In our Port Coquitlam practice, we see a lot of people who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Northside Chiropractic has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 findings. Seeing a chiropractor dramatically 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 note this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside associated with spine surgery is that there is 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, Northside Chiropractic is convinced 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 studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Port Coquitlam and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (604) 941-4596 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!