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North St. Louis, MO chiropractic back pain treatmentIn our North St. Louis, MO practice, we see plenty of people who are suffering from back pain, and some of these folks 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 literature agrees with the success we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.

In this research study, 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 back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.

What the researchers observed was that about 43% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery 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 impressive findings. Seeing 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 take into account this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.

The Risks of Surgery

Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem associated with spine surgery is that there's a very high rate of failure. 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. Holland is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many research studies have demonstrated the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in North 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.