Posted on December 19th, 2016 by Dr. Gloria Adkins
In our West Seattle, WA office, we see a large number of patients who are struggling with back pain, and some of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Gloria Adkins has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science confirms the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the researchers determined was that 42.7% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up in surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5 percent 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 results. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably decreases your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this scientific 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 performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major problem linked to 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. Gloria Adkins is convinced 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in West Seattle, WA and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (206) 258-4886 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!
- 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.