In our Harleysville, PA practice, we see many patients who are suffering from back pain, and some of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Szilagyi has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgery. The scientific research confirms the results we see in our practice. One study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this report, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the authors found was that about 43% of the patients who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up in 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 remarkable findings. Seeing a chiropractor considerably reduces 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 detail: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside associated with spinal surgery is that there's 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%."
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. Szilagyi is convinced 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 scientific studies have established the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Harleysville, PA and you need care for your back pain, give our practice 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!