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How to Improve Natural Recovery after Surgery

By Dr. Molly Casey

Man with Tattoos Sitting on Living Room Floor

There is a time and a place for everything, but as a healthcare professional, it sickens me when I see the use of the most invasive, traumatic treatments for problems that often times can be corrected without a scalpel. Invasive procedures have their place, including surgeries, but not at the expense of using common sense.

Chiropractic After Surgery

A frequent line of questioning asked of doctors of chiropractic is, “Can I get adjusted after surgery? And if I can, why should I? Does it help?” Each case is individual and each patient should speak with their current chiropractor, or find one, to consult with regarding their specific situation.

But the answer is yes, frequently you can get adjusted right after surgeries. However, the area of your spine that gets adjusted following surgery, and how soon thereafter, depends on the type and location of the surgery. For example, if one has a lumbar spinal surgery and is mobile and out of their house within two weeks (often times it is much sooner than that), they could receive a seated adjustment of the cervical spine (neck). Or if they are fine lying down, they could receive both a cervical and thoracic (mid-back) adjustment. Adjustments can also be done using different techniques. Some patients feel certain techniques are gentler than others and they can be used at different times, depending on the needs of the patient and the evaluation of the doctor.

How is a Chiropractic Adjustment Beneficial?

Chiropractic adjustments are beneficial to the healing process -- all healing processes -- even after surgery. It doesn’t matter on what part of the body the surgery was performed.

The brain, spinal cord and associated nerves combine to make up the nervous system. Everything in the body runs because of the nervous system. This includes the healing process. The messages of which cells are needed to what degree, cleaning debris, tissue repair and regrowth, all occur through the nervous system. It’s the master communication system.

The spine protects the nervous system. When the spine is not moving properly or becomes restricted, the nervous system doesn’t function optimally. Thus, one isn’t as optimally healthy as could be. Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper motion to the spinal joints, thereby allowing the nervous system full opportunity to function at its highest level.

It’s reasonable to infer that joint restrictions at some level would affect the healing process, particularly if you look at the nerves that travel directly to the area of the surgery. For instance, someone having ankle surgery would benefit from chiropractic adjustments ensuring proper lumbar joint function and motion because the nerves that innervate the ankle exit the spine in the lower lumbar region. A cervical adjustment would be beneficial, no matter where the surgery, because all nerves exit the brain and enter into the spinal cord via the cervical spine.

Everything has its time and place, including surgery. Chiropractic is a foundational component to optimal health. And part of the beauty is that it can still be utilized to promote healing even when more invasive care is required. If you or someone you know has undergone surgery recently, or is about to, get checked by your chiropractor. Quality chiropractic care can assist your body to heal at its best. If you don’t have a chiropractor, get in to see the doctors at The Joint Chiropractic; they are ready to help you help yourself.

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