In our Parkland office, we see a large number of patients who are suffering from back pain, and some of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Scharf has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research confirms the success we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 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 records to ascertain whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the issue.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up in surgery 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 outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor considerably decreases your odds of getting 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 take into consideration this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside related to spinal surgery is that there's a very high rate of failure. 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 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. Scharf is convinced 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 high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have documented the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Parkland and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (954) 227-0088 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!