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In our Lincoln practice, we see plenty of patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Kallio has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The science confirms the success we see in our office. One research study published in the medical 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 research study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed data from about 1,900 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical information to find out whether the patients wound up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.
What the researchers found was that about 43% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up in surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5 percent 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 significantly decreases your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this study "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 conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.
The Risks of Surgery
Any surgery has risks, but a major problem associated with 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. Kallio 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 the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have established the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Lincoln and you need relief for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (402) 484-5166 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!