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Avoiding the Surgeon's Knife with Chiropractic

Highland Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota chiropractic back pain treatmentIn our Highland Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota practice, we see a lot of people who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Robert C Slater, DC has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our practice. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that consulting with 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 experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.

What the authors found was that about 43% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up in surgery 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 remarkable outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably decreases 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 take into account this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injury.

Why You Should Avoid Surgery

Any surgery has risks, but a major downside associated with spine surgery is that there's 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 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 believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of 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 office 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!

Studies

  • 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.
October 07, 2019
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