In our West Palm Beach practice, we see a large number of patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these folks have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Dennis has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our office. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed statistics 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 subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the authors discovered was that about 43% of the men and women who first consulted with 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 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 results. Consulting with a chiropractor drastically reduces your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this scientific study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also keep in mind this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside linked to spinal surgery is that there's a very high failure rate. 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 authors of 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. Dennis 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 the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in West Palm Beach and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (561) 966-6171 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!