In our Lancaster, OH practice, we see a lot of people who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Maynard 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 study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the men and women who first consulted with 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. Consulting with a chiropractor drastically decreases your odds of getting 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 take into consideration this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
The Risks of 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, Dr. Maynard 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 the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Lancaster, OH and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (740) 687-0100 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!
- Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
- Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.