In our Juneau, AK office, we see plenty of patients who are dealing with back pain, and some of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Messerschmidt has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our practice. One medical study published in the medical journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical records to find out whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back problems 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 outcomes. Seeing 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 take note this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injury.
The Problems with Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem associated with 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 authors of 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. Messerschmidt is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Juneau, AK and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (907) 789-1344 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!