In our Mt Sterling office, we see many people who are dealing with back pain, and some of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Tolson has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific literature confirms the results we see in our practice. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing 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 researchers from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical data to find out whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.
What the authors determined was that 42.7% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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 findings. Seeing a chiropractor significantly 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 point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major 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%."
The authors of 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. Tolson 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 research studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Mt Sterling and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (859) 499-1009 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!