In our Port Coquitlam practice, we see a lot of people who are troubled with back pain, and some of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Northside Chiropractic has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our practice. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the authors determined was that about 43% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up having a surgical procedure 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 remarkable results. Seeing a chiropractor considerably decreases your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this report "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also keep in mind this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem associated with spinal surgery is that there's 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, Northside Chiropractic believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Port Coquitlam and you need care for your back pain, give our practice 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!