According to a study in the journal Spine, researchers studied nearly 2,000 injured workers with back pain and found that the likelihood of receiving surgery depended significantly on which health-care provider they saw first.
People who first visited a medical doctor for their back pain were more likely to have an operation than people who first visited a chiropractor. Nearly 43% of medical patients had surgery compared to just 1.5% of chiropractic patients. That means medical patients were 28 times more likely have surgery.
Keeney BJ, et al. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of works in Washington state. Spine 2012; doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3182814ed5.