In our Woburn chiropractic clinic, we see plenty of patients who are suffering from back pain, and some of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Ellis has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the researchers observed was that 42.7% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent 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 remarkable outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of having 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 keep in mind this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major 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%."
"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 choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many research studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Woburn and you need care for your back pain, give our office 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!