In our Alexandria practice, we see a lot of people who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Wagner has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research agrees with the results we see in our practice. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical researchers 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 used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the authors observed was that about 43% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 impressive outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this report "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also take into consideration this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem related to spine surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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%."
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Dr. Wagner believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Alexandria and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (859) 448-0056 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!