When to Look for an Alternative to Surgery
The nervous system is connected to all organs and cells in the body. Each individual cell and organ is innervated (provided with sensation and responsiveness to external stimuli) by nerve endings throughout the cell or organ. These nerve endings come from spinal nerves that extend into all areas of your body. When something interferes with normal functioning of spinal nerves (misaligned vertebrae, bulging/ruptured disk, sciatica), pain inevitably develops due to inflammation of affected nerves. In fact, vertebral "subluxation" (improperly aligned spine) can cause a wide variety of health problems, from back, neck and joint pain to chronic headaches/migraines, allergies, insomnia and recurring infections.
Geaux Chiro's chiropractors focus on making sure your nervous system is operating at an optimal level because it is the nervous system that is responsible for maintaining your health and well-being. In addition to integrating other holistic principles of chiropractic medicine, chiropractors reduce pain and inflammation by emphasizing nutrition, the benefits of vitamin/mineral supplements and performing special exercises to increase muscle and joint health. For these reasons and many more, chiropractors do not recommend back or joint surgery until all other options have been explored.
Spinal Adjustments--the Leading Chiropractic Alternative to Surgery
Maneuvering vertebrae back into their proper positions so they no longer compress sensitive nerve endings is called a chiropractic adjustment, spinal adjustment or just an adjustment. The objective of an adjustment is to eliminate vertebral subluxation, relieve pain, increase range of motion and restore healthy functioning of the nervous system. Just one vertebrae out of place is enough to press against nerve endings and cause pain, numbness and burning sensations in your back, neck, knee joints, hip joints and extremities.
If you visit your primary care physician for back pain and your physician diagnoses you with a herniated disk, your doctor will likely give you pain medication and/or recommend a type of surgery called a "diskectomy". Involving removal of the damaged (herniated) portion of a vertebral disk, a diskectomy is major surgery with a lengthy recovery time (three to six weeks) and debatable outcomes. Although a diskectomy may provide temporary pain relief, it fails to reverse the underlying reason why the disk suffered herniation in the first place.
A bulging or herniated disk happens when one of the cushion-like disks separating vertebrae develops a bulge that extends past the edges of the vertebrae. This bulge presses against nerves, causing systemic inflammation, back pain and sometimes radiating pain that worsens when you sit or stand for long periods. The most common cause of a herniated disk is simple wear and tear on the spine. By performing an adjustment on the spine, your chiropractor can increase the space between vertebrae to minimize the bulge, relieve pressure on nerves and alleviate pain caused by a herniated disk.
Adjustments may also help you avoid surgery for spinal stenosis, disk degeneration, and many other back problems.
Active Release Technique (ART) Instead of Back or Joint Surgery
Most joint and back surgeries involve repairing or replacing damaged components that restrict movement and cause chronic pain. Common types of joint and back surgeries include arthroplasties (joint replacement), osteotomies (realignment of the leg) or spinal vertebrae fusions using rods, screws or other hardware to join multiple bones. In addition to the possibility that the surgery is not successful, complications of joint or back surgery may also occur, such as thrombophlebitis (blood clots in leg veins) or implant migration. In some cases, components implanted in a joint to restore functioning of that joint may fail to remain in its position. If an implant moves towards large blood vessels or the spine (in the case of vertebrae implants), it could damage these structures.
Before considering joint surgery, ask us about the Active Release Technique (ART) to relieve the pain and stiffness associated with inflamed or damaged ligaments, tendons, fascia, nerves and tendons. A patented soft tissue massage technique performed by your Southeast Louisiana chiropractor, ART also resolves back pain, shin splints, sciatica and many other painful musculoskeletal conditions. ART employs precise tension and specific movements to ensure smooth manipulation of soft tissues to dissolve scar tissue, increase blood flow to injured areas and restore range of motion without drugs or surgery.
Learn more about how chiropractic medicine may help you avoid back or joint surgery by contacting Geaux Chiro today