Chiropractic Helps People Avoid Back Surgery
In our San Angelo practice, we see a large number of people who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Pittman has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research 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 move in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to find out whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors determined was that about 43% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain 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 impressive 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 consider this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside linked to spinal 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 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, Dr. Pittman is convinced 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 documented the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in San Angelo and you need relief for your back pain, give our office 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!
- 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.