In our Rainbow City practice, we see many patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Gadsden Family Chiropractic has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the researchers observed was that 42.7% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up in surgery in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5% 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 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 keep in mind this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside linked to spinal surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. In an important analysis 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 the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Rainbow City and you need relief 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!