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In our Saint Paul practice, we see many patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Slater has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The science agrees with the results we see in our office. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 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 ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the researchers observed was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up in 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 results. Visiting a chiropractor drastically reduces your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this study "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 carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major problem linked to spine 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%."
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Dr. Slater is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care 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 Saint Paul 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!