A Turning Point in the Treatment of Low Back Pain
For decades following the inception of the chiropractic profession in 1895, Doctors of Chiropractic and Medical Doctors were often at odds with each other. It culminated in a ruling by a federal judge that the American Medical Association had engaged in an unlawful conspiracy “to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession.” But since the 1980’s, mainstream acceptance of chiropractic has spurred collaborative research efforts into the effectiveness of spinal manipulation for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.
Thankfully things have changed since the early days of chiropractic. Today, the AMA recommends chiropractic care as a first line of defense against low back pain. According to the Journal of the American Medical Society’s Patient Page public education initiative, spinal surgery and other invasive measures are usually unnecessary and should only be considered if chiropractic and other conservative treatments are unsuccessful.
Research Confirms the Benefits of Chiropractic for Low Back Pain
The recommendation follows a 2013 study published by the journal Spine that examined the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments in conjunction with medical care compared with medical care alone for low back pain sufferers. The researchers defined standard medical care as “education about self-management including maintaining activity levels as tolerated, pharmacological management with the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory agents, and physical therapy.”
Patients who were directed to receive chiropractic care in addition to medical care were scheduled for up to two visits per week to a chiropractor over a period of four weeks, with the number and type of treatments based on a focused history, physical examination and diagnostic imaging as necessary.
After 4 weeks, 73% of the patients receiving chiropractic care in conjunction with medical care reported that their low back pain was completely gone or significantly improved after treatment. Compare that to just 17% of the patients receiving medical care only who reported resolution or improvement in their symptoms. What’s more, the average satisfaction score on a scale of 1 to 10 was 8.9 for the chiropractic plus medical care group but only 5.4 for patients receiving just medical care.
The Bottom Line
It’s encouraging to see the American Medical Association recommend chiropractic care in the treatment and prevention of back pain. As experts in treating the neuromusculoskeletal system, chiropractors are particularly well suited to correcting the causes of low back pain. In the majority of low back pain cases drugs and surgery are unneeded, and come with a plethora of risks, so it makes sense for patients to exhaust conservative options first.
Research has also shown that chiropractic care is not only clinically effective but cost-effective as well, so taking a conservative approach when back pain appears can save patients from both unnecessary suffering and medical bills.
Chiropractic Care for Low Back Pain in Brookfield
Suffering from low back pain in Brookfield? At Ascent Chiropractic we correct problems in the spine using a gentle, low-force adjusting technique that’s both safe and effective for patients of all shapes, sizes and ages. If you’re in the Milwaukee, West Allis, Greenfield or New Berlin areas and suffering with back pain, we’d love to help. To make an appointment at Ascent Chiropractic, call 262-345-4166 or schedule an appointment with our online scheduling app.
Goertz CM, et al. Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study. Spine, 2013 Apr 15;38(8):627-34.