In our Port Coquitlam practice, we see a large number of people who are struggling with back pain, and some of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Olson has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research agrees with the results we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically decreases your odds of having 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 consider this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem linked to spine surgery is that there's 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%."
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. Olson 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 the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many research studies have confirmed the usefulness 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!