In our Downtown St. Louis, MO practice, we see a large number of people who are troubled with back pain, and a few of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Holland has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research agrees with the results we see in our office. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the researchers discovered was that about 43% of the patients 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 remarkable findings. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably 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 take into account this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside related to spine surgery is that there is a very high failure rate. 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. Holland believes 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 demonstrated the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Downtown St. Louis, MO and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (314) 588-9100 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!