In our Kettering practice, we see a lot of patients who are struggling with back pain, and some of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Poelking has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the academic 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 report, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to determine whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the researchers determined was that 42.7% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up having a surgical procedure 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 findings. Visiting a chiropractor drastically decreases your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this report "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also take into account this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injuries.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem linked to spinal surgery is that there's 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. Poelking 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 scientific studies have documented the efficacy 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!