In our Denton, TX office, we see a large number of patients who are troubled with back pain, and some of these folks have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Steve Eustice has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research agrees with the results we see in our office. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the authors discovered was that about 43% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up in 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 impressive outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor drastically reduces your odds of having 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 take into consideration this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside associated with spinal surgery is that there's 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 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. Steve Eustice 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Denton, TX and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (940) 591-9097 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!