In our Yakima practice, we see a lot of patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Michael J. Covington DC-PS has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the researchers determined was that 42.7% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems 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 outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor significantly 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 keep in mind this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem associated with spine surgery is that there's a very high rate of failure. 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 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, Michael J. Covington DC-PS 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have established the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Yakima and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (509) 895-7535 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!