In our Hernando, Horn Lake & Olive Branch practice, we see a large number of patients who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these patients have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Our Chiropractic Team has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our office. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to find out whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors observed was that about 43% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% of those who first saw a chiropractor had the same fate. The authors wrote:
"Even after controlling for injury severity and other measures, workers with an initial visit for the injury to a surgeon had almost nine times the odds of receiving lumbar spine surgery compared to those seeing primary care providers, whereas workers whose first visit was to a chiropractor had significantly lower odds of surgery."
These are impressive findings. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically decreases your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this report "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also take into consideration this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem linked to spinal surgery is that there's a very high rate of failure. In an important review in the European Spine Journal, researchers wrote:
"Failed back surgery is a problem that has become sufficiently widespread to even warrant its own special conferences, with recent reviews reporting failure rates ranging from 5 to 50%."
The authors of this same study concluded:
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Our Chiropractic Team believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have established the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Hernando, Horn Lake & Olive Branch and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (662) 890-0012 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!