Did you know there was a study released in 2010 that found people with herniated discs in their lower back that received chiropractic care had the same results as those who underwent surgical intervention?
Yes, that is true.
This study was done by JMPT, and it was titled "Manipulation or Microdiscectomy for sciatica: a prospective randomized controlled study." We know millions of people every year suffer from bulged or herniated disks that cause pain in their low back that can travel down their legs.
And far too many people end up taking medications that do not work, perhaps injections that do not work, and ultimately they end up in surgery. Over 500,000 spinal fusions are performed each year in the United States. Surgical "correction" is when the disc that is pressing on the nerve is chopped away. Well, in this study the individuals went through chiropractic care were able to improve the disk, take the pressure off the nerve, and find sweet relief.
Far too many people don't know about chiropractic. They've tried physical therapy. They've tried medications. They've tried injections. The think the only option left is to go under the knife, and it's not true.
This study took individuals that had failed all of those measures. People that had already gone through therapy, already gone through massage, already gone through medications, and then put them either into surgery or chiropractic.
So if you are somebody out there that maybe has tried therapy tried injections and even tried medications and not got the relief you desired. Do not think that surgery is your only option.
"these patients must have also failed at least three months of nonoperative management including treatment with analgesics (which is medication), lifestyle modification, physical therapy massage therapy, and or acupuncture."
"most of the patients who are considered surgical candidates for the treatment of radiculopathy improved with standardized spinal manipulative care to the same degree as those who underwent surgical intervention."
There is a time and place (in a tiny percentage of individuals) where surgery is the best and only option. But the beauty of this study is that if you undergo chiropractic care, you have the same opportunity to improve as if you had surgery right off the bat. But here's the catch. If you go through surgery first, any chiropractic care after that is working on a spine that has been altered and or compromised. However, if you try chiropractic care first, and let's say that does not get where you need to be, then you still have surgery as an option down the road. So do not burn those bridges too quickly with surgery before it's necessary.
Additionally, these researchers found that 10 to 20 percent failure rate for individuals who go through that microdiscectomy. And I think that might be a little bit conservative.
So if you are somebody who has been suffering from low back pain, from sciatica, from challenges with the disks and the nerves in your spine do not dismiss chiropractic care. I know there are a lot of individuals out there that maybe aren't exposed to chiropractic care.
They end up going to their primary care doctor, who might not have the best tools for spine-related pain and a medication script as written. The patient of course doesn't get well because they have a mechanical problem not a medication issue. So the patient goes back because they still have pain. The primary care doctor says, "Why don't you go get an MRI since you didn't get well with the medication." Lo and behold what do we find? The MRI shows a disc that is bulged or herniated, pressing the nerve causing pain. That doctor then correctly says, "A-ha that's the problem, a disc is pressing on the nerve." And what happens next? An injection loaded you up with steroids and hoping for the best. Many times that is not a permanent solution and that individual ends up going down that path towards surgical intervention.
I want to bring it out there that there is an alternative path. Chiropractic needs to at least be a pit stop on that road. Research showing that chiropractic care can succeed at least to the same degree as surgical intervention is extremely important for people to understand because many times they may not be getting this information from their primary care doctor.
So there you have it.
What your spine surgeon may not have told you is that you need to try chiropractic care before entertaining the idea of any surgical intervention.
It's smart. The research proves it, and you will ultimately be better for it. Chiropractic care has been shown to decrease intradiscal pressure, opening up those delicate holes (foraminal canals) where the nerves travel out and has helped get millions of people well from injuries to the disks and the nerves.
So if you have heard that an injection or that surgery might be in your future, be sure to try out chiropractic care first. Or if you have a loved one, relative, or a friend who has been guided down that path; be sure that you bring up chiropractic care to them. It just may save their life!