In our Saint Paul, MN practice, we see a lot of people who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Robert C Slater, DC has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed 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 find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.
What the researchers found was that 42.7% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up in surgery in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent 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 impressive results. Seeing 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 consider this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside related to spine 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, Robert C Slater, DC believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have documented the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Saint Paul, MN and you need care 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!