In our Gadsden, AL office, we see a large number of patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these folks have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Gadsden Family Chiropractic has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature confirms the results we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the researchers found was that about 43% of the individuals 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 impressive findings. Consulting with a chiropractor drastically 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 keep in mind this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem linked to spinal surgery is that there is 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 resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Gadsden, AL and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice 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!