In our Aloha / Beaverton, OR practice, we see plenty of patients who are troubled with back pain, and a few of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, First Choice Chiropractic & Rehabilitation PC has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research confirms the success we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the authors observed was that 42.7% of the patients 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 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 remarkable results. Consulting with a chiropractor drastically reduces your odds of having 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 take into consideration this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem related to spine 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 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, First Choice Chiropractic & Rehabilitation PC is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Aloha / Beaverton, OR and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (503) 642-2845 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.