In our Harrisburg practice, we see plenty of people who are suffering from back pain, and some of these folks have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Blake Chiropractic & Rehabilitation has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our practice. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the researchers found was that about 43% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up in surgery in that 3-year time frame, 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 dramatically reduces your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this report "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 printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious 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, Blake Chiropractic & Rehabilitation believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Harrisburg and you need relief for your back pain, give our office 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!