Chiropractic Is a Natural Alternative to Back Surgery
In our Vernal, UT practice, we see a lot of people who are troubled with back pain, and some of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Nelson has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our office. One study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the authors discovered was that about 43% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up in 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 remarkable results. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically decreases 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 conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside related to spine surgery is that there is 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 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. Nelson believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort 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 efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Vernal, UT and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (435) 789-4483 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.