In our San Angelo practice, we see a lot of people who are suffering from back pain, and some of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Wallace has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The science agrees with the success we see in our office. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the researchers discovered was that about 43% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up with surgery 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 results. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably decreases 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 into consideration this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside associated with spinal 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%."
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. Wallace 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have documented the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in San Angelo and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (325) 949-7878 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!