In our Redondo Beach practice, we see a lot of people who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these patients have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Kaden has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature confirms the success we see in our office. One research study published in the 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 scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then examined three years’ worth of follow-up medical data to determine whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the researchers found was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up in 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. Visiting a chiropractor considerably reduces your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this 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 carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world’s most prestigious medical publication on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside related to spinal surgery is that there is a very high failure rate. In an important review 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. Kaden is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort 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 efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Redondo Beach and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (310) 251-0862 for a consultation or an appointment. We’ll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!
- Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
- Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.