In our Minneapolis office, we see a large number of patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Erin Anderson has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The science agrees with the results we see in our practice. One study published in the medical 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 data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the researchers observed was that about 43% of the individuals 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 outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor significantly reduces 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 keep in mind this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem associated with spine surgery is that there is 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, Dr. Erin Anderson is convinced 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 demonstrated the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Minneapolis and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (612) 354-2231 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.