In our Great Falls office, we see plenty of patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Six has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science 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 move in dealing with your back problems may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical records to determine whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the authors determined was that 42.7% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up having a surgical procedure 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 remarkable outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor drastically 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 point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injury.
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside related to spine surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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%."
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Dr. Six believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Great Falls and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (406) 452-6929 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!