Have you or someone you love had a recommendation for surgery for the treatment of back pain? Before you make that life altering decision, there are facts and options that should be considered. Pain is the most common cause of disability in the Americans under the age of 45 and more than one quarter of Americans over the age of 20, or nearly 76 and a half million people, report suffering from pain that has persisted for more than a 24 hour period. The most common type of pain: lower back pain, followed by migraines and neck pain.
While there are many different factors that lead to back pain, most occurrences are acute and short-lived in nature, with symptoms arising and dissipating within a few days. However, for many patients, lower back pain can be progressive and ultimately leave the patient suffering with chronic pain, or pain that last more than three months.
In the past, treatment for back pain has varied from ice and heat compresses to bed rest or targeted exercises. However, many times the treatment involves prescription medications, many times in combination with over the counter drugs including topical analgesics, NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin, opioids and even anti-depressants. These drug therapies can be costly, and worse, ineffective.
When drug therapies fail, the next step in traditional treatment for this type of pain is often the recommendation of surgery. In fact, a staggering 600,000 Americans choose surgery as the treatment for their back pain each year. But surgery often times does not give the relief that the patient has hoped for and, in many cases, has no positive effects or worse, leaves the patient in more pain that before the surgery. According to a study published in the journal Spine, when researches reviewed patient records of 1,450 back pain sufferers, half of who had back surgery to correct the pain, only 26% of those patients had returned to work after two years. Sixty-seven percent of the patients who did not have surgery were able to return to work. In addition, there was a 41% increase in the use of opiate painkillers among the group who opted for surgery.
So in a country with 27 million adults reporting back problems and spending in excess of $20 billion dollars on treatments including drugs and surgeries, are there better patient options available? Yes, there certainly are. One option is to seek out chiropractic care before considering surgery.
Widely regarded as one of the safest, drug-free and non-invasive therapies available today, chiropractic care has an excellent safety record and many patients benefit from treatment as soon as the first appointment. Gaining in popularity as a safe and non-invasive conservative route for care, the use of chiropractic treatments before the consideration of surgery has been endorsed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health Plan. UPMC believes so strongly in this course of treatment that it has adopted landmark guidelines in which spinal surgery candidates are required to try, and fail, a three-month course of conservative treatment including chiropractic care before receiving authorization to move forward with a surgical procedure.
While each patient is different, so should their treatment plan be. Dr. Marc Ellis has dedicated himself to a unique practice of care in the specialty of chiropractic neurology, which encompasses all the benefits of chiropractic care with the added benefit of focus on the neurological systems as well. Dr Ellis’ work with the body’s soft tissue along with a complete understanding of the relationship between the brain and the body has proven successful in patients who have tried it all without optimum results.
If you have been suffering from pain or have had a surgical recommendation as treatment for pain, understanding the facts surrounding such a decision is imperative. If you would like to know more about an effective and drug-free, surgery-free way to treat pain, please contact the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today for a consultation.