Richmond Chiropractic and Back Pain Relief Expectations via Surgical or Conservative Care

December 08, 2020

What expectations do you have of your chiropractic care of Richmond back pain? That question is huge. Research is reporting that it has a role in back pain treatment outcome be the treatment surgical or conservative. Johnson Chiropractic aims to listen to you and your expectations of our Richmond back pain treatment and present what our treatment’s outcomes have been in practice and in research.


A new research project examined patient and surgeon expectations of back surgery. Patients expected full relief and improvement of their back pain after lumbar spine surgery. Surgeons expected improvement that ranged from a little to a lot depending on the patient and his/her specific condition. Whose expectations were met? The surgeons’ expectations. A couple years after the back surgery, the outcomes reported by patients met the surgeon’s expectations. The researchers emphasized that effective communication about expectations may well further better outcomes. (1) That’s why Johnson Chiropractic spends time with each Richmond back pain patient early on in care, ensuring that the source of pain and its treatment plan are well-explained. If not, ask us!


If initial patient expectations are not  met with back surgery, what is an “acceptable symptom state” for that back pain patient? What can he/she live with? For patients with chronic non-specific low back pain (with or without active discopathy), 54% stated having an acceptable symptom state at 1 month of care. Specifically, patient-reported acceptable symptoms included: 47.5 for lumbar pain, 30.5 for radicular pain, 39.3 for disability, 10.0 for anxiety, and 6.7 for depression. (2) Johnson Chiropractic knows no pain is the preferred state and is ready to discuss with our Richmond chiropractic patients their options and possible outcomes.


The question of back surgery is a big issue. Evidence-based medicine sees that the patient at the center of care. What is the patient perspective of this care? How is the patient perspective regarded in treatment planning and choosing from available options? A recent paper indicated that the patient’s social, psychological, and other non-clinical characteristics must be taken into account in planning care. (3) One factor in the back-surgery decision that reportedly impacts the decision and the outcome expectation is opioid use. Lower dose and shorter-time-taking opioid use patients expected more complete improvement compared with non-users. They also had higher expectations of positive outcome than higher-dose opioid patients. (4) For a lot of patients, the prospect of work is a light at the end of the tunnel which is affirming according to this new report on how back pain patient recovery expectations influence clinical outcomes. A review of 60 studies reported that a patient’s recovery expectations are probably strongly associated with future work participation. (5) Johnson Chiropractic offers effective, nonsurgical care of back pain to meet patient expectations once the research on outcomes for other back pain sufferers is described and understood. Richmond chiropractic care keeps the back pain patient at its center.

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Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Anthony Galante on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he explained how Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management and chiropractic treatment assisted in the management of back pain for a patient who was adamant about not wanting back surgery.

Schedule your next Richmond chiropractic visit soon. Johnson Chiropractic invites you to think about and answer the question of your expectations for our treatment so that we can both be satisfied with the outcome!

Johnson Chiropractic strives to meet realistic patient expectations regarding conservative back pain relief.