Avoiding the Surgeon's Knife with Chiropractic
In our Rancho Cucamonga office, we see a large number of patients who are troubled with back pain, and some of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Elizabeth Mojabe has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors determined 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 span, 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 impressive results. Visiting a chiropractor dramatically decreases 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 keep in mind this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside related to spinal surgery is that there's a very high failure rate. 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. Elizabeth Mojabe 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 confirmed the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Rancho Cucamonga and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (909) 466-7363 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.