In our Corvallis office, we see many people who are troubled with back pain, and some of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Lach has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research confirms the success we see in our practice. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the authors discovered was that 42.7% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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 results. Seeing a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also keep in mind this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem associated with spine surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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. Lach believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic 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 Corvallis and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (541) 754-1947 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!