Why Do So Many Back Surgeries Fail? | Release Works
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Why Do So Many Back Surgeries Fail?

Female therapist examining back of senior male patient sitting on bed at hospital ward

Are you someone who suffers from ongoing back pain? Have you already tried thing after thing to find relief but still can’t seem to get it under control?

Are you now considering back surgery?

Back pain is one of the most common health complaints, and, unfortunately, it can be a problematic condition for allopathic doctors and Western medicine to treat. They too often recommend surgery as a last-ditch attempt to eliminate the pain.

But for people who have been dealing with chronic back pain for many years, back surgery doesn’t always provide the relief they were hoping for. 

But why do so many of these back surgeries fail?

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Why Do Back Surgeries Fail?

Back surgery can be a daunting prospect for anyone. After all, it involves tinkering with one of the most critical parts of your body. While advances in medical science have made it relatively safe, there are still risks that you should be aware of. Failure of the surgery is one of them. 

Back surgeries are supposed to solve the unbearable pain and discomfort that plagues many people suffering from chronic back pain. But unfortunately, the sad reality is that not all back surgeries lead to a happy ending.

The reasons for all these failed surgeries are varied and complex. But misdiagnosis of the condition that led to the surgery is one of the most common reasons.

Other reasons for failed back surgeries include the surgeon using the wrong treatment method or making an error during the procedure, bleeding, or infection. Post-surgical conditions like spinal instability or nerve damage can also affect the outcome.

So, open and frank discussion with your surgeon about the risks and benefits of undergoing back surgery is important.

Regardless of the reason for the failure, however, the consequences can be devasting. Often life-changing. So, if you have back pain now, it’s important to understand that although back surgery is sometimes necessary, it should always be the last resort – when ALL other avenues have been explored.

Always seek multiple opinions and explore all possible treatment methods (including so-called but arguably more effective alternative treatments – like myofascial release therapy) BEFORE agreeing to surgery. 

But if you have reached the point where your symptoms are so bad that surgery is the only option, there are some things you can do to prepare for the surgery, improve the outcome and speed up your recovery. 

How To Prepare For Successful Back Surgery And Recovery

back pain in man waiting for surgery

Preparing for back surgery and the recovery process can be scary. Still, with some planning and preparation, you can set yourself up for the best outcome possible.

It starts with ensuring you have all the necessary information about the procedure. Talk to your doctor about what to expect from the surgery, how long the recovery period will be, and your limitations. Then, follow any pre-operative instructions carefully, such as avoiding food or drink for a certain period before the surgery.

Stock up on any necessary supplies, like medication or bandages, and plan for any help you need during your recovery. Remember, the more you can do to prepare beforehand, the easier your recovery will be.

We recommend some “prehab” myofascial release therapy to prepare your body for the surgery. Taking this extra preparatory step can significantly impact the success of your surgery. 

When choosing a surgeon, it’s crucial to research and find someone who specializes in your specific condition. After all, you want the best possible outcome for your health. Remember that not all surgeons are equal; some may have more experience in particular procedures than others.

It’s worth taking the time to research potential surgeons, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from trusted medical professionals. Remember, this is your health we’re discussing, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Advocate for yourself. With the right surgeon by your side, you can feel confident that you’re on the path to a successful recovery.

But when it comes to surgery, there’s always a risk involved, so it’s crucial to take all necessary measures to prevent complications. Follow all your doctor’s pre-surgery instructions, such as stopping certain medications or changing your diet to prepare for the operation.

These changes might seem small, but they can make a big difference in recovery time and minimize the risk of complications. 

After considering all the aspects above, surgery should be approached cautiously and with a comprehensive comprehension of the risks associated with back surgeries.

Overall, many factors may influence whether a surgery succeeds or fails. Through careful planning and thorough research to find the right surgeon for your condition, you can increase your chances of undergoing a successful procedure from the get-go and avoid having to undergo repeat surgeries.

Although each case is different, keeping track of your progress, following postoperative instructions correctly, and making lifestyle modifications as suggested can help to speed up recovery time and set you up for long-term success with such an important decision.

After the surgery, proper postoperative care, such as rest, and effective pain management, can help your body heal and reduce potential complications. Not to mention following all the usual advice – like quitting smoking and incorporating healthy habits like daily movement and a balanced diet can also contribute to a quicker recovery. 

In addition, a post- surgery recovery program with a myofascial therapist can help the body and tissues heal faster and better, without the negative effects of scar tissue. This is important to address with any surgery, but especially with back surgeries.

It is a commonly known fact that any spinal fusion will immediately begin to place excess stress on the areas of the spine directly above and below the fused area that no longer moves.

Over time, that excess stress will affect the integrity of the spine above and below the first fusion, causing the need for a second fusion. This usually happens over a period of 10 or more years.

Addressing scar tissue early and using myofascial release to maintain as much fluidity and pliability in the tissues as possible can help slow down this process. 

So, although it may take some time and effort, taking care of your body before and after the operation can significantly improve your chances of a successful outcome.

How Myofascial Release Therapy Can Prevent Back Surgery

back surgery

So, we’ve covered the rare but real risks of back surgery and how to prepare for and recover from back surgery. But in an ideal world, we should all aim to avoid back surgery altogether due to the potential for failure, the extortionate medical costs, and the real-world risks to our future health and mobility.

But what can you do to avoid back surgery?

The answer for many patients is regular myofascial release therapy sessions at the first twinge of back pain. This specialist therapy focuses on addressing the situation causing  pain and movement restriction, arising from rigid and dehydrated connective tissue (fascia) and tense and overworked muscles.

Like acupuncture, myofascial release therapy (even though it’s a so-called alternative therapy) has quickly gained traction in the medical community for its ability to provide lasting back pain relief without surgery.

But what is it, how does it work, and why should you try it?

Back pain is debilitating and can severely limit your quality of life. While traditional remedies such as pain medication and physical therapy can be effective, they often only provide temporary relief. Enter myofascial release (MFR) therapy.

Unlike traditional treatments, MFR therapy addresses the underlying cause of the problem rather than simply masking the painful symptoms. Studies are now demonstrating that myofascial release therapy can significantly improve pain, flexibility, and overall function. It is also safe and has few (if any) side effects. 

In simple terms, you will benefit from Myofascial Release Therapy if you’re feeling tightness or pain in any of your muscles or joints or anywhere else in your body – including your back.

Myofascial release therapy is a unique technique that uses specific pressures in specific ways to release tension in the fascia, the network of connective tissue that surrounds your entire body and encases and protects everything inside.

By targeting these tight spots of tension, or as we like to call them, “restrictions,” and finding and fixing the root cause of these symptoms, myofascial release therapy can help to relieve back pain, improve the range of motion in your spine, and restore balance to your entire body; Therefore, removing the need for dangerous and expensive back surgery. 

Common methods we use during myofascial release therapy sessions include sustained pressure, compression, traction, stretching, and unwinding. These techniques release tension and improve your body’s overall function.

The sustained pressure technique involves applying specific amounts of pressure to a particular area for a specific amount of time. The way in which pressure is applied is important – too much pressure to “break up” fascial restrictions can cause the body to go into protection and tighten further over time, and too little pressure simply has little to no effect.

This is significantly different from methods of myofascial release that forcefully use tools to remove restrictions or  rolling techniques that massage the fascia in a back-and-forth motion.

Myofascial stretching technique involves gently pulling or stretching the fascia to release tightness, again using specific pressures and tensions in the stretch for a specific amount of time that allows fascial tissue to change without force. And, unwinding techniques consist in following the patterns of tension in the fascia to unravel them and restore function.

Unlike traditional massage, we focus on the addressing restrictions in the deeper layers of connective tissue – your fascia – in ways that your body can easily allow and that engage fascial restrictions without force.

While it can sometimes be mildly uncomfortable when we work on the tense areas of tissue, many people find myofascial release therapy to be a relaxing but, more importantly, highly effective treatment for chronic back pain and injuries. 

So, if you’re curious about myofascial release therapy and how it can help to keep you off the surgeon’s table, we invite you to schedule a free consultation to learn more about the benefits and whether it may be right for you.

Myofascial release therapy provides long-term relief without surgery by targeting the underlying causes of pain, such as muscular imbalances or tension in the fascia. With its focus on releasing tension and fostering a mindful connection with your body, MFR can transform your life beyond just the physical level. So why not try it and see what it can do for you?

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Michael Sudbury LMT

Michael Sudbury LMT

Michael has been in pursuit of uncommon wisdom practically since the day he was born. This has led him through many twists and turns, questioning philosophies and excelling in school only to drop out near the end, abandoning career paths. He has a scientific mind but has come to understand that life and love require artistry, not facts, figures, and protocols. In his pursuit of true therapeutic artistry, Michael has trained extensively with the creator of The John F. Barnes' Myofascial Release Approach®, John Barnes, PT, LMT, NCTMB (a therapist and teacher of the highest caliber) and has been an assistant instructor in his seminars.