In our Napa practice, we see plenty of people who are suffering from back pain, and some of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Bettencourt has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The science confirms the success we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back pain may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical professionals from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to determine whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the researchers discovered was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery 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 impressive outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor dramatically reduces your odds of having 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 point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injuries.
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside related 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%."
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Dr. Bettencourt 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 research studies have documented the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Napa and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (707) 257-3600 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!
At Ranch Chiropractic our approach is unique and different! We see you as an individual with a unique set of needs, and we see Chiropractic health care as the means to help retrain your body to take care of itself. As you grow older, the stress of everyday life, repetitive motion at work, injuries and falls, or just plain living can compromise your body’s ability to cope. Our mission is to provide affordable, effective, “results-driven” patient centered Care.