In our Oakleigh office, we see plenty of patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, North Road Chiropractic has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our office. One research study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain 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 treat the problem.
What the authors determined was that 42.7% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up in surgery in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent of those who first consulted with 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. Visiting a chiropractor significantly 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 point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem related to spine 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%."
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, North Road 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 high-risk surgery or drugs and many 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!
- 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.