In our Chesapeake office, we see many patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. David N. Block Family Chiropractic has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research agrees with the results we see in our practice. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to find out whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the authors discovered was that 42.7% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up with 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 considerably 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 keep in mind this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major 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. David N. Block Family Chiropractic is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Chesapeake and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (757) 436-5428 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!