In our Great Falls, MT office, we see plenty of patients who are struggling with back pain, and some of these patients have been told 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 scientific research agrees with the results we see in our office. One study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the authors observed was that 42.7% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back pain 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 impressive results. Seeing a chiropractor dramatically reduces your odds of having 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 distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem linked to spinal surgery is that there's 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%."
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. Six is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care 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 Great Falls, MT and you need relief 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!