In our Decatur office, we see a large number of patients who are troubled with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Harrison has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science confirms the results we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back problems may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.
What the researchers found was that 42.7% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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 results. Consulting with a chiropractor significantly 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 keep in mind this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside linked to 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. Harrison believes 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 studies have documented the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Decatur and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (404) 325-2856 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!