Chiropractic Helps People Avoid Back Surgery
In our Moon Township practice, we see many patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Spiropoulos has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our office. One research study published in the journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back problems may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the researchers observed 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 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 impressive outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically 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 consider this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside associated with spine 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. Spiropoulos 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 research studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Moon Township and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (724) 513-0521 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.