In our Depew office, we see a large number of patients who are struggling with back pain, and some of these folks have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Palmer has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The science agrees with the success we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to find out whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the authors discovered was that about 43% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back issues 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 outcomes. Visiting 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 note this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside linked to spinal surgery is that there's 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 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, Dr. Palmer believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many research studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Depew and you need relief 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!