In our Reisterstown practice, we see many people who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these folks have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Active Spinal Care has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back pain may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the researchers found was that 42.7% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, 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 impressive outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor considerably 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 keep in mind this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious 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 experts in 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, Active Spinal Care 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have documented the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Reisterstown and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (410) 833-8877 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!