In our Texarkana, Atlanta office, we see a large number of patients who are troubled with back pain, and a few of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Swanson has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science agrees with 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 step in overcoming with your back pain may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the researchers determined was that 42.7% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up having a surgical procedure 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 results. Visiting a chiropractor drastically reduces your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this scientific study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also take into account this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major 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. Swanson 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 the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Texarkana, Atlanta and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (903) 792-2060 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!