Why Have 40 Million Americans Tried Chiropractic Care? – Part 6

Friday, January 23rd, 2015
Last week we talked about HEADACHES. This week, we talk about AVOIDANCE. By “avoidance” I am referring to the desire to avoid undergoing invasive, painful, and permanent back surgery.

Again, this series is based on information provided to me personally by Mr. George McAndrews. Mr. McAndrews was the lead counsel in the Wilk vs. AMA case and won that case with his considerable skill but also these great resources that I will continue sharing with you throughout this series. These blog topics and research findings are all part of a wonderful article in Dynamic Chiropractic that Mr. McAndrews wrote. You can read that article at here.

In my opinion, there are mostly two different types of people. Those very trusting of the medical model and that “everything will work out alright” mentality. Then there are the people that will go down fighting and they won’t go into the operating room until ALL OPTIONS are exhausted

For the record, I do NOT have a distrust of the medical model. Medical doctors, in my view, are much like chiropractors, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals in that they want to help their patients and better humanity. However, there’s no getting around the simple fact that surgery is inherently risky. It’s permanent. There is a recovery period. There is also a high percentage of low back surgeries that must be repeated at some time in the future. In addition, spinal fusion commonly causes disc issues in the segments of the spine that are adjacent to the site of the fusion. 

Hopefully then, it is understandable why we encourage patients to put off this sort of surgery as long as there is no loss of muscular function (myelopathy) or other red flags. In many, many cases, we can improve pain, increase function, re-hydrate the disc to an extent, and get the quality of life back to an acceptable level. 

In my practice, I see it all of the time. In many cases, I am the LAST HOPE of the person that is sitting across from me. They have been through it all. 

Here’s the research showing it:

2010 – Study comparing spinal manipulation and disc surgery for sciatic pain
A study at the University of Calgary in Canada compared 2 different treatments for patients with sciatic pain from a disc herniation: 3 months of spinal manipulation from a chiropractor or back surgery. One year later, 60% of patients who received chiropractic care were able to avoid back surgery. 
McMorland G, Suter E, Casha S, du Plessis SJ, Hurlbert RJ. Manipulation or microdikectomy for sciatica? A prospective randomized clinical study. J Manipulatieve Physiol Ther 2010;33(8):576-84.

2012 – Study of work-related back injuries in the state of Washington
A study examined the treatments received by workers after first injuring their backs at work, and followed them over time to see how many eventually needed back surgery, which often has poor results for work-related injuries. The researchers found that the first treatment received was critical, and that patients who saw chiropractors first had a much lower chance of eventually needing back surgery. 

“The choice of first treatment received was very important over the long run: 42.7% of workers who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor.”

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 2012.

Just another reason to call a chiropractor TODAY

Research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, in comparison to the traditional medical model, patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic. Chiropractic care is safe, more cost-effective, it decreases your chances of having surgery, and it reduces your chances of becoming disabled.  We do this conservatively and non-surgically. In addition, we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising your general, overall level of health!  

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think. 

And….SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!   We cannot make a difference without your help.

Till next time……

The Amarillo Chiropractor Blog is written by Dr. Jeff Williams.

Amarillo TX Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic provides customized chiropractic care to the Amarillo, Canyon, Pampa, Happy, White Deer, Dumas, Groom, Conway, Panhandle, Claude, Clarendon, Borger, Tulia, Hereford, Fritch, Bushland, and Vega communities. Visit our main website at www.amarillochiropractor.com for customized Chiropractic in Amarillo TX.

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by Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
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