In our Noblesville practice, we see plenty of people who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Dahlager has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our office. One research study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington 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 individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the authors determined was that about 43% of the men and women 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 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. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably decreases 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 note this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside related to spine 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 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. Dahlager 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 research studies have demonstrated the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Noblesville and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (317) 214-7218 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!