In our Prescott practice, we see plenty of people who are troubled with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised 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 procedure. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our practice. One study published in the journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to determine whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the researchers found was that about 43% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent 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 remarkable results. Seeing a chiropractor drastically reduces 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 take into account this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside linked to spine surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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%."
"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 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 efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Prescott and you need relief 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!