Past Articles

More MRI's Equal More Surgeries

It seems that today more than ever people expect and demand an immediate solution to their aches and pains. Unfortunately, much of the medical research and treatment has failed to catch up with the demand. An example is highlighted by a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs. In this study, researchers found that the availability of MRI machines (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) significantly affected the number of surgeries for those suffering from low back pain - increased access and utilization of MRI's resulted in more surgeries. While some may believe this is a good thing, there are serious doubts surrounding the effectiveness and appropriateness of surgery in most people suffering from low back pain. Not only are surgeries expensive and risky, their outcome when compared to others not undergoing surgeries, are often no better in the long run. According to the majority of experts, for most low back pain sufferers, surgery should only be considered once all other conservative forms of care have been fully exhausted. Low back pain is the number one condition evaluated and treated by chiropractors. Anyone considering surgery for low back pain should seek a thorough evaluation by a licensed doctor of chiropractic. Moreover, some chiropractors offer different techniques and types of therapies from other chiropractors. If care from one chiropractor doesn’t provide the expected results, rather than consider surgery, consider receiving an evaluation from another chiropractor who might offer a different and perhaps more appropriate technique or therapy. It's important to remember that going under the knife is risky and the results can be far less than desirable.

Source: Health Affairs, 28, No. 6 (2009): w1133-w1140.