In our Nashville practice, we see a large number of people who are troubled with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Sweeney 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 medical study published in the journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this research study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the authors observed 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 drastically decreases your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this scientific study "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 performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside related to spinal surgery is that there's a very high rate of failure. 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 works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have demonstrated the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Nashville and you need care for your back pain, give our office 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!