In our Harrisburg practice, we see plenty of patients who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Blake Chiropractic & Rehabilitation has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our office. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state 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 records to ascertain whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the researchers found was that 42.7% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues 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 remarkable results. Seeing a chiropractor drastically reduces your odds of having 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 keep in mind this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem linked to spine surgery is that there's 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 authors of 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, Blake Chiropractic & Rehabilitation 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have established the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Harrisburg and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (717) 657-2561 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!