Surgery in any part of the body causes tissue damage in the form of scarring. In most patients, the benefit of relief provided by their surgery far outweighs the potential side-effects of scar tissue. Most of these are the patients that report significant or full relief after undergoing surgery. In many unfortunate cases, however, the normal scar tissue associated with surgery can actually act as a new source of pain that can be very tricky to diagnose and treat. Furthermore, surgery can often fail to deal with tissue adhesions that existed prior to the surgical intervention.
There are some common themes in the stories that these patients typically tell and if you’re experiencing pain after surgery, you’ll probably identify one or more:
"I felt great after my surgery but after a few months, I started to experience a new type of pain."
This is one of the most common complaints that we hear. Typically, this type of patient will return to their surgeon who will not be able to identify the source of the “new pain”. In many cases, these patients are reporting the simple effects of scar tissue build-up (or fascial adhesions) in and around the area that initially caused them pain. This nasty, scar tissue can tug on nerves, wrap around blood vessels, restrict the movement of muscle and joints and cause a great deal of recurrent pain and inflammation. Sometimes this scar tissue may be a normal consequence of surgery or it can occur in areas where there is limited movement after surgery. If this is indeed the cause of your pain, the likelihood that you will respond to our treatment is quite good.
"My surgeon has a great reputation and certainly seemed to know what was causing my pain but after my surgery, my pain only slightly changed… I still have it."
The fact that you still experience pain after your surgery is not necessarily a negative indication as to the competence of your surgeon or the success of your surgery. Our clinic attends to patients that are referred to us by some of the best surgeons in the Phoenix area. The uniqueness of the patient and the combination of factors that causes their pain is a potential factor that limits or complicates the success of any procedure. Furthermore, a surgery can successfully deal with one element of a patient’s pain complex but when a patient is suffering from multiple causes of pain, which often occurs, successfully dealing with only certain elements will not completely solve the problem. If you still have residual pain and you haven’t been specifically treated and/or evaluated for myofascial adhesions, this may be your missing key to pain relief.
"Apparently my last surgery was a success but I still have pain. Since then I’ve tried Physical Therapy, Pain Medication and Injections but they aren’t working… my doctor can’t seem to identify what the cause is."
Most physicians and therapists that deal with pain are very familiar with the multiple, major causes of pain. Conventional medicine has a fairly standard menu of treatment options available for this and the majority of patients are expected to respond to one or more of these treatments. However, as with most chronic medical conditions, there are a certain percentage of patients that will not respond to these conventional medical treatments for pain. Furthermore, our understanding of soft tissue pain is an area of focus that is developing at a fairly rapid rate, in terms of new research and treatment methods. Soft tissue pain is often difficult to diagnose and is unfamiliar territory for some physicians, it is also resistant to conventional treatment and diagnosis.
Fortunately, there are relatively safe, non-surgical treatment methods available that are both diagnostic and therapeutic for this common cause of stubborn pain. Our entire practice is built on the need for such treatments and the delivery of these methods to patients that need them.
If you would like more information or if you would like to visit our phoenix, AZ clinic for an evaluation of your condition, call today for an appointment.