In our State College, PA practice, we see a large number of patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Drs. Matt & Annie Reyes has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the researchers observed was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, 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 outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor considerably reduces your odds of having 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 keep in mind this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside related to spinal surgery is that there is 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 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 believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have established the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in State College, PA and you need care for your back pain, give our office 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!