Many healthcare providers (as well as products and services) carry ‘success percentages’ to attract business. This short blog is to share the basic definition of ‘success’ in chiropractic versus medicine or surgical repair. Certainly my recommendation is that any person, who is in pain, should try conservative care first – especially chiropractic. Anyone who jumps to drug therapy or pain management (injections) or surgery without first exploring the benefits of chiropractic is putting dangerous drugs in their bodies (all of which have side effects) and scar tissue. Those side effects (or scar tissue) could be just as damaging and cause future pain over the lifetime of the patient.
However, I also know that there are times when surgery (specifically to the spine) is warranted to repair from trauma or conditions which alter the performance of the nervous system.
But never forget the basic definition of ‘success’. A chiropractor rates their success based on how many patients had their pain fully (100%) resolved. That means it went away, completely! Most chiropractic offices will confidently have a 70-95% success rate. Additionally, chiropractic treatment plans typically include strengthening activities which will prevent (or at least reduce the opportunity of) a return of the pain.
On the other hand, the medical community, specifically regarding surgery, will present a ‘percentage’ such as 50+% success rate for a procedure (drugs, injections, surgery). The MD’s definition of success is not the same as the chiropractor (DC). The formal medical definition of success is ‘any reduction of the underlying symptom (pain)’. So if you have pain, then undergo a medical procedure, and then you have a reduction of pain (even if it’s a mild amount of change, or for a short period of time), by medical standards, you were a successful outcome to their procedure. I believe that this is somewhat misleading.
So, patient beware. You have tremendous opportunity for success in a chiropractor’s office! A success opportunity for ‘complete relief’ , not simply a reduction of pain.
Choose your chiropractor with care. A competent exam must be followed with a competent and confident treatment plan.