In our Parkland, FL practice, we see many people who are suffering from back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Neil Scharf has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The science agrees with the success 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 problems may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the researchers discovered was that about 43% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent 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. Visiting a chiropractor drastically reduces your odds of getting 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 take into account this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside related to spine surgery is that there is 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 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. Neil Scharf is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Parkland, FL and you need relief for your back pain, give our office 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!