In our Jonesboro practice, we see a large number of patients who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Alpert has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science confirms the results we see in our practice. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the researchers found was that 42.7% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time frame, 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 remarkable outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor significantly reduces 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 consider this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injuries.
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside linked to spinal surgery is that there is 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%."
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Dr. Alpert 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 demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Jonesboro and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (770) 472-8989 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!