it. I found that stretching my neck helped a little bit. I hope you feel better.

    Ellen
  • I have been going to my chiro for years, and continued to do so after my first fusion. To get exactly what you want done, my upper back and neck. I get pinched nerves in my neck (from the same accident that ruined my back), and it helps alot. He has always been careful not to touch my lower back. And these adjustments have never caused any strain or pain in my lower back at all. If you feel comfortable with your chiro and he/she knows of your lower back, then I don't see a reason to hesitate.
  • Shay, I so understand, I too am dearly missing my Ibuprofen. My surgeon says I can take it starting Nov. 5, exactly 3 months post-op. I know others have said none for a year even and I am not fusing between the vertebrae yet, so kinda afraid to start taking it even on Nov. 5. I am kinda counting on being able to use it on work days when I go back, cause can't have a nurse on narcotics now can we 8}?

    Just wait til you get to wean your brace! That moment we so look forward to, and guess what? It isn't easy. I have more aches and pains since brace weaning and I am sure it is related. This upper back/low neck thing definitely coincided with brace weaning. All those weak muscles I guess. And PT, that is bringing on some new pain as well. Oh I sure can't wait to have all of this business behind me, then I will have a party <:P <:P <:P Take care, Sue
  • Physio? I had never heard of a physio until I came to this site and I have been an RN for 20 years. I guess they don't admit patients to the hospital or I would have met a few through the years. Interestingly my new PT place is connected to an office with 3 physios. I am gonna have to ask some questions and check it out. I think they are in to pain management as I keep seeing people bring in their bags of meds and leave with meds. There is a note on the wall about what hours they dispense meds. Now would one get a referral to a physio or is it something you do seperate and pay out of pocket like a chiro? Anyone know? >:D< Sue
  • Thanks for all the replies. I am trying to hold off a little until I get to talk to my PT. I want to see if they have anything to offer to help or what they know about the physios that are in the same building. I might move up my massage appointment if I can, to see if that'll get me by. For now ice and heat are my bedbuddies. :D >:D< :* Sue
  • Cali-Sue if your muscles are tight then ditch the ice. Heat is the best option as it relaxes the muscles where as ice can send them into spasm.
    Ice is great if there is inflamation you want reduced.
    When I was in the rehab hospital I was having a LOT of pain in my upper back muscles as I was adjusting to standing straight and not leaning to the side with the scoliosis.
    The physio (PT) ordered me these wonderful heat packs to use every hour and she gave me a gentle massage each day.
    As I didn't have a brace it is probably what you are going through now.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • Thanks Sara, I am putting heat on my upper back and ice on my lower back for my SI joint flareup that was brought on by my PT. Boy that sounds funny, but it is helping :))( You should see me now, I have a ricebag on my legs, gel ice pack on my lowback, heating pad to upper back, neck pillow around my neck (what a site =))) . I wish my PT would give me a massage! I do get ice and heat to the lumbar, but mostly I am getting a work out ;) >:D< Sue
  • Hi Cali-Sue,

    In UK we call PT = Physio (therapy)

    We can access Chiropracter (?sp) Oesteopath and Physio all privately - self refer or by our family doctors.
    We can have approx 6 sessions on our NHS of Physio and some areas do fund Oesteopath, but not everywhere and can only have a few sessions.

    It is my physio who does gentle mobilisation techniques (nothing as harsh as the clunk clicking that chiro's do) but more "hands on" than run of the mill physios.
    Physios will specialise....so mine is an ergonomic back specialist. She always starts me with a soft tissue massage to loosen up my rock hard back muscles them I "exercise" then we finish on the Ultrasound.
    Ask yours about it - try it and see. Its Gorgeous.
  • I have been to my chiro once since I had surgery, for him to work my upper back and neck. I have migraines, and the adjustments to my neck do help to alleviate them. I know most people don't believe in chiropracters but I can attest to their effectiveness. Good luck to all in their journey to recovery.
  • So I thought I would write an update. Yesterday I got my massage and then I went to my chiro and got my upper back adjusted. I do feel a little better. He said he does post back surgery patients all the time and just made a note in my chart not to adjust the lumbar. He mainly uses an activator and occassional manual, but not a twister at all.
    My SI joints are still burning and my pt checked my sacral alignment and felt it was fine. She said my piriformis is tight and gave me stretches for that. My massage therapist worked on this area as well, and today it actually feels worse, so who knows. I guess I will just give it some time. Still trying to decide on return to work date. So afraid of screwing up my back as I have to return to full duty 12 hour shifts. Thanks for all the input, wish me luck, Sue
  • I just found the link here last night on piriformis stretches and did some today. They give you a good stretch.I hope you don't go back to work too early. I know 12 hour shifts are long. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Cali:

    Did you ever ask your doctor if you should use the chiropractor? I hope you feel better.

    Ellen
  • I have not asked my OS about chiro, as at this point I have no desire to see one, however I asked him about massage. He said if I go to one,make sure she does not touch my surgery site at all.

    As far as the piriformis streches, I just started PT this week (5 1/2 months after fusion) and I got a list of exercises I have to do daily, including two versions of piriformis. I guess it must be good for us, as long as our body is straight and not twisted.

    Kin
  • Ellen, Charry, and Kin: Thanks for the posts. I got permission from my NS to get massage since 6 weeks and at my 8 week checkup he said chiro was okay, just nothing to the low back. Unfortunately I feel like my upper back is out again, woke up with a huge headache. I had been going to the YMCA doing my pool therapy routine since 4 weeks (except is was broken the last 2 weeks) including a piriformis stretch, now that I think about it. These never bothered me. Now my PT exercises have my SI joints screaming. I just keep icing and stretching, hoping it gets better soon. I had hoped to return to work 10/27, I am written off through 11/4. And now I don't know if that is even realistic. I have to decide next week and call my surgeon for a note. >:D< Sue


  • Hi Everyone, I am seriously considering going to my chiropractor (if he is even willing to treat me) for upper back and neck pain. My neck has been killing me for 2 months, since my lumbar fusion, I blame it on lying in bed with this laptop, LOL! But now my upper back is dying off as well, possibly related to weaning out of my TLSO. My NS said I can get my neck adjusted, not my back for 9 months at least. Well, I never want a chiro to touch my lumbar spine, but oh my if I could get someone to pop my upper back/lower neck it would be wonderful. Have any of you had chiropractic treatment after surgery. It is a totally different area than my surgical area, but I am still hesitant, but miserable :(. I am getting massage every 2 weeks, only helps for the day, and then back to this again. My YMCA therapy pool is broken, so missing out on that soothing treatment as well. And my new PT is making my low back hurt in the SI joints. Missing my Chiro, but probably a bad idea, huh? :?

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