In our Napa, CA practice, we see a large number of patients who are troubled with back pain, and some of these folks 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 agrees with the success we see in our office. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to determine whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the authors observed was that 42.7% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain 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 findings. Consulting with 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 consider this important detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside associated with spine 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. Bettencourt believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have demonstrated the efficacy 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!