Avoiding the Surgeon's Knife with Chiropractic
In our South Buffalo practice, we see a lot of people who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Nowak has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The science agrees with the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this research study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the researchers observed was that about 43% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up having a surgical procedure 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 remarkable results. Consulting with a chiropractor significantly decreases your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also take note this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem associated with spine 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. Nowak is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have documented 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.