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In our Highland Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota practice, we see plenty of people who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Robert C Slater, DC has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The science agrees with the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this research study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to determine whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the authors discovered was that about 43% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, 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 significantly reduces your odds of getting 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 detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside linked to spinal surgery is that there is 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, Robert C Slater, DC 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Highland Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (651) 699-3366 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!