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Chiropractic Is a Natural Alternative to Back Surgery

Chiropractic Is a Natural Alternative to Back Surgery

In our Gresham office, we see a lot of people who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these patients have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Ramsey has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our office. One research study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you out of the operating room.

In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a 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 individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.

What the researchers observed was that 42.7% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery 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 remarkable results. Visiting a chiropractor significantly 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 consider this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.

The Problems with Surgery

Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside related to spine surgery is that there's 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. Ramsey is convinced 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in Gresham and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (503) 667-6744 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!

Studies

  • 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.
April 18, 2022
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Dr. Ramsey

Dr. Robert Ramsey and the talented team at Gresham Family Chiropractic have been providing the best chiropractic care available to patients in Gresham, OR since 1997. We treat many conditions related to back pain, neck pain, headaches, and sciatica. Dr. Ramsey also specializes in the treatment of auto accident injuries and work injuries sustained on the job.