Avoiding the Surgeon's Knife with Chiropractic
In our Alpharetta, GA office, we see a lot of people who are troubled with back pain, and some of these patients have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Alex Paulk has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature confirms the success we see in our practice. One research 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 scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed 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 records to find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.
What the authors observed was that about 43% of the people who first consulted with 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 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 outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably 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 take into account this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem linked 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 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. Alex Paulk 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Alpharetta, GA and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (678) 691-3221 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.