Chiropractic Is a Natural Alternative to Back Surgery
In our Land O' Lakes, FL office, we see plenty of people who are suffering from back pain, and some of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Michael Craven has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research confirms the success we see in our practice. One study published in the academic 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 research study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the researchers observed was that about 43% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 results. Visiting a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of having 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 detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem associated with spine surgery is that there's 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, Dr. Michael Craven is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have established the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Land O' Lakes, FL and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (813) 996-9800 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.