In our Cary practice, we see a lot of people who are struggling with back pain, and some of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Gugerli has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our practice. One medical 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 research study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from Washington state 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 records to ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the researchers observed was that about 43% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up with 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 remarkable findings. Consulting with a chiropractor significantly reduces 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 account this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside related to spinal 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 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. Gugerli believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have established the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Cary and you need relief for your back pain, give our office 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!