In our North County, St. Louis, MO practice, we see a lot of people who are dealing with back pain, and some of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Mark Holland has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research confirms the success we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the researchers found was that about 43% of the people who first consulted with 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 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 results. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically reduces 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 take into account this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem associated with 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 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 scientific studies have confirmed 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!