Surgery should be a Last Resort

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I’m sure some of you have seen that one of the best teams in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors, no longer have their head coach with them on the bench. Steve Kerr, the 51 year-old coach is out with excruciating back pain (and nausea from the pain).

The interesting part of the story is that he had back surgery less than two years ago. In fact, Kerr told the Washington Post, “I can tell you if you’re listening out there, stay away from back surgery. I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab. Don’t let anyone get in there.”

Dr. Robert Aptekar, a board certified and Stanford University-trained orthopedic surgeon with 25 years experience, agreed with Kerr’s advice.  And the research would agree with both of them!

Studies Show

Studies such as this one published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and this one performed by CBS News have shown increases in the number of unnecessary back surgeries as well as associated complications. A study published in the journal Spine (which focuses on studies about the spine) found that spinal fusion surgery didn’t seem to perform better than non-surgical approaches in alleviating back pain. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a back surgery procedure, vertebroplasty, didn’t do much better than a fake procedure in treating patients with vertebral compression fractures.

Another  study published by SPINE Journal in May of 2013 looked at workers with occupational back pain or injuries. The key to the outcomes heavily involved ONE major component, who they saw for their back problem. Here are some shocking statistics:  42.7% of those who saw a surgeon ended up in surgery within 3 years, while just 1.5% of those who saw a Chiropractor ended up needing surgery.

back pain results

Chiropractic Care

If they see you, the Chiropractor, instead of seeing the surgeon, the risk of having back surgery plummets!

The authors note that back injuries are the most prevalent occupational injury in the U.S., and back pain is the most costly and prevalent occupational health condition amongst U.S. workers.Costs for occupational back pain increased over 65% from 1996 through 2002, and surgeries represent a significant proportion of these costs.

Combine that with sky-rocketing opioid use and the destruction they bring to a person and an entire society.

  • There were 112 million Opioid prescriptions in 1992
  • And there were 259 million Opioid prescriptions in 2015
  • 6/10 drug deaths involve opioids
  • And 4/5 new heroin users start misusing opioids

The benefits of Chiropractic go way beyond pain, but a common and great side effect of removing interference is pain reduction.

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