In our Waldorf, MD practice, we see many patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Lipsitz has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research confirms the success we see in our office. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed statistics 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 used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain 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 patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain 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 impressive outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor significantly 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 injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious problem associated with spinal surgery is that there is 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. Lipsitz 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have documented the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Waldorf, MD and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (301) 645-8898 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!