In our Downtown St. Louis, MO chiropractic clinic, we see many patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Holland has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research agrees with the results we see in our practice. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back problems may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical data to determine whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the authors observed was that about 43% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up in 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 impressive outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically reduces your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this 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 printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside related to spinal 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%."
"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 the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have documented 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!