The Surprising Science About Surgery for Low Back Pain

Bottom Line:
Many people think that surgery can “fix” an area of their spine that is injured. While in rare cases that is true, the permanent changes that surgery makes to your anatomy can cause a host of new problems in addition to the trauma and risks that inherently go along with low back surgery.

These permanent changes are referred to as “adjacent segment disease”, and they are the number one reason why people who have one surgery on their low back often have to repeat the process.

Why it Matters:
A recent study found that chiropractic care can provide the same relief as surgery for disc issues in the low back, and that’s without any of the surgical risks.

The other interesting part of this study found that those individuals who didn’t get great results with chiropractic care subsequently were able to get great results from surgery. So, in most cases, it’s clear that anyone entertaining the idea of surgery should go to the chiropractor first before going under the knife!

Research that Matters:

  • An estimated 60% of patients with sciatica benefited from spinal adjustments to the same degree as if they had received surgery.
  • Over 25% of patients undergoing spine surgery may have complications from surgery.
  • Patients with disc herniations should consider chiropractic care before surgical intervention.

Next Steps:
Having surgery is a big, irreversible decision. The time away from work, risks associated with anesthesia, the direct trauma to your spine, and results that aren’t exactly fantastic have all led many doctors to question whether surgery is a good option (outside of obvious emergency cases).

In our practice, our goal is to help you avoid unnecessary addictive drugs and risky medical procedures so that you can find health and healing naturally. And if you are one of the rare people who may benefit from surgery, we’ll let you know. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the best care recommendations based on your goals and our findings. It’s how we believe healthcare should be delivered.

Science Source(s):
(1) Manipulation or Microdiskectomy for Sciatica? A Prospective Randomized Clinical Study. JMPT. 2010.
(2) Risk of Complications in Spine Surgery. Open Orthopaedics Journal. 2015.

by Christopher Freytag, D.C.

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