In our North County St. Louis, MO practice, we see many people who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Mark Holland has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The science agrees with the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the authors discovered was that about 43% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, 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. Seeing a chiropractor drastically decreases your odds of getting 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 consider this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside linked 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 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 care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in North County St. Louis, MO and you need relief 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!