In our Yakima, WA practice, we see plenty of patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Bill Kroner has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our practice. One medical 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 off of the operating table.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state 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 information to determine whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the researchers determined was that 42.7% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up in surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 results. Consulting with a chiropractor drastically 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 keep in mind 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 injuries.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside related to spinal surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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. Bill Kroner believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function–without the need of risky surgery or drugs–and many scientific studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Yakima, WA and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (509) 972-4000 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.