In our Oakleigh office, we see plenty of patients who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, North Road Chiropractic has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The science confirms the success we see in our office. One research study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back pain may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the researchers found was that about 43% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back problems 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 remarkable findings. Seeing a chiropractor dramatically reduces 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 detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem associated with spinal surgery is that there is 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 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, North Road Chiropractic 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have demonstrated the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Oakleigh and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (03) 9579 2699 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!