Can I see a chiropractor after I’ve had back surgery?

While we can’t speak for all chiropractors, it is definitely safe to see us after having back surgery because we will give you a proper exam and find the treatments that are safe for you.

What is my first visit like?

mri disc herniation low back pain treatmentFirst, we will have a consultation to better understand the surgery that you had performed. Bring in any imaging like X-Rays or MRIs from before and after the surgery or other notes your surgeon may have given you. There are many different possible surgeries that someone could have had on different areas of the spine, understanding which surgery you had and exactly where on your spine will determine which treatments are best and safe for you. For example, if you had surgery on your neck and you are complaining of low back pain, we may be able to treat your low back normally because we are not working with the operated area. But if you have had fusion to an area that still hurts, we will be unable to perform chiropractic adjustments to that area, however, we can still do other treatments to help relieve the pain and get better function to the areas around the surgery like adjusting your pelvis or upper back if that is associated with your pain.

Treatments that are safe post-surgical for the majority of people:

Electrical stimulation (also can be called e-stim, tens, or interferential)

This is usually done in our office with ice or moist heat and is for reducing pain, inflammation, and swelling. We put four pads around the exacerbated area which cause a tingling sensation around the area. Patients usually love this and for some people, we can even get their insurance to cover one for home use.

St. Louis low back pain chiropractor treatment

Mechanical table massage (also called the spinalator, intersegmental traction, IST, or “the roly table”)

This is perfect for tight backs. Patients lay on their backs while it rolls up and down the spine massaging it.

Cox flexion distraction or Leander

This non-aggressive hands-on adjusting technique stretches muscles in the spine and gaps joints that are not medically fused. Allowing proper function of the joints significantly reduces pain.

Muscle work

Whether it is assisted stretching or active myofascial release, muscle work to the area of pain or the surrounding areas can reduce spasm and allow proper mobility ultimately reducing pain

Low back pain treatment St. Louis rehabCorrective exercises/Rehab

You can schedule one or multiple sessions with her to learn what activities you do at home to cause the pain along with exercises specific to your history to strengthen exactly what you need to live without pain.


Learn more about acupuncture for pain here:

Treatment of Lower Back Pain Following Back Surgery: A Combination of Dry Needle Injection (Acupuncture) and Microcurrent Stimulation

Web MD’s Acupuncture for Back Pain

Massage therapy

Jenny can relax the spastic muscles and get healthy blood flowing to the area.