In our Memphis practice, we see a large number of people who are suffering from back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Amodeo has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science agrees with the results we see in our office. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back problems may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics 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 looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors observed was that 42.7% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time frame, 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 impressive outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of having 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 consider this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside related to spine surgery is that there's 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. Amodeo is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many research studies have established the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Memphis and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (901) 757-8311 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.