In our Portland chiropractic clinic, we see plenty of people who are dealing with back pain, and some of these patients have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Helton has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The science 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 move in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the researchers discovered was that about 43% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up in 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 findings. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically reduces 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 take note this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injuries.
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem associated with spine surgery is that there is 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. Helton is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Portland and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (503) 771-1974 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!