In our Fairmount Heights office, we see many patients who are struggling with back pain, and some of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Naenifard has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research agrees with the results we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years’ worth of follow-up medical data to determine whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors observed was that 42.7% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, 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. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably 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 consider this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world’s most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside linked to spine 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 experts in 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. Naenifard 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 scientific studies have documented the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Fairmount Heights and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (301) 925-2013 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.