In many situations, back surgery can be avoided with chiropractic treatments. We’ve been able to help patients recover fully or at least close.
When people say they have a bad back, what are some conditions they might be experiencing?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Obviously, some sort of back pain whether that’s in the neck or the mid-back or the low back, possibly a sciatica, hip pain, maybe they’re having an issue with a bulging disc or a herniated disc. Then think of it as well as like when you see some sort of conditions you might be experiencing. That could be like limiting their activities, maybe with their family or friends or social activities or their job. They might not be able to do their job quite the way that they’re supposed to or would want to due to some sort of bad back condition.
For a new chiropractic patient, what is the process you follow to find the cause of their back pain and diagnose their condition?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Every patient that comes in our office, we’re going to start off with an exam that is going to include both orthopedic tests and neurological tests. Most patients will get some sort of an x-ray of their spine or at least their main area of complaint. Then it’s going to follow-up or proceed maybe with a consultation and history about their condition. I like to use the analogy when you’re talking about all of these different steps that we do as a doctor, I like to use the term like doing my homework. The comparison I like to use is calling yourself a chef and calling yourself a cook. They’re both making you a meal but there’s much more preparation that goes into a meal that a chef takes into account versus a cook. They’re both making a meal but there’s a much different professionalism and education that goes on.
What are some treatments that you provide that have proven to alleviate patients’ back pain?
Dr. Chris Serafini: I’d say my number one tool is the adjustment. Most patients that come in with a back problem, back pain. They basically have a bone that has moved out of place to the extent that they can’t put it back on their own. When it’s out of place, it’s usually putting pressure on something whether that’s a disc or a nerve. The number one tool that I have that works the best is an adjustment. We also work with exercises and physical therapy in our office. Cold light lasers which help with reducing inflammation and swelling and pain. We also have things that we’d like patients to do at home. We call it an at-home therapy device. It’s called a posture pop but we usually go over that with the patients, demonstrate it on them and use those tools at home which gives them much more benefit when they’re outside of the office as well.
In what type of cases is back surgery the only option to fix the problem?
Dr. Chris Serafini: I’d say it’s a very rare case when back surgery is the only option. There are lots of times when patients have bad backs or a back condition or problem, they go to a surgeon. A surgeon uses surgery to fix back pain. To say it’s the only option … Like I said, it’s very rare that I see that but that’s really truly the case. I’d say surgery is an option when all other options have failed. Has that person used chiropractic? Have they used acupuncture? Have they used physical therapy? There are lots of fantastic treatments out there but a lot of times, patients have been lead to believe that surgery is their only option. In many, many cases, most of the time, you don’t really need surgery. I’d say when you do need surgery, it is an event where there is a severe trauma to the spine, the bones are broken or crushed, there’s an impingement on the spine. There is also a syndrome called Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. With that said, obviously it happens a lot- that back surgery fails the patient to the extent that it’s known as a syndrome. Really, I think it’s very rare. In my almost 15 years of experience, worked with thousands of patients I’ve seen that is very much the case. It’s very rare where surgery is the only option.
Have you helped patients avoid back surgery after it had been recommended by their medical doctor?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Yeah. I’m proud to say I have done that. We’ve actually done that many times. Once again, when you go to a surgeon, their recommendation, most likely, is going to be surgery because they’ve been trained that the treatment that they use for back pain is surgery. The patient might have been told that and for whatever reason they come into our office and we’re able to help them recover fully 100% or at least close and they can avoid back surgery. We’ve done that many times.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Chris Serafini, visit www.thescottsdalechiropractor.com or call 480-443-7678 to schedule an appointment.