In our Sunnyvale, CA practice, we see plenty of patients who are struggling with back pain, and some of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Jamie Stern has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to find out whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the researchers discovered was that 42.7% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up in 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 considerably decreases your odds of having 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 consideration this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside linked to spine surgery is that there's 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 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. Jamie Stern believes 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 studies have established the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Sunnyvale, CA and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (415) 308-7636 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!