Avoiding the Surgeon's Knife with Chiropractic

Huntington chiropractic back pain treatmentIn our Huntington office, we see plenty of patients who are troubled with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Alan Wild has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our office. One research study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back problems may actually keep you off of the operating table.

In this study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.

What the authors observed was that 42.7% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent 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 findings. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably reduces your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this scientific study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.

Let's also take note this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.

Surgery: The Last Resort

Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside related to spine surgery is that there is 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. Alan Wild 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many research studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in Huntington and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (304) 697-7080 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!

Studies

  • 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.
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