In our North St. Louis, MO practice, we see many patients who are struggling with back pain, and some of these folks 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 operation. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the researchers determined was that about 43% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back pain 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 outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor considerably decreases your odds of having 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 point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside linked to spine surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed the effectiveness 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!