In our Depew practice, we see many patients who are troubled with back pain, and a few of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Palmer has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science confirms the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back pain may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 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 determine whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the researchers found was that 42.7% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up having a surgical procedure 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 results. Visiting a chiropractor drastically reduces 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 note this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem associated with spinal 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, Dr. Palmer 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 the need of risky 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 practice 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!