Want To Avoid Surgery? See A Chiropractor

In our West New York office, we see a large number of patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Marsh has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our office. One medical study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may actually keep you off of the operating table.

In this research study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.

What the authors observed was that 42.7% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems 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 outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably reduces your odds of having 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 consider 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 injuries.

The Risks of Surgery

Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem related to spinal surgery is that there's 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 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. Marsh 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 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!

Studies

  • 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.
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