Low Back Pain
Chiropractic care is a way to diagnose and treat health problems that affect the nerves, muscles, bones, and joints of the body. The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause lower back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. Outside of traumatically induced pain, gradual repetitive injuries can also cause back pain, such as excessive bending, twisting or sitting which can take a toll on the spine. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain.
Back Pain Facts & Statistics
Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this persistent condition. Actually, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time. According to WebMD, among people seeking back pain relief alternatives most choose chiropractic treatment. About 22 million Americans visit chiropractors annually. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain. Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.
With today’s growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, Chiropractic care is receiving more widespread attention. Chiropractic spinal adjustments are proven to be gentle, safe and effective. It reduces pain, decreases the need for medication and surgery, and helps patients get back to work sooner.
In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—a federal government research organization—recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.
A patient information article published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association also suggested chiropractic care as an option for people suffering from low back pain–and noted that surgery is usually not needed and should only be tried if other therapies fail.
In 2013 in Spine, a well known orthopedic journal, a double blind randomized controlled trial with over a hundred patients, spinal manipulation was compared to placebo and an anti-inflammatory drug. These patients were recruited from 5 outpatient practices and criteria were numerous and strict. Outcomes included a self rated physical disability, function, off-work time, and medication. Patient outcomes in the spinal manipulation group were better than the anti-inflammatory group and clinically superior to placebo.
Study Reveals That Back Surgery Fails 74% of the Time
Researchers reviewed records from 1,450 patients in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database who had diagnoses of disc degeneration, disc herniation or radiculopathy, a nerve condition that causes tingling and weakness of the limbs. Half of the patients had surgery to fuse two or more vertebrae in hopes of curing low back pain. The other half had no surgery, even though they had comparable diagnoses. After two years, just 26 percent of those who had surgery had actually returned to work. That’s compared to 67 percent of patients who didn’t have surgery. In what might be the most troubling study finding, researchers determined that there was a 41 percent increase in the use of painkillers, specifically opiates, in those who had surgery. These troubling outcomes are all the more reason to start your initial assessment in a Chiropractic office, as it is not only effective, but natural and a safe initial course of action.
Your Office Visit
During your visit to our office, the doctor of chiropractic will perform a detailed consultation and examination to locate the source of your pain. This will involve a series of questions about your current condition, followed by physical and neurological exams. In the physical exam, your doctor will observe your posture, range of motion, and physical condition, noting movement that causes pain. The doctor will feel your spine, note its curvature and alignment, and feel for muscle spasm. A check of your lower extremities may also be in order. During the neurological exam, the doctor may test your reflexes, muscle strength and sensory testing. If warranted the Doctor may order x-rays and computerized muscle tests. Once all of the information is collected to develop a specific diagnosis, a report of findings will be delivered to you. If you qualify for conservative chiropractic care, recommendations for the appropriate adjustments and therapies will be provided.The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) urges you to make an informed choice about your back care. In most cases, back pain responds extremely well to gentle Chiropractic care.