In our Nashville office, we see a lot of people who are dealing with back pain, and some of these folks have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Sweeney Chiropractic has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 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 data to find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors observed was that 42.7% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, 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 impressive outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically reduces 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 point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside related to spine 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, Sweeney Chiropractic 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 documented the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Nashville and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (615) 331-7040 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!