In our North St. Louis, MO office, we see a lot of patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these patients have been informed 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 confirms the success we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the authors determined was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back pain 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. Visiting a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of getting 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 detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside linked 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 choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have demonstrated the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in North St. Louis, MO and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice 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!