Avoiding the Surgeon's Knife with Chiropractic
In our Tallahassee, FL office, we see many people who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these patients have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Florida Wellness & Rehabilitation Centers has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature confirms the success we see in our practice. One study published in the medical 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 scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the authors determined was that about 43% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up in surgery in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5% 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 outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor considerably 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 take note this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside associated with 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 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, Florida Wellness & Rehabilitation Centers 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Tallahassee, FL and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (305) 246-0056 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.