In our Prescott practice, we see plenty of patients who are troubled with back pain, and some of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Weary Chiropractic Clinic has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the patients who first consulted with 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 outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically decreases your odds of getting 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 take note this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious 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, Weary Chiropractic Clinic believes 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 research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Prescott and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (928) 778-2227 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!