In our North County, St. Louis, MO practice, we see plenty of people who are troubled with back pain, and some of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Mark Holland has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific literature confirms the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up in surgery in that 3-year time frame, 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 results. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically decreases your odds of having 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 keep in mind this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside related to spinal surgery is that there's a very high failure rate. 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 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, Dr. Mark Holland believes 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have demonstrated the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in North County, St. Louis, MO and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (314) 867-8888 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!