In our Jacksonville and Fleming Island, FL practice, we see many patients who are suffering from back pain, and some of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Select Health and Wellness has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research confirms the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the 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 research study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state 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 individuals ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up with 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 outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor significantly decreases 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 consider this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major problem linked to spinal surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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 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, Select Health and Wellness 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 the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many research studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Jacksonville and Fleming Island, FL and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (904) 425-9060 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!
- Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
- Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.