In our Napa, CA practice, we see plenty of people who are struggling with back pain, and some of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Roxann Bettencourt, DC has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The science confirms the success we see in our practice. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back problems may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data 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 information to ascertain whether the subjects ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the issue.
What the researchers found was that 42.7% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up having a surgical procedure in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent of those who first saw 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. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically reduces your odds of having 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 point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside linked to spine 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 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. Roxann Bettencourt, DC 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Napa, CA and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice 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!