In our New York office, we see many patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Phelts has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The science confirms the success we see in our office. One medical study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the researchers discovered was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up in surgery 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 remarkable results. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably reduces your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also take note this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside associated with spine surgery is that there is 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. Phelts 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in New York and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (212) 286-2012 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!