Considering surgery for your back pain or sciatica, but worried about going under the knife? You may have another option.
Visiting a chiropractor may provide a safe and effective alternative.
A study published in the JMPT looked at the effectiveness of chiropractic spinal manipulation for the treatment of symptomatic lumbar disc herniation (Low back pain and/or Sciatica due to a herniated disc). It found that over 90% of the patients reported improvement within 3 months and 88% of the patients still reported improvement at the 1 year mark.
In addition, the study found that there were no serious adverse events when a chiropractor performed spinal manipulation (also called a chiropractic adjustment) to someone with a disc herniation. The only downside of the study was that approximately 10% of the participants did not respond to care and an even smaller percentage of the patients went on to have surgery.
Seeing a chiropractor for herniated discs.
Having treated patients with herniated discs for over 25 years, I can say that the statistics from this study are a pretty accurate reflection of what has happened in my private practice. Most of the patients got better. A few (about 10%) needed to be co-managed with a pain management doctor or referred to another healthcare provider. And, even fewer (about 1 – 2%) needed to have surgery.
When considering surgery for symptomatic lumbar disc herniation, there are certain situations when it is absolutely necessary. This study and other studies have found that these situations make up a very small percentage of the total number of cases. As with all medical procedures, the risks of having surgery must be weighed against the consequences of not having the surgery. This also applies to the alternative forms of care. If, after talking with your doctor, trying another treatment approach is still an option, seeing a chiropractor may offer a safe and effective solution to relieving your pain and healing your herniated disc.
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Wishing you good health,
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