In our Kettering office, we see plenty of patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Poelking has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our practice. One study published in the journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back pain may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington 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 ascertain whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors determined was that about 43% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up in surgery in that 3-year time frame, 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 impressive outcomes. 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 consider this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem linked to spinal 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 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. Poelking believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Kettering and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (937) 299-2900 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!