In our Philadelphia practice, we see a large number of patients who are suffering from back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Bridesburg Spine and Injury Clinic has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the authors determined was that 42.7% of the patients who first consulted with 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 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 outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically reduces your odds of having 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 take into account this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside related to spinal surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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, Bridesburg Spine and Injury Clinic is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice 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 efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Philadelphia and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (215) 743-5330 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!