In our Waldorf, MD office, we see plenty of patients who are troubled with back pain, and some of these people have been advised 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 agrees with the results we see in our office. One study published in the 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 scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.
What the researchers determined was that 42.7% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, 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 results. Seeing a chiropractor dramatically 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 note 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 injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem linked to spinal surgery is that there's 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 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. Lipsitz believes 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 confirmed the usefulness 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!