In our West New York office, we see many people who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these patients have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Marsh has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The science confirms the results we see in our office. One study published in the journal Spine found that seeing an osteopathic medical physician like Dr. Marsh or seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may keep you off the operating table.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to find out whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the authors discovered was that about 43% of the patients who first consulted with 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 saw an orthopedic surgeon or 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 an orthopedic surgeon or chiropractor had significantly lower odds of surgery."
These are impressive outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor or orthopedic medical physician 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 consider this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside linked to spinal surgery is that there is 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 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 an orthopedic medical physician, Dr. Marsh believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Osteopathic treatments and chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many research studies have established the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in West New York and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (201) 869-0830 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!