In our Nashville office, we see a large number of patients who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Sweeney Chiropractic has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our practice. One study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back pain may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the researchers determined was that about 43% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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 findings. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically reduces your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also take note this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside 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, Sweeney Chiropractic is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have documented the effectiveness 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!