Avoiding the Surgeon's Knife with Chiropractic
In our North County, St. Louis, MO practice, we see plenty of people who are struggling 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 research agrees with the results we see in our practice. One medical study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back pain may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical data to find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat 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 frame, 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. Visiting a chiropractor drastically decreases 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 take note this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major problem associated with spinal 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, Dr. Mark Holland is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have established the effectiveness 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!
- 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.