In our Harleysville office, we see a lot of patients who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these patients have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Szilagyi has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science agrees with the results we see in our practice. One study published in the 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 study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the researchers found was that 42.7% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up with surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5% 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 significantly reduces your odds of getting 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 take into account this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major downside associated with spine surgery is that there is a very high failure rate. 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%."
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Dr. Szilagyi is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many research studies have documented the efficacy of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Harleysville and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (215) 256-4345 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!