In our Tulsa practice, we see plenty of people who are suffering from back pain, and some of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Alliance Chiropractic has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our office. One medical study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the authors determined was that 42.7% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up with 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 remarkable findings. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically 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 detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside related to 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 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, Alliance Chiropractic 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have established the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Tulsa and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (918) 832-7880 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!