Avoid Back Surgery With Chiropractic
In our South Buffalo office, we see a lot of patients who are struggling with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. John Nowak 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 medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 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 information to determine whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the researchers discovered was that about 43% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up in surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% of those who first saw 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 drastically decreases your odds of getting 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 consideration this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem 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 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. John Nowak 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have demonstrated the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in South Buffalo and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (716) 825-4121 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.