In our Alexandria, KY practice, we see plenty of patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Michael Wagner D.C. has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science confirms the success we see in our office. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back pain may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the authors discovered was that 42.7% of the individuals 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% 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 results. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably decreases your odds of getting 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 keep in mind this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside associated with 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. Michael Wagner D.C. is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have established the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Alexandria, KY and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice 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!