In our Asheville practice, we see a large number of patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Myers has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our practice. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back issues may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.
What the authors determined was that about 43% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back problems 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 remarkable findings. Consulting with a chiropractor significantly 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 consider this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major 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 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. Myers believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have documented the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Asheville and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (828) 676-0963 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!