Chiropractic Is a Natural Alternative to Back Surgery
In our Humble office, we see a lot of patients who are struggling with back pain, and some of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Groneck has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The science confirms the results we see in our office. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to determine whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the researchers determined 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 frame, 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 impressive outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor considerably 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 into account this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published 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 spine surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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. Groneck believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Humble and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (281) 540-7201 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.