Chiropractic Is a Natural Alternative to Back Surgery
In our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA office, we see a large number of patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research confirms the success we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this 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 chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the researchers found was that about 43% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up in surgery in that 3-year time frame, 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 findings. Seeing a chiropractor considerably decreases 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 consider 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 injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem linked to spinal 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. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have established the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Woburn & Chelmsford, MA and you need relief 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!
- 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.