Chiropractic Helps People Avoid Back Surgery
In our State College, PA office, we see a lot of patients who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Drs. Matt & Annie Reyes has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The science agrees with the results we see in our office. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the authors found was that about 43% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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 remarkable findings. Visiting a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of getting 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 note 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 injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem linked 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 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 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 studies have documented the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in State College, PA and you need care 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!
- 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.