In our Estero, Bonita Springs office, we see plenty of people who are troubled with back pain, and a few of these patients have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Chiropractic Care & Rehab Center has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature confirms the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the academic 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 professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the researchers found was that about 43% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time frame, 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 findings. Seeing a chiropractor drastically 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 detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside linked to spine surgery is that there's a very high failure rate. 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, Chiropractic Care & Rehab Center is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have established the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Estero, Bonita Springs and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (239) 495-1166 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!