In our Texarkana office, we see a lot of patients who are troubled with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Back Pain Chiropractic has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific literature confirms the results we see in our practice. One research study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to determine whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the authors determined was that about 43% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back pain 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. Seeing a chiropractor considerably 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 note this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injury.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem related to spine surgery is that there is a very high failure rate. 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, Back Pain 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have established the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Texarkana and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (870) 774-0951 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!
- Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
- Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.