In our Pinole office, we see a large number of patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Jung has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our practice. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this research study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back pain ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 remarkable results. Seeing a chiropractor significantly 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 take note this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical journal on spinal injuries.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem associated with spinal surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. 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. Jung believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many research studies have confirmed the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Pinole and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (510) 243-7500 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!