Watkinsville chiropractic back pain treatmentIn our Watkinsville office, we see a large number of people who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science agrees with the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.

In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.

What the researchers determined was that about 43% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up in 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 remarkable outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of having 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 consideration this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injuries.

The Risks of Surgery

Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major problem related to spine 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 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, Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in Watkinsville and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (706) 353-8032 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!

Studies

  • Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
  • Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.
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