In our North County St. Louis, MO office, we see plenty of patients who are troubled with back pain, and some of these patients have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Mark Holland has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this research study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors observed was that about 43% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 impressive results. Consulting with a chiropractor drastically 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 take into account this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem linked to 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 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 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 research studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in North County St. Louis, MO and you need relief 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!