In our Noblesville practice, we see a large number of patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Dahlager has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our practice. One study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the researchers observed was that 42.7% of the individuals who first consulted with 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 impressive outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically reduces your odds of getting 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 take note this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem related to spine surgery is that there's 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%."
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 care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have documented the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Noblesville and you need care for your back pain, give our practice 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!