Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis Logo

Chiropractic Helps People Avoid Back Surgery

Downtown St. Louis, MO chiropractic back pain treatmentIn our Downtown St. Louis, MO office, we see a large number of people who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Holland has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science agrees with the success we see in our office. One research study published in the journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.

In this scientific study, medical researchers 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 back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.

What the authors found was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back issues 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 results. Seeing a chiropractor significantly decreases your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this report "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 performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injuries.

The Problems with Surgery

Any surgery has risks, but a major problem linked to spine surgery is that there's 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 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. Holland believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have demonstrated the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in Downtown St. Louis, MO and you need relief 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!

Studies

  • 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.