In our Anchorage practice, we see plenty of people who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Mulholland Chiropractic Center, LLC has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The science confirms the results we see in our practice. One medical study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical researchers 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-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the researchers observed was that about 43% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5 percent 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 outcomes. 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 printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside related to spine surgery is that there is a very high failure rate. 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, Mulholland Chiropractic Center, LLC 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have established the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Anchorage and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (907) 770-5700 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!