In our San Angelo practice, we see a lot of patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Pittman has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science confirms the success we see in our practice. One medical study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington 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 determine whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the researchers observed was that 42.7% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure 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 outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor considerably reduces 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 consider this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem related to spinal surgery is that there is 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%."
"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 resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have established the effectiveness 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!