In our Harrisburg practice, we see plenty of people who are struggling with back pain, and some of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Blake has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research agrees with the results 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 problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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 outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically 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 consider this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem related to spinal surgery is that there is 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, Dr. Blake 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed 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!