In our Tucson practice, we see plenty of people who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Conlee has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The science confirms the success we see in our practice. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors discovered was that about 43% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up with 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 findings. Consulting with a chiropractor drastically decreases your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also consider this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside associated with spinal 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. Conlee 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 confirmed the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Tucson and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (520) 322-6161 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!