In our Bridgeville practice, we see a lot of people who are struggling with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Kohler has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research 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 pain may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed statistics 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 information to find out whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 results. Seeing 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 take into account this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem linked to spinal surgery is that there is a very high failure rate. 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 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. Kohler is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have demonstrated the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Bridgeville and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (412) 257-3228 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!