In our Woburn & Chelmsford, MA office, we see a lot of people who are troubled with back pain, and a few of these patients have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research confirms the success we see in our office. One medical study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to find out whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the authors observed was that about 43% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5% 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. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably 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 consider this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem related to spinal surgery is that there is 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 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. James Ellis & Dr. Lyndsay Martin is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Woburn & Chelmsford, MA 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!