In our Sunnyvale & San Francisco office, we see many patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Stern has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the researchers found was that 42.7% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5 percent 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. Seeing a chiropractor considerably reduces 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 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 injury.
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside related to spinal 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%."
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Dr. Stern 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have established the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Sunnyvale & San Francisco 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!