In our Gadsden practice, we see a lot of patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Gadsden Family Chiropractic has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The science confirms the success we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back pain may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors found was that about 43% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up in surgery in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent of those who first consulted with 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 remarkable results. Seeing a chiropractor significantly decreases your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this scientific study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also take note this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major 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 experts in 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, Gadsden Family Chiropractic is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have demonstrated the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Gadsden and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (256) 543-3033 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!