Avoiding the Surgeon's Knife with Chiropractic

Bay Shore chiropractic back pain treatmentIn our Bay Shore office, we see a lot of patients who are struggling with back pain, and a few of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Craig Selzer has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The science agrees with the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues 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 an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to find out whether the individuals ended up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.

What the researchers determined was that about 43% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up in surgery in that 3-year time span, 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 remarkable results. Consulting with a chiropractor drastically 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 consider this important point: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.

Surgery: The Last Resort

Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside related to spinal surgery is that there's a very high rate of failure. 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. Craig Selzer 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 risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in Bay Shore and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (631) 665-3714 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!

Studies

  • Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
  • Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.
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    Dr. Craig Selzer is a chiropractor in Bay Shore, New York. He graduated from New York Chiropractic College in 1994 and attended SUNY Stony Brook. He holds additional degrees in Bachelor of Science and Certified Active Release Techniques. All Island Chiropractic & Physical Therapy care is a Family Practice dedicated to overall health through the body's innate ability to heal itself. Dr. Selzer is certified in Active Release Techniques and is always treating athletic injuries.