In our Kettering office, we see a large number of people who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these people 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 operation. The scientific literature confirms the success 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 pain may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to determine whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.
What the researchers discovered was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw 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 remarkable results. 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 consider this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem linked to spinal surgery is that there's a very high failure rate. 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 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. Poelking 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 confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Kettering and you need care for your back pain, give our office 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!