In our Yakima office, we see a lot of patients who are suffering from back pain, and some of these folks have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Kroner has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to determine whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.
What the researchers determined was that 42.7% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, 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. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably 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 carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical publication on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major downside linked to spine 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. Kroner believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort 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 effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Yakima and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (509) 972-4000 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!