In our Depew practice, we see many patients who are suffering from back pain, and some of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Palmer has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our practice. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.
What the researchers determined was that 42.7% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 impressive outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically 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 keep in mind this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem associated with spine 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, Dr. Palmer is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Depew and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (716) 668-2225 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!