In our Lenexa office, we see plenty of people who are troubled with back pain, and a few of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Isom has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our practice. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back problems may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this research study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the issue.
What the researchers observed was that 42.7% of the men and women who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5 percent 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 dramatically decreases your odds of having 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 note this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.
Why You Should Avoid Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside associated with spinal surgery is that there's 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. Isom believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have established the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Lenexa and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (913) 735-9565 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!