Does Spinal Surgery Relieve Pain?

Does Spinal Surgery Relieve Pain? post thumbnail


A study examining almost 2500 adults who had undergone spinal surgery showed that only a small percentage were able to get off opioid drugs following surgery.

What Does the Research Show?

This study was reported in the peer-reviewed journal Pain. It looked at patients who were using opioid drugs before spinal surgery and found out how many were successful in being able to reduce or eliminate using them following the surgery over the long term.

What Were the Long-Term Results?

The proportion of spinal surgery patients able to discontinue use of opioid drugs after surgery was only 9 percent. Here are the other results:

  • 77 percent continued regular long-term use.
  • 14 percent continued long term use, but on a periodic basis
  • 45 percent of those who continued long term use increased their dosage after surgery
  • 13 percent of those who did not use opioids before surgery started using after surgery and became long term users
  • 9 percent discontinued opioids after surgery

What is the Lesson Learned?

Of course, opioid use is difficult to stop, with or without having surgery to relieve the pain for which they were first prescribed. Undoubtedly a portion of these post-surgical patients had become dependent on opioids, regardless of their pain. What might be a better option? Chiropractic care does not involve prescription drugs. And research shows that patients who first see a chiropractor for their back pain are much likely to undergo surgery as compared to those who first see a surgeon.

Yours for better health,