Chiropractic Is a Natural Alternative to Back Surgery

In our State College practice, we see a lot of people who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Drs. Matt & Annie Reyes has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research agrees with the success 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 problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.

In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to determine whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.

What the authors observed was that about 43% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up in surgery 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 findings. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically decreases 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 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 publication on spinal injuries.

Surgery: The Last Resort

Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside linked to spine surgery is that there is 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 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, Drs. Matt & Annie Reyes 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 scientific studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in State College and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (814) 308-9352 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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