In our Alpharetta practice, we see many patients who are dealing with back pain, and a few of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Berklich has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of operation. The science confirms the success we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back problems may actually keep you out of the operating room.
In this report, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical information to find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.
What the researchers found was that about 43% of the individuals who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems 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 remarkable outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor significantly 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 point: this study was performed by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injury.
Any surgery has risks, but a serious downside associated with spinal surgery is that there's 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%."
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Dr. Berklich believes that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without high-risk surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have confirmed the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Alpharetta and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (770) 475-2225 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!