Sarah Key's small e-book Be Careful About Back Surgery will give you a lot of information on the indications for surgery with the different spinal conditions ~ with specific signs and symptoms you yourself can identify. The book discusses the pitfalls with spinal surgery and each surgical procedure and the common adverse outcomes.
Although conservative treatment is more difficult after failed back surgery, gentle manual spinal mobilisation should be exhausted before further surgery is contemplated. For reasons we don't quite understand, the effect of the laying on of hands can be quite profound, with gentle manual techniques to mobilise spinal tissues greatly reducing pain levels and muscle coordination becoming more optimal.
Hands-On Therapy With Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
The aim of a therapist doing treatment for FBSS is to mobilise the spinal soft tissues themselves. Particularly with spinal fusion, these cobbled-up spines benefit greatly from the tender handling of knowing hands. You have to remember that people with this problem are a conundrum for the medical profession and nobody, quite literally, wants to touch them. Even spouses are frightened to lay a hand on these scarred and bolted-together backs.
Manual mobilising helps to soften the spinal tissues so the various structures (the nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, muscle, fascia and fat) can pull away from one another where they are glued together by the scarring and adhesions. This makes it easier for the tissues to move within the constraints of the spinal fusion and usually helps make FBSS pain levels more tolerable.
Hands tinkering gently can make a huge difference after failed back surgery
In the Brief Back Pain Treatment Videos for the Time Poor, you can see a short video of Sarah mobilising her spine, with her own hands. This video is one of a group of 6. It is part of a really important body of information to make it so much easier to see what needs doing.
Counter-intuitive as it may feel, if you have FBSS it's imperative you learn how to move normally again - making your back do all the more normal backy-type things. If you stay locked and rigid you may develop 'central sensitisation' as your brain runs riot with images of what's going on. The muscular rigidity above the spinal fusion makes you as brittle as a pretzel, your balance impaired and you even become more clumsy. You see danger at every turn. The mounting muscular tension causes rising pain messages, unable to be diluted by any other sensory input.
As all the spine's muscles start working fluently again and its soft-tissue structures begin to stretch and pull away from each other - un-gumming and untangling as they work themselves loose - often strange 'new' sensations come to the fore. Bear with this and ride through it, without panicking. Keep calm and carry on.
Most patients of failed back surgery need frequent reassurance when starting out on a personal healing journey. For example, it's quite normal to feel fleeting leg pain, which is understandably quite alarming. All you need to remember is that you must go through this in order to come out the other end . . . and that although many people are fed up with taking pills, it's as well to read about medication during rehabilitation.
NOTE: It is wise to get your treating doctor's approval before embarking on this.
Bending over and unfurling back to vertical strengthens the deep spinal muscles and prevents segmental instability. It's always frightening to begin with
Learning to move again when you've been literally rigid with pain is a challenge. You will need courage and confidence. Included in the video package below is a short video on 'learning to bend again'. This is important after both spinal fusion and disc removal (discectomy). Seeing it and hearing Sarah explain in depth, with pictures, is the safest way to go.
You can choose from many different videos and packages here.
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