Avoiding the Surgeon's Knife with Chiropractic
In our Estero, Bonita Springs office, we see a lot of people who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these folks have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Green has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the researchers found was that about 43% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up in surgery 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 outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor significantly decreases your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this study "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 carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside associated with spinal surgery is that there's 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, Dr. Green 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 the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed 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!
- 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.