In our Springfield, MA practice, we see a large number of people who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Michael Delson has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature confirms the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back pain may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed 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 information to ascertain whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the researchers discovered was that about 43% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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. Visiting a chiropractor considerably 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 point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem associated with spine surgery is that there is 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. Michael Delson 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 research studies have established the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Springfield, MA and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (413) 788-4464 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!