Seeing A Chiropractor First Reduces Risk Of Back Surgery!

Over the nearly 20 years in practice, one thing I can tell you is once you get cut, you can’t uncut. Just like it’s impossible to put toothpaste back into the tube, once you have surgery, you can’t go back in time before the surgery and start all over. Surgery, especially spine surgery is serious business. When you have it, make sure you really-really need it. There have been people for which spinal surgery was absolutely necessary and made a huge difference in their life. There have also been those where the surgery caused more problems than it solved. Luckily in our practice we’ve been able to help thousand with their episodes of lower back pain, sciatica, facet syndromes, etc., and a new study now shows how important it is to have your lower back pain evaluated by a chiropractor first. Yes, a chiropractor first!

The study, published in the well known scientific reference journal of orthopedics called ‘Spine‘ is entitled: Early Predictors of Lumbar Spine Surgery After Occupational Back Injury: Results From a Prospective Study of Workers in Washington State. The study was done To identify early predictors of lumbar spine surgery within 3 years after occupational (work related) back injury.

The study identified several factors that predicted whether or not someone may need lumbar 

spine surgery. There was a very strong association between surgery and first provider seen for the injury.

Reduced odds of surgery were observed for

  1. Those younger than 35
  2. Females
  3. Hispanics
  4. Those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 

​Approximately 42.7% of workers who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor.

Approximately 42.7% of the injured workers who saw a surgeon first, had surgery. In contrast to only 1.5% of the injured workers who saw a chiropractor first had surgery.

The study concluded that there was a VERY STRONG (emphasis added) association between surgery and the first provider seen for the injury. The obvious conclusion you should make is when you have back pain, the FIRST physician you should consult is a chiropractic physician. Gone are the days of the medical industry telling you chiropractors are “quack” physicians and their adjustments will harm you, rather now medical science and technology is proving chiropractic care as a validated and necessary part of the healthcare industry. And according to the journal Spine’s May 2013 issue, research is stating that when it comes to back pain, you should visit a chiropractic physician first if you want to lower your chances of needed back surgery.

Putting this together with scientific studies published in other medical journals, such as the one I commented on from the Annals of Internal Medicine in May of 2012 as well as articles such as :Spine Manipulation compared to NSAIDS-Spine J Vol 38, No 7 2013, are proving what (we) chiropractic physicians have been saying for the past century. Chiropractic works! Now with certainty and the many reports from scientific medical journals, the age old chiropractic quote of Chiropractic First, Drugs Second, Surgery Last has never been more true or more supported by research.

The time has come. It’s okay to go visit your local chiropractor. Really, it’s okay. I have the proof.

Healthfully yours

Dr. Todd Narson Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians

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