In our North County, St. Louis, MO office, 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. Mark Holland has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature confirms the success we see in our practice. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back pain may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to find out whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the authors discovered was that about 43% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically 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 note this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem linked to spinal surgery is that there's 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, Dr. Mark Holland 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have documented 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 practice 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!