Chiropractic Is a Natural Alternative to Back Surgery
In our Gresham, OR practice, we see plenty of people who are struggling with back pain, and some of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Ramsey has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our office. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back problems may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably decreases your odds of getting 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 keep in mind this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem linked to spinal surgery is that there's a very high failure rate. 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. Ramsey believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Gresham, OR and you need care 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!
- 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.