Researchers reviewing the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation database showed that of 1,450 workers with a diagnosis of disc degeneration, disc herniation or radiculopathy (referred nerve pain/weakness/etc.), half of these patients had surgery to fuse two or more of the vertebrae in hopes of curing low back pain. The other half had no surgery even with comparable diagnoses. After two years, only 26% of those who had surgery returned to work. Of those who did NOT have surgery 67% returned to work. More bad news: those who had surgery showed a 41% increase in the use of painkillers, specifically opiates. “The study provides clear evidence that for many patients, fusion surgeries designed to alleviate pain from degenerating discs don’t work” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Trang Nguyen, a researcher at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Experts estimate that about 600,000 Americans opt for back surgeries. Let’s do the math: average cost of $60,000 – $200,000/surgery = lots of money being spent on procedures with poor outcomes. But the insurance companies don’t want to pay for scientifically proven procedures for low back pain = chiropractic. Not many people have 100% health insurance coverage these days. What is 20-30% of a surgery? Do the math. What will surgery recovery also cost in time away from work? family? Compare to chiropractic care which consistently gives better results and is proven to get people back to work sooner with less reliance on drug therapies.