Is There a Problem with Surgery for Low Back Pain?

Is There a Problem with Surgery for Low Back Pain? post thumbnail

Low back pain has been called a “curse of mankind,” since about 80 percent of people will have it to the degree that they will seek medical help. Generally speaking, many of these patients could be helped by “conservative care” – such as chiropractic. However, sometimes these people opt for surgery. But surgery isn’t always the answer, sometimes it can make things worse.

What does the Research Show?
Richard Deyo, MD, professor of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, has discussed the overuse of the type of surgery that permanently connects two spinal segments together (spinal fusion). Dr. Deyo found through studying the records of 30,000 Medicare patients who had undergone surgery for pain extending down the leg, known as sciatica, that the complex procedure involving fusion of more than two levels in the spine had increased by 1,400 percent from 2002 through 2007. This surgery has a much higher risk of complications than other forms of surgery, according to his study.
What is the Lesson Learned?
Simply put, conservative care should be your first choice for back or neck care. And chiropractic, specifically, has been recommended by the National Low Back Pain Guidelines of the US, Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark and Australia. Furthermore, the American College of Physicians recommends chiropractic for chronic, subacute and acute low back pain.
 Yours for better health,Jon Mills, DC