In our San Angelo practice, we see many people who are suffering from back pain, and some of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Pittman has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back problems may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the researchers determined was that about 43% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain 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. Seeing a chiropractor significantly decreases your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this scientific study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also keep in mind this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem associated with spinal surgery is that there is 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%."
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, Dr. Pittman believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in San Angelo and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (325) 223-9355 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!