In our Rutland practice, we see many patients who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Cyr has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific research 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 move in dealing with your back problems may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to ascertain whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the authors discovered was that 42.7% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up in surgery in that 3-year time frame, 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 remarkable outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor considerably decreases 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 consider this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injuries.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem linked to spinal 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%."
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. Cyr believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Rutland and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (802) 775-6961 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!