Post-Surgery Chiropractic Care & Craniosacral Therapy in New York City

About Post Surgery Care

While people have different experiences in recovery post surgery, a combination of chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy can be effective in avoiding post-surgical complications, lead to quicker recovery and faster healing. Chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy enhance muscle strength, flexibility, range of motion, reduces inflammation and pain all while reinvigorating mental, physical and neurological health.  

As a chiropractor I treat problems with the nervous and musculoskeletal system, generally focusing on the spine and other joints in the body.  I offer treatments such as joint mobilization, spinal adjustments, and soft tissue therapy helping surgical patients improve range of motion, mobility and decrease pain.  As a craniosacral therapist I apply a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system.  Your cranial system consists of membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding and protecting your brain and spinal cord. When this system is stimulated with a precise technique, determined after reading your craniosacral rhythm, it can diminish your recovery time, promote wellness, improve immunity, and relieve pain. Craniosacral therapy differs from chiropractic care notably in that there are no sharp forces or tense acts and this allows the body to relax and release naturally. 

Post Surgery Inflammation: Chiropractic Care & Craniosacral Therapy   

Inflammation in the form of pain, bruising and swelling, is probably the most common complaint that surgery patients have in the days and sometimes weeks following surgery.  You might consider pain, bruising and swelling to be completely separate, but they are actually closely linked. Post-surgical discomfort can usually be pinpointed to swelling. It can be difficult to predict exactly how much swelling a patient will experience during recovery, but there are several hands-on manual techniques to help manage it. 

However note swelling is the body’s natural response to injury and though a surgery may even be elective, the body still views the incision and work carried out as something that needs healing.  With swelling, the body is working hard to repair the incisions, loss of blood, and kick starts the healing process accordingly. The recovery process starts with inflammation, wherein the body sends repair cells directly to the surgical area. The primary symptoms of inflammation are pain and swelling, with the swelling often causing the pain. The swelling emerges from the increased fluid movement of white blood cells, enzymes, and growth factors to the surgical area. The swelling causes the tissue to become inflamed (filled with fluid) as part of the natural healing process. 

Using craniosacral therapy I can feel right where the healthy circulation of fluid is blocked and work on releasing that area (hands-on manually), so the fluid (swelling) has a proper way of draining.  Oftentimes this singular treatment to reduce inflammation will also help heal any nerve inflamation as nerve damage/loss of feeling is commonly due to swelling in the surrounding tissue.  Click here to learn about my Vagus Nerve Treatment and here to read about Nerve Pain Treatment in general.

Post Surgery Scar Tissue: Chiropractic Care & Craniosacral Therapy 

Receiving regular craniosacral therapy treatment after surgery is also going to significantly reduce scar tissue formation and speed up the return of your full range of motion.  It’s important to know any time an incision is made – whether arthroscopic or a larger incision – scar tissue will form and with it changes to your mechanics, how body moves, will ensue. Scar tissue often causes a decrease in motion and movement in the joint area and your body compensates with altered mechanics to make up for this – which is prone to potentially cause a new set of problems down the line. 

With respect to incisions, the body creates scar tissue as a natural, usually helpful healing response. However, excessive collagen formation in a single location can bind together adjacent tissues, creating a problem called adhesion.  Over time and unchecked, adhesions tend to reduce your pain-free range of motion.  What happens is the scar tissue and adhesions may begin attaching themselves to bones, veins, arteries, organs, and  nerves and over time disrupt the homeostasis of the body resulting in ailments ranging from spinal curvature (scoliosis), sciatic pain and lower body discomfort, shoulder / rotator cuff problems, neck problems, and even  headache pain.   Craniosacral therapy applied early in your surgical recovery can minimize and even eliminate any such long term complications.

With further respect to scar tissue, the lymphatic system can become blocked by scar tissue from surgically damaged lymph vessels or nodes.  Swelling is sometimes observed when lymph nodes are removed from patients who’ve undergone radiation or surgery to remove cancer.  This swelling is usually seen in your legs and arms and can range from mild to painful, even disfiguring and disabling. Swelling is also common after cosmetic surgical procedures and any extended period of inflammation risks producing cell, organ, and or tissue damage. Craniosacral Therapy helps in reducing pressure on affected cells allowing them to reproduce quickly and accelerating healing.  This is also the case with those who’ve undergone cosmetic surgical procedures that can result in the accumulation of excess lymph fluid including breast augmentation, breast reduction and liposuction.  Click here to learn about my lymphatic drainage treatment that alleviates all swelling within the body while reducing brain fog and feeling disoriented.

Post Surgery Chiropractic Adjustments

Also when in recovery from surgery, muscles and connective tissue can grow tighter and shorter from disuse. Solely resting those tissues throughout your recovery will make them stiff and unbearably weak once you’re ready to resume your normal routine and life. In such cases I typically apply a combination of passive and active stretching exercises to loosen and lengthen the tissues.  These exercises and stretches will enable you to regain your full range of pain-free motion.  Remember, post surgery tissues need active access to blood flow supplying them with oxygen and nutrients required for them to rebuild themselves.   This is why it’s generally prudent to have your spine examined for any subluxations as a spinal misalignment or bulging spinal disc can significantly reduce circulation and make your healing process more difficult.

Chiropractic spinal adjustments are effective in reducing pain and accelerating healing by removing any impediments (subluxations) to circulation. By correcting imbalances in your spinal column, I can help blood get where it needs to go and you should recover more quickly and thoroughly as a result. Chiropractic adjustments can mobilize muscles and improve blood flow increasing your overall cell activity and metabolism. As stretching exercises, manual adjustments, and craniosacral therapy optimize the delivery of blood and oxygen to cells, the cells respond molecularly, at a DNA level, accelerating their reproduction and the creation of new tissue.

Scoliosis Surgery Recovery

Chiropractic care & craniosacral therapy after scoliosis surgery is enormously helpful to the treatment process and recovery, as it supports improved mobility, reduced discomfort and pain, and restore function.  Even when a spinal surgery is very successful in correcting a spine curvature, there are often specific limitations or symptoms that need addressing post surgery.  Targeted exercises focused on specific movements that can help strengthen and stretch the muscles coupled with massage therapy improve both circulation, flexibility and range of motion.   Visit this page to learn more on how I treat adult scoliosis recovery.

To be clear, even after a person has had fusion surgery and the metal rods are inserted into the spine, gentle chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy can help the recovery.   There is no adjustment of any force onto that site of fusion, what warrants consideration are the segments adjacent to the fusion – that is, immediately below and above the procedure.   Often those areas start absorbing even more stress in a compounding effect –  than what they coped with prior to the surgery.    Targeted craniosacral therapy treatments can help those adjacent areas process that newly created compounded stress effectively – along with stress relief in the muscles that can develop in regions of the upper back and shoulders.  If you’re experiencing continuous building up of tension  after a surgical fusion, know that therapy options are available for you. 

Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD) Treatment in New York City

Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) describes cognitive problems experienced after surgery, commonly memory and learning issues, that continue long after the expected effects of anesthetics have worn off.  Originally documented well over 100 years ago, in 1887, the British Medical Journal reported cases of delirium following surgery with anesthesia.  50 years ago, scientists in the 1970’s & 80s  reported cases of older patients showing a decline in concentration and memory after surgery.  Studies have since documented postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) symptoms that can affect memory, attention, perception, and judgment.

For example, research of patients who’ve undergone hip surgery determined those who developed postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) had less ability to function socially and resume their normal activities such as managing money, remembering lists, or writing to the routine levels prior to their surgery.  Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD ) is fairly common, affecting 1 in 3 patients at the time of their discharge with 10% of surgery patients experiencing postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) that lasts up to 3 months after surgery.

While the precise cause of postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is unknown, researchers believe it’s the outcome of an interplay between the inflammation and stress induced by anesthesia and surgery. Many scientists are focusing on the possibility that postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) symptoms surface from the body’s reaction to surgery itself.  In response to the acute tissue damage of surgical operations, a firestorm of inflammation is unleashed that can cross the blood-brain barrier causing a type of neuroinflammation (an inflammatory response within the spinal cord or brain).   Since the largest density of inflammatory receptors is contained in the brain, it is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of inflammation damaging sensitive regions. Brain scans have even identified the hippocampus – a complex and vulnerable structure of the brain essential for learning and memory in memory – has a reduced volume of the cerebral gray matter in patients with Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD).

Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) can be effectively treated with craniosacral therapy as it reduces brain inflammation by lessening brain connective tissue strain and stress along with swelling. Swelling is reduced by optimizing drainage of interstitial fluid and enhancing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid throughout the brain; helping the brain flush itself of irritating or disorganizing substances like toxins, which may help the brain calm and organize more efficiently.  Click here for a granular and compressive outline on how craniosacral therapy improves neurological functioning and maintains brain health.   I also offer a lymphatic drainage treatment effective for speedy inflammation reduction throughout the body including the brain relieving brain fog, memory loss and highly beneficial for post surgery recovery – that you can review by clicking here, Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Therapy.  Combined these treatments form a powerful recovery plan for combating postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD).

Treating the Effects of Anesthesia Post Surgery with Craniosacral Therapy  

General anesthesia is an experience affecting the whole body including the brain.  Even  with a successful surgery, afterward the body and brain can behave as if it’s still in an anesthetized state.  This is understood to be a protective response of the body using its own chemistry mimicking the effects of the anesthetic, long after the surgery and anesthetic has been metabolized. Though this non-conscious protective response has short-term benefits, it’s problematic if it surfaces frequently and becomes the norm. These post surgery residual effects on the brain can potentially impair the clarity, precision and nuance of movement, spatial awareness, body sensation, balance and emotions.

Research has shown the coupling of surgery and anesthetic can produce an emotional response in patients during post-op recovery in addition to the changes in sensation and perception.  Common surgical physical implications like “not feeling the body” can transform and distort a person’s sense of self and conjure feelings of fear, anger and sadness. The intense immobilizing and disorienting experience of anesthesia, combined with feeling a loss of control causes some to feel vulnerable, agitated and helpless.  After anesthetic some small subtle movements, feel uncoordinated, clumsy and as if their limbs are not quite connected to their body. These kinds of experiences happen even when the patient understands that the surgeon is exceptionally skilled, empathic and the operation completely successful.   

Thus for the patient it’s the re-integrating a sense of the body that comes with craniosacral therapy that makes it unique and essential in treating post surgical emotional responses.  Craniosacral therapy supports feelings of safety, relaxation, and a lifting of the fog from the mind to where the patient feels in bodily control and their physiology no longer mimics the anesthetized state.  Craniosacral therapy clears the post-surgery haze and produces a more grounded, intact sense of self and  clearer mind. The craniosacral system is essential in ensuring the proper functioning of the central nervous system — and this connection is key in understanding how the treatment works since as a Craniosacral Therapist I work with a person’s physical body and their emotional (mental) body; since as the research shows they are both connected.

Craniosacral therapy kindles the body’s inherent healing power by supporting the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid in effort to balance the craniosacral system (the spinal cord, brain, its membranes, & fluids).   Recovery from surgery is unique to the individual and while some complications are brief,  others can be persistent and quite serious.  If you or a loved one is experiencing a distressing complication of a surgery – don’t hesitate to reach me and I will be as helpful as possible sharing my insight once I learn of the circumstances of issue. 

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Dr. Kaminsky is a 1999 graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. He is licensed to practice in NY and has completed close to three thousand hours of professional continuing education since becoming licensed in March of 2000.

The primary approach used in his office is Craniosacral Therapy (CST) which is a method focusing on the cranium (head) and sacrum (a large bone at the base of the spine) scientifically proven to control life sustaining fluid flow throughout the body.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on manual therapy approach that brings about healing via the fluidity of the body. The existence of the Craniosacral System was first discovered by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland in the early 1900’s, calling it Cranial Osteopathy.  And later rediscovered, validated, and developed by Dr. John Upledger in the late 70’s early 80’s, who renamed it Craniosacral Therapy after doing five years of research at the Michigan State University, School of Medicine. In 1983 Dr. John, as he was fondly called, established a teaching institute in Palm Beach, Florida, to teach this cranial sacral method to all healthcare providers. The Upledger Institute is still very active today.

The craniosacral mechanism pumps fluid which is produced in the brain, called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), through the fascial network of the body, the purpose of which is to lubricate joints, muscles, organs, all cells and all tissues. It is the driving life force for your body’s systems to function properly, CSF also carries healing properties to bodily traumas, injuries and past surgeries.

The proper function of your cranial sacral mechanism, via CSF flow, maintains the normal tone of your muscles, provide nutrients to your organs, and keeps you out of pain. It sustains human life and allows your nervous system to stay responsive to challenges of daily living and your mind-body life experiences. The better your craniosacral mechanism functions, the better the flow of this life sustaining fluid, the better your body can handle physical and emotional stress. The uninhibited flow of this fluid throughout your body allows you to thrive, opposite of survival mode.

CSF is part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) brain and spinal cord), which is physically encapsulated within the dural membranes of the spine and head.

One of the functions inside of your brain is to automatically generate energetic rhythmic impulses that function to pump CSF throughout your body, regulating your peripheral nerves, nervous system and organ systems, which in turn, sustain your function (physiology) and life. It is an important force that maintains everything functioning in your body. This is what we call the Craniosacral System, or Craniosacral Mechanism. It is the hydraulic, energetic and rejuvenating system of your body.

This measurable life force of moving fluid is palpable to a trained craniosacral therapist, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rate, that can all be felt, so too can the Cranial Sacral Rhythm (CSR) be palpated and measured. It is the foundational diagnostic tool in real-time used to evaluate your current state of well-being (or lack thereof), and potential for health improvement and healing.

Compromises of your rhythmic impulse, correlates to CSF flow restrictions in the system which the body is unable to self-correct or overcome on its own. This is the reason why over time we develop pain, dis-ease, symptoms, conditions, mind-body disconnect and basically all human physical and psychological ailments.

When the fluid isn’t flowing optimally, your bodily rejuvenation is affected, and this is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body, most commonly on your head and sacrum, for diagnostic purposes, the practitioner can detect, feel, evaluate, and rate the SSQAR (strength, symmetry, quality, amplitude, rate) of the rhythm; then bring forth correction of any limitations with subsequent experienced hand placements on different parts the body during a session.

A craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm reset, restore and renew allowing for healing to take place of the mind-body connection, musculoskeletal tightness and spasms, neurological deficits, autoimmune issues, organ function, many common conditions, and of course pain. Through a practitioners properly focused and attuned touch, your body is facilitated to release channels of fluid stagnation and flow restriction, which ultimately breakthrough, overcome and improve CSR and the function of vital fluid flow.

Dr. Alex Kaminsky is an advanced practitioner of Craniosacral therapy, having studied up to advanced levels including SER and pediatric courses. He has built a solid foundation with many years of experience, treating babies, children and adults.

To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kaminsky.