In our Philadelphia practice, we see plenty of patients who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Bridesburg Spine and Injury Clinic has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The science confirms the success we see in our office. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the authors found was that about 43% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 findings. Visiting a chiropractor significantly decreases your odds of getting 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 take into account this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside related to spinal surgery is that there's a very high failure rate. 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%."
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 resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care 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 usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Philadelphia and you need care 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!