Failed Back Surgery Syndrome – Alternative Treatments

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a difficult condition to treat because it is difficult to ascertain why an operation that was designed to alleviate symptoms failed or worsened symptoms. Secondly, those who have experienced FBSS often have a very negative impression of everyone practicing spinal surgery and sometimes of themselves for not recovering “like everyone else.” If mainstream conservative treatments fail to bring relief for FBSS, an exasperated patient might search high and low for alternative treatments. These can include mind-body interventions, energy therapies, biologically based therapies or manipulative and body-based methods.

What are manipulative and body-based methods?

Those who have undergone back surgery without finding relief for debilitating symptoms may seek relief through alternative or body-based methods of treatment, such as:

  • Acupuncture – Practitioners insert needles into various locations of the body in order to, theoretically, relieve pain. This ancient Asian technique aims to restore and maintain health through seeking balance between the forces of yin (cold, slow or passive principle) and the yang (the excited or active principle). This is achieved through “unblocking” the flow of “vital energy,” called qi, along pathways known as meridians. Approximately 3.2 million Americans undergo acupuncture each year.
  • Therapeutic massage – Practitioners rub, press or otherwise manipulate the soft tissues of the body in order to relax muscles and, in the case of myofascial trigger point massage, eliminate muscle “knots” that can cause symptoms in other parts of the body.
  • Chiropractic therapy – Practitioners make mechanical adjustments to the vertebrae. Some chiropractors associate all illness, including cancer and other major sicknesses, with spinal abnormalities. Others focus exclusively on non-surgical methods of alleviating nerve compression in the spine.
  • Yoga – This ancient Indian practice uses various physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and relaxation training to help manage pain and maintain good overall health.

When chronic pain persists

If you continue to have symptoms of failed back surgery syndrome despite conservative and alternative treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our staff can tell you about our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that are performed using advanced technology.