In our Shoreview, MN office, we see plenty of people who are struggling with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Jane Steffen Bye has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research agrees with the success 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 issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors determined was that 42.7% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, 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 outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor significantly decreases your odds of having 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 performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem associated with 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. Jane Steffen Bye 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have established the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Shoreview, MN and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (651) 483-4040 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!