In our Smyrna, GA practice, we see a lot of patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Weinberg has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific literature confirms the success we see in our practice. One medical study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back problems may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this research study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 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 find out whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the authors discovered was that about 43% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up in surgery 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 remarkable results. Seeing a chiropractor significantly reduces 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 consider this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem related 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 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, Dr. Weinberg believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have demonstrated the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Smyrna, GA and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (770) 434-8976 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!
- Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
- Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.