In our Midtown, New York, NY practice, we see a large number of patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Vinh Tran, DC, CCSP has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific literature agrees with the success we see in our practice. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to find out whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the researchers determined was that about 43% of the men and women who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up with surgery 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. Visiting a chiropractor drastically decreases 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 keep in mind this important point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most prestigious medical publication on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major problem related to spinal 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 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. Vinh Tran, DC, CCSP 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 research studies have documented the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Midtown, New York, NY and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (212) 729-0856 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.