In our Rochester Hills practice, we see many people who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Dalton has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science agrees with the success we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the researchers discovered was that about 43% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent 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 findings. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically 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 into consideration this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside associated with spine 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. Dalton is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many research studies have demonstrated the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Rochester Hills and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (248) 977-7039 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!