In our Sunnyvale & San Francisco, CA practice, we see plenty of people who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Jamie Stern has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science confirms the success we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the researchers discovered was that about 43% of the men and women who first saw 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 impressive results. Visiting a chiropractor considerably decreases your odds of getting 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 keep in mind this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside related to spinal surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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. Jamie Stern believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice 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 research studies have confirmed the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Sunnyvale & San Francisco, CA and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice 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!