In our West Palm Beach practice, we see a large number of patients who are troubled with back pain, and a few of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Dennis has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The science agrees with the results we see in our practice. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the researchers discovered was that 42.7% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back problems 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. Seeing a chiropractor dramatically 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 take note this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injuries.
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem associated with 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%."
"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 is convinced 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 studies have established the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in West Palm Beach and you need care 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!