In our Woburn practice, we see a large number of people who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Ellis has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back pain may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the researchers discovered was that about 43% of the men and women 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 findings. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically decreases 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 into consideration this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside 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%."
The experts in 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. Ellis believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Woburn and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (781) 460-0939 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!