In our Cary office, we see plenty of patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Gugerli has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back pain may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to find out whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the researchers determined was that about 43% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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 findings. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably reduces your odds of getting 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 distinguished medical publication on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside associated with spine surgery is that there is 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. Gugerli 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 research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Cary and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (919) 589-0909 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!