Dr. Tim's Thoughts on Surgery and Your Health
Article of the Week Sept 25 to 29, 2017
Have you or someone you know been told that you need surgery? Maybe you've already had surgery in the past to resolve a health problem or condition. In my opinion, there are surgeries that are required where nothing else is going to resolve the problem, and surgeries that should be put off as a last resort while you explore other options first. Let me elaborate on this statement by giving examples.
If you have an acute case of appendicitis, surgery is likely your only option. An inflamed appendix can rupture causing infection which can possibly be fatal. If you have a severe head injury and suffer a subdural hematoma (bleeding on the brain) surgery can reduce the pressure and again save your life. I could give you other examples where surgery is the only viable option.
But what about when it comes to back or neck pain? Many of the people that I see have either had surgery and are still suffering in the aftermath, or have come to see me for another opinion before deciding whether or not to undergo surgery. I can't emphasize enough taking all possible steps to resolve your problem conservatively before committing to undergo a surgical procedure. Did you know that complications from spinal fusion surgery include infection, damage to the spinal cord and surrounding nerves (resulting in weakness or numbness in the arms or legs), and in rare instances even death?
Other longer term complications can ensue. When an area of the spine is fused and can't move anymore, it puts more stress on the joint above and below the fusion site, which leads to damage in the areas next to the fusion. Fusions remove the mobility from one or multiple joints which interfere with your range of motion and movement. In many cases, candidates who follow through with surgery go through all of the mental and physical suffering of the procedure only to feel no better, or even worse than they did before the procedure! This happens so routinely there is actually a condition that has been used to describe the predicament called Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS).
In May, 2017 there was a research article published in the Annals of Subluxation about a 43 year old woman who underwent a failed neck surgery procedure. As a last resort she went to a chiropractor who helped relieve not only her neck pain and migraine headaches, but also improved her energy levels and enabled her to resume her activities of daily living. Unfortunately she had to go through an ineffective and draining surgical procedure before finding the answer to her problem.
At the end of the day, your activities of daily living are what really matters. You want to be able to resume the activities of your life that you are used to enjoying. If you or someone you love are experiencing pain or disability that is preventing you from doing what you love, and you have been told that you are a candidate for surgery, I can't stress to you enough how important it is to consult a local chiropractor first.
A 2012 study found that workers with back injuries had a 42% chance of undergoing surgery if they consulted a medical doctor for their back pain first, as opposed to a 1.5% chance if they consulted a chiropractor first for the same problem!
Chiropractic is safe, gentle, effective, and the only logical first choice! As always I welcome your questions and comments.
Yours in Health,
Grace Chiropractic – 1-3230 Monarch Drive – 705-323-9100 – http://gracechiropractic.ca